projects a positive image that is highly athletic, but still feminine and attractive.
currently a professional figure competitor in the IFBB as well as the owner of Train
, which is located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Things You Probably Don’t Know About Jane Awad
Often when someone is in the public eye, we think we know them quite well even if we really know very little about them.
For example, if you see a picture of someone in a magazine, or if you see them in real-life such as onstage, it’s automatic to start guessing how old they are, what they might be like to talk to, or where they’re from, and so on and so forth.
But, usually, these guesses are wrong.
For example, Jane Awad
is one of Canada’s most respected and most beautiful professional figure competitors.
In fact, many women I know who weight train aspire to look like her
looks highly athletic, yet is still feminine and attractive.
I thought I knew quite a bit about Jane
simply by what I’d seen of her
, but, as you’ll find out, I really didn’t know much at all, even though I’d seen her
quite a few times.
I first met Jane Awad
in the spring of 2004 at a figure competition, and have since run into her
quite often at various events.
The last time I saw her
was when I sat down to talk to her
for this article – in September, one week before the 2006 Figure Olympia competition, in which she
At that first meeting in 2004 I guessed Jane
was about 25 years old, and when I saw her
in September this year I thought her
to be 27, tops.
Obviously, I made that conclusion based on only how she
looks, which isn’t a bad way to go.
Imagine my surprise, then, when she
told me she
was 36 – something she’s not shy about stating.
My jaw almost hit the floor.
I then asked her when she had started competing in figure, thinking that since she was now a professional in the IFBB ranks and doing very well, perhaps she’d been at it for five or ten years.
After all, she
shows tremendous confidence onstage, which is usually the result of many years of competing.
The fact of the matter is, however, that the first competition I saw her
at in 2004 happened to be her
first competition, ever!
After that contest, she
competed as an amateur just twice more, and at the third competition, the 2004 IFBB North American Championships, she
won the whole thing and turned pro.
I had no idea.
first pro figure competition just one year later – the 2005 IFBB North American Pro Figure Championships.
As I said, I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew about Jane
, and I suspect many other people who think they know her
don’t really know much either if they’ve only seen her
in magazines or competing onstage.
Therefore, it was very interesting for me to sit down with her
on that Saturday in September and learn more about her
and write about it here on SeriousAboutFitness.com
After all, many people think she’s American-born when, in fact, she
was born and raised in Canada – Ontario to be exact; Jane
currently lives in Windsor.
That misconception, though, is because she
did live in the New York City for about six years starting in 2000, before moving back to Canada in 2005.
Frankly, I didn’t want to get into her "life history," finding out where she was born, what schools she went to, and what sports she participated in – stuff like that you can find on her website.
Instead, I wanted to learn something new and interesting: I wanted to hear about other things I didn’t already know about her
made it easy.
I found her
refreshingly candid, but also careful with what she
Not careful in a bad way, mind you, but in a thoughtful way.
She’ll tell you what you need to know, in great detail, but she
words precisely so you know exactly what she
I like that.
In fact, I think it’s a strong attribute for a woman in her position since, as a pro figure competitor, she’s also a spokeswoman for the fitness industry.
So, when I shared a story about one unnamed figure champion who made a speech for the television audience right after her
win that was, let’s say, rather embarrassing in terms of its tone and simplistic content, Jane
said, "If you think you’re going to win a competition and you know someone’s going to ask you a question afterwards on TV, shouldn’t you think about what you’re going to say beforehand?
As I said, Jane’s candid, and she’ll tell you exactly how she
But what you probably don’t yet know is how Jane
got into figure competition in the first place.
It was more or less by chance.
According to Jane
, "I actually stumbled upon figure at the 2004 Arnold Classic.
turned pro, she
committed herself to figure competitions completely.
was very active in various sports when she
was young and up to the time she
went into her
first competition, she
knew that pro figure required dedication in order to go far, so she’s currently participating in no other sports and trains exclusively for figure.
With such a focus on figure, I wondered how Jane copes with the stress of professional figure competitions, a sport that assesses a woman completely on how she
looks on a particular day.
says, "You cannot have an ego in this sport.
According to Jane
, "I always recommend doing a show to people who are interested.
Jane is now the owner of a club in Windsor called Train with Jane.
It’s there that Jane
not only helps aspiring figure competitors, but also men and women of all ages who want to get into shape.
describes how she
came to be a gym owner, "For years I have always wanted to open my own studio, but the timing was off.
I can honestly say that I have gained a lot of confidence in myself since opening up Train
I have always believed in myself, but now I believe that my knowledge, experience, and background in training and nutrition can help so many others, and hopefully I will inspire people to reach their own personal best by training them in my own studio."
Being an inspiration is something that Jane
is obviously good at based on her
personality, attitude and, of course, her
own success story.
However, I admit that at first I was a bit surprised at her
answer when I asked her
this: "How would you motivate someone to start working out if they’re not doing anything?
When talking with Jane
about the "quick fix" that drugs can provide, as well as the health risks that come with them, I found out quite quickly where she
stands on that issue.
200611_jane.jpg (39770 bytes)
5th-place finish at the 2006 Figure International competition has been her
competitive highlight so far.
Jane’s a natural competitor, meaning she
has not, and will not, use drugs.
feels strongly that other women shouldn’t either.
According to Jane
, "I am a firm believer that steroids do not have a place in figure.
Obviously, that’s good advice, and I’m very glad to see Jane
and other women speak out about drug use and make a statement about it, particularly here on SeriousAboutFitness.com
As a matter of fact, pro figure competitor Nina Luchka wrote candidly about the topic in our "Edge" section in September . It’s no coincidence, actually, that Jane
and Nina are friends.
, "Before ever stepping on stage with Nina Luchka, we became friends and kept in touch talking about our common goal, becoming an IFBB Pro.
Friendship, environment, and support are words that Jane
uses regularly in her
conversation, but, like I said, not haphazardly.
thinks about what she
says and backs it up in her
lifestyle and, as well, in her
career as one of Canada’s top figure competitors.
She’s not only refreshingly candid, but as serious about fitness as anyone I’ve met, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her
as a trainer to get anyone else into shape.
In closing my interview with her
, I wanted to find out two more things about Jane
that few people know.
First, I asked her
all-time favorite figure competitor was.
Without hesitation, Jane
replied, "Monica Brant.
carries herself with pride and always has a positive upbeat outlook.
has been a great motivator over the years and now is one of my friends.
Next, I asked Jane
competitive career highlight was so far, expecting her
to name either of the two North American competitions that she
But I was was wrong again.
replied, "Placing fifth at the 2006 Figure International.
You can learn more about Jane Awad
new gym, Train
, at www.janeawad.com and ww