2015 NPAA Magazine 2015 volume 1 - Page 7

LETTER TO OUR ATHLETES When you think you are alone and that the struggle to achieve your goal is solitary, remember that no person is an island. We fundamentally believe that the most powerful teaching tool or helpful roadmap to progress is to review history… history of where we have come from, our evolvement, and knowledge that there is a future. The path from history to goal achievement is the journey, and the most powerful lessons are taught along that path. As editor-in-chief of NPAA magazine I am always inspired by the transformation stories that are shared with us each season and the tales of perseverance from our heart award nominees. When athletes share the stories of their journey to the stage, it makes our sport more than a demonstration of physiques. It gives our sport a heart, a pulse, and a brain. This “personification” of real people keeps our federation grounded and I believe helps competitors realize that they are more than just the sum of their parts, they are more than a body on stage. It truly helps athletes realize that the person standing next to them is “a real person”, who may have overcome adversity just to compete. Our magazine would not be complete without sharing some of the transformation and heart award stories that have inspired, and touched the lives of our NPAA community. We were privileged to present the 2013 Heart award to Lisa Kloberdanz. Lisa exemplified perseverance. Lisa owns an accounting practice, is a single mother who survived cancer, suffered a mini stroke and was faced with the sudden loss of a parent. She battled all of these life challenges and entered into a depression. As a mother she realized she needed to gain weight and improve her health for her 3 young children. Hiring a coach and training for a competition helped Lisa improve her health and heal her depression. Lisa wanted to share her story to help others because most people get into fitness to lose weight and her struggle was to gain weight and become healthy. “I hope my story will make an impact on a woman who needs to gain healthy weight…a woman who can’t relate to weight loss because she feels lost without weight” Our 2014 transformation award winner in BC Carlo Fortin lost an inspirational 100 lbs. After deciding to purchase a property, and needing to qualify for insurance, Carlo stepped on his first scale and weighed 300 lbs. He was scared and realized that he “must lose the weight”. With the combination of the “must lose weight” for the insurance and a fun, loving, bet with his father, Carlo lost 100lbs in less than one year! Carlo now inspires his friends and family and volunteers as a coach to help others lose weight. His brother who nominated Carlo said : “I have seen a huge transformation in my brother, not only physically, but also his work ethic and goal setting. Training for a competition along with the weight loss transformation has given Carlo the drive to succeed in what ever he does”. Our 2014 transformation award winner in Calgary named Carly Lashta battled with an addiction to Crystal Meth, and used competition training to turn her life around. At the competition Carly celebrated losing over 90 pounds, and sobriety for 1 year. She had battled addiction for over three years and almost lost her life to drug abuse. Carly’s path away from addiction and commitment to her health and training helped her to become a girl who could finally look in the mirror everyday and feel joy, happiness and appreciation for her life. “Fitness has saved my life and although I have a long way to go, I have come much further then I ever imagined.” Our 2014 Heart award presentation at the Canadian Championships was a full circle moment. Michelle Salt, Para-Olympian, NPAA athlete, and our inaugural Heart Award winner presented the trophy to Deanne Long. Deanne lost over 120 lbs prior to walking the competition stage. At about 20 weeks before Deanne would walk the NPAA stage she was diagnosed with cancer. Battling with the heart-wrenching diagnosis Deanne underwent surgery but never gave up on her dream to compete and improve her health. Deanne stuck to a very clean and concise meal plan during her recovery from surgery and continually checked in with the doctor to find out when she could get back in the gym.  Deanne’s coaches credit her successful recovery to her mindset and determination. Deanne a mother of two, a wife and friend, worked full time, juggled soccer games, extra curricular activities for her children, frequent doctor visits A 9