At the age of 20, I knew little about the world of strength training, nutrition and the “sport” of bodybuilding. After all, I was a basketball player just looking to get stronger for my sport. When I decided to compete in what I thought would be my first, and only bodybuilding competition, I had to wholeheartedly rely on the coaches around me to prepare me for the stage. Fast-forward fifteen years and twenty-one competitions later: I last competed for Canada on the World Stage in 2008, armed with an abundance of knowledge and experience compared to my humble beginnings. I achieved success as a five-time Canadian National Bodybuilding Federation Champion, and seven-time IFBB World Championship competitor. But, despite these successes, and thousands of hours of training, coaching and perfecting my craft, I was very much aware that although I had come so far, I still had so much to learn.
And then, something unexpected happened: I fell out of love with training.
My decision to take a break from physique competition led to a lack of motivation and a disdain of training. As a result, my body and mind took a beating. I gained over ten pounds of body fat above my offseason bodyweight. I was sluggish and uninspired in my work (coaching others in the physique, health and nutrition industry left me less of a role model for my clients). I struggled with the physical and mental consequences for nearly two years.
That is when I took a critical step to join a women’s recreational basketball league in my city – craving to play the sport of my youth that had fallen by the wayside during my competitive bodybuilding years. To be back on the court brought both calmness and vigour that my body and mind needed
Basketball was fun!
At that same time, I decided to compete in a local powerlifting contest, fulfilling a goal I had set more than a decade before. Suddenly, upon joining a team of experienced powerlifters, my passion for training renewed. I was eager to experience new skills, and excited to test my strength. I met some incredible women, and gained supportive training partners along the way.
Thankfully, training was fun again too!
By surrounding myself with like-minded people – my basketball and powerlifting teammates – I was given the gift of community.
This gift, I have come to realize, is precious.
And, it should be shared.
This is why I created Iron Sisters.
I am looking forward to sharing and celebrating Sisterhood with you.
Learn More: Frances AutoBiographical Profile
Frances Manias: Bodybuilding and PL Comp Profile (Click Here)
CPTN Report: Profiles of Success 2006 (Click Here)