Candice John joins us in her journey to the 2013 Figure International. Candice has steadily risen in the pro league ranks and has positioned herself to be a contender in her first Arnold appearance. She’s the first IFBB Figure Pro from the Caribbean and had to make her own path to the top. Candice hasn’t always been in the top spots though. She shares how she found her inner confidence and writing down goals has helped her take things to another level
Candice John – 2013 Fitgure International Contender
Hi Hardbody readers, my name is Candice John, better known on the competitive circuit as “Trini”. I’m from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and I’ve been competing as an IFBB pro figure athlete for 7 years. This will be my very first time competing at the Arnold, so it seems fitting that my topic of discussion is ‘Allow Yourself to Dream’. It sounds cliche, right?? Well, I am living proof that one must dream big and set goals, even if they might sound crazy to others. I got my IFBB pro card from the Caribbean and Central-American Championship. As the first IFBB figure pro from the Caribbean, there was no road map for me to follow.
Let’s just say I had a very challenging start to my pro career. It was only within the last couple years that I began to understand what it really took to compete on this level.
Last year was a great competitive season for me. Three years ago, I wrote down two goals. One was to win a pro show and the other was to get a placing at the Olympia. Do you know what was extra special about my first pro win? Two years earlier I competed at the same show, the Pittsburgh Pro, and did not place. Yup, those two letters (NP), short for “not placed”, were placed next to my name at the bottom of the list of competitors who actually got a numerical placing. I felt like I got a one way ticket to an emotional abyss. I felt extremely disappointed. I was so confused. My biggest question was, “why should I continue if I’m not good enough to even get a placing at a pro show?” But, there is one thing I can truly say about myself… I have a CRAZY fighter spirit. Seemingly unreachable goals serve as great motivation for me.
In 2012, I knew I wanted an opportunity to compete in the Figure International, so what did I do? I acted as if I was already invited. I had not even sent in my request, but I started prepping as though I had already been selected. Faith and belief in myself were always followed by action. But, to be honest, there is often a time lag before I actually get the ball rolling. I once heard that courage is not the absence of fear, but the management of fear. I had to first get the inner confidence, so I consulted with my coach and she told me “Hell yeah, go for it!”
I have to act on my beliefs in order for my dreams to materialize. In 2010, after my result in Pittsburgh, I re-calibrated my emotions and got crazier. I actually booked a ticket to Las Vegas to compete at the Olympia which I had not even qualified for. It so happened that I failed to qualify for Olympia that year. But, delays are not denials! I eventually qualified in 2011 by placing second at the Toronto Pro Show.
Stay on the grind
I cannot allow myself to be distracted by the noise from naysayers. I know where I’m at, and I’m still not close to where I want to be, but I know I must be the one working while others sleep. It has always been like that for me, at least. A true story is that at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, my parents called me to wish me Happy New Year and I was on my stepper training. I knew I wanted to bring in the New Year exactly how I wanted the rest of the year to continue… productive and on my grind. Now mind you, let’s be honest, all this doesn’t guarantee a top placing, but it set a work ethic and spirit inside me that brings me closer to realizing my dreams.
Till next week. See you guys.
Candice “Trini” John
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