Tori Silberbusch, a freshman studying marketing, bubbles over with excitement as she tells me about her upcoming bikini body-building competition. To get a sense of the time and dedication she puts towards working out, I joined her at the Recreation & Wellness Center and tried my best to keep up.
On top of exercising with weights, we also did things I had been doing since elementary school P. E. class: jump roping and mountain climbers.
Do you have to deal with people who think that body-building is just for boys? Yes, a lot of people have negative connotations about it.
How much time do you dedicate? I work out every day of the week. It’s an emotional release for me–whenever I’m feeling stressed, I know it’s because I haven’t been to the gym, and I need to go.
I’ve heard that too much body building is really bad for your health. Is this true? A lot of people will use that as an excuse… too much of anything is bad for you. Too much fast food is bad for you, too. It’s important to remember that although body building puts a lot of stress on your muscles, it’s making you so much stronger. (Editor’s note: It’s good for your bones too!)
Around campus, you can easily spot Tori by the water jug that never leaves her side –filled with muscle-building protein, of course!
What advice do you have for college students who think they are too weak or too out of shape to get started in something like this? Be realistic. You have to progress at your own healthy pace. I know it can get aggravating to wait for the progress, but it will come if you put in the hard work.
Tori then tells me about the first time she ditched the cardio machines and ventured over to the weights section of the gym –all for a cute boy. She explains that it was intimidating at first, which I find hard to believe as I look at her now. The boy made a lasting impact on her, because he pointed out her potential. Now, she looks at me and says, “Everyone has potential, no matter where you start!”
“When you start your fitness journey, don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter thirteen. Your body is like one big science experiment–it will respond to the gym differently than the people around you.”
I was ready to give up after a few squats, but Tori never faltered!
What’s the best part about going to the gym every day? Everyone is on a journey. Everyone is working towards something and has a mutual respect towards one another. There is an attitude of progress and hard work. Plus, in a world where we can’t be in control, the gym offers a good way to practice control, and I like that.
How much time do you have before you compete? What goals do you have for before then? I will compete in Florida in 8 weeks. I’d like to cut off a few more pounds before then.
- Tori always keeps a Sharpie-drawn number on her wrist to remind her how long she has until competition.
All in all, I wish I would have taken my workout a little slower… I could barely bend over to put on my shoes the next morning. But, as Tori reminded me, the good thing about lifting weights is you have the opportunity to go easy on yourself and start small. Find weights that make you feel comfortable and work your way up over time.