I met Mindy at the NPC 2018 Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh. We were lined up to go on stage and she shared some of her story with me. This moment gave us a cherished friendship!
Here is her interview:
How old are you? 44
Tell us a little about who you are and what you do for a living. I am married to my best friend for 20 years and we have 4 kids ages 15, 13, 11, and 9. When I’m not managing and enjoying my kids and their agenda, I’m helping ladies ages 18-60+ get strong, confident, and more dialed into their bodies and lay patterns for a new lifestyle. This is also known as being a Personal Trainer, a Coach for Bikini/Figure competitors and General Fitness Clients, and a Posing Coach!
How did you get interested in competing? I had 5 pregnancies and 4 births in 7 years from 2002-2009. It was a joy and a whirlwind all in one. I was 225lbs. after my 5th pregnancy in October 2019. I wanted a reset and wanted to look and feel better for myself and my family. I took a few years to put myself on the “to-do list”, lose the weight and then in 2012 I got interested in competing. I attended a show, liked what I saw, and could see myself up there doing just that. So I hired a trainer and in 2013 did my first show. Now 7 seasons and 20 shows later, here I am!
Tell us your history as a competitor When I first started competing, it was my world. I blogged my entire 12 weeks to the stage and I gave it a lot of time and mental space. After my first show, I actually didn’t place well, BUT I wanted to keep at the system, network, and learn more. So I kept going. And I’ve since learned to do this with a little more balance in my life. It’s a hobby for me, but it’s NOT my whole life!
After that first season, I hired a Coach who could run my nutrition and training and I went into a building season thru the winter. I actually started in Figure and in 2014, placed much better and had my first go at the National level. It was a great experience, but in Figure, I was way out of my league at that level of competition at that point.
In 2015 I saw the industry changing and I chose to leave Figure and got into the Bikini division, which was a better fit for my physique. It took me a few seasons and shows to learn the posing, to get comfortable on stage, and for my Figure body to come down into a Bikini body, but I was forever grateful I made the change.
I’ve since competed with the NPC locally, regionally, and at the national level, lately placing in the Top 5 and even the Top 3 there. My goal is to go Pro and someday when I do, I want to compete in the Pro circuit and win a Masters Pro show. Big goals take lots of time and I’m in this for the long haul!
Who is your inspiration in the bikini community?
I follow a lot of Pros and upper-level Amateurs on social media and I get inspired by many of them. To be honest, the gals that really inspire me the most are the fellow Mamas who are plugging away at their mission, with a family in tow. That’s HARD and I appreciate seeing other like-minded ladies do what I’m doing AND be ok with making time and mental space for some goals and hobbies of their own!
What has been your greatest challenge as a competitor, and how did you overcome it?
This track has been long and expensive. I did not get to where I was overnight and it was quite a lot of time, Coaches, bikinis, travel, and attempts at learning the sport and then placing well. So while my greatest challenge is that this hasn’t been fast, my greatest gift is that this has been slow. In that, I have learned so much about myself, my potential, and the calling placed upon me. I wouldn’t trade time for anything!
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you began competing that you since have learned along the way?
Get a Coach from Day One! I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
A Coach is there to really help teach and guide you thru the process. I used a Personal Trainer in my rst season to help me in the gym, but I self coached on my nutrition at that point.
From there I have since used 4 Coaches in the industry and I stay with a Coach YEAR ROUND, not just in contest prep. This enables them to get to know my body in all seasons and helps create a nice relationship for when I need it most, close to the stage!
Also, hire a Posing Coach who can teach you what you need to know for your shows and then help you develop your stage presence as you progress. Coaching of any nature is an investment, but it all really makes a difference in your longevity and success in the sport.
Those that are placing well and look amazing are very well invested in this process Don’t cut corners!
What are 3 fun facts about you? -I love the outdoors, sun, nature, beautiful views. If I can get outside, I’m in my happy place! -My proudest moments are all the parts of being a Mom. I love my kids with all my heart and soul! -I’m game for anything chocolate!
Where can readers find you on social media? Facebook: Mindy Irish and my business page, Mindy Irish Fitness (I’m not as active on the business page!) Instagram: FitGalMindy
What is your favorite part about being a member of the Bikini Athlete Network & Academy? I really love the concept of the Bikini Athlete Network. This was not around when I started and it’s such a helpful tool to learn and a great place to network and support other ladies in the Bikini division. We are a sisterhood and we are a team!