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After a major surgery and what should be a physical set back, it is pretty amazing what Mindy Kayser brings to the Bikini stage. Mindy is a fast rising competitor in the Northwest with only a couple shows under her name, but making an impact has been an easy task for Mindy. Mindy brings a very unique look to the Bikini division and we are really looking forward to seeing how far this young lady can go.

1. When and why did you decide to start competing?
My journey into this arena has been a very personal one.  One year after ending my marriage and stepping away from an entire community, I found myself needing a focused goal while continuing to discover my new life.  It's fair to call it a bit of healthy rebellion, but what followed was one of the most empowering moments of my life.  I made the decision to liberate myself from a lifetime of body shaming doctrine in a very public forum, and so entered the world of competitive bodybuilding.

In January of 2013, I began training for my first bikini competition, knowing full well I would be having major surgery in less than two months.  Four years prior, I had had surgery for right elbow tendonitis and had minimal use of my arm for over a year.  Unfortunately, I also developed severe, inexplicable, neck pain around this time.  I was tested for all possible neurologic, immunologic, and musculoskeletal causes; tried various dietary changes, physical therapy, eastern medicine, and cervical spine injections--the list goes on and on.  I was disheartened, I felt too young to hurt this much and not be able to look over my shoulders.  After failing all other therapies, a spine surgeon recommended a C5-C6, artificial, disc replacement.  And so, two months into my training, I became a Bionic Woman.  Eight months post-operatively, I was stepping on stage for the Seven Feathers Classic 2013 and took second place in the tall bikini class.

2. What makes you want to go farther in the sport?
Profound physical, emotional, and mental healing has been experienced through my training and competing.  Years of debilitating injuries have begun to resolve.  Nearly 15 pounds of muscle has been gained.  One of my greatest fears and a lifetime of insecurities have been conquered.  Much sweat, blood, and tears have been spent, and they’ve all been worth it.  There is no turning back once you find this level of empowerment.  This has become my lifestyle.  My passion is to travel alongside and inspire others who are also battling debilitating injuries and seeking to “dare greatly.”  Join me in reclaiming your health and inner power!

3. What type of training do you implement during contest prep and the in the off-season?
My training does not alter significantly during the seasons.  I lift 5 times a week, with a current split of chest/back, shoulders, core, and of course, legs, which I bust twice a week.  The type and length of cardio is what adjusts based on my physique goals and upcoming shows.  I typically do three, 20-30 minute cardio sessions a week.  HIIT, utilizing plyometrics, battle ropes, and kettlebells are my favorite!  If you’re pressed for fun, cardio ideas, try out the “Nike+ Training Club” application on your mobile device.

4. What is your favorite type of dieting meals and what is your favorite type of cheat meal?
Breakfast is the best!  Egg whites and oatmeal with fruit and ground flaxseed is my current breakfast staple.  Nut butter on rice cakes and cookies and cream Quest Bars help fulfill my sweet tooth, which is sizable.  I must admit, I don’t enjoy cooking and would possibly die of happiness if I had a personal chef or meal prepper.  Any takers?!  With a pretty stellar nutrition plan year round, I enjoy weekly, cheat meals.  Mexican food is my go to favorite.  Take me out for chips and salsa, tacos, fajitas, or enchiladas con mole, and we may be friends for life!

5. Who are some of the people that have helped you along the way to get where you are now in life or in the sport?
My ER work family has been one of the greatest blessings.  They encourage, support, tease, and laugh with me daily.  They keep my spirits high and my sanity in check.  I am forever grateful for such an outstanding group of co-workers, whom I also consider my friends and family.
Kristi Tauti, my athletic coach, is the finest example of true dedication, integrity, and balance.  Her strength and guidance is irreplaceable.  I would not be where I am today without her and the rest of Team i-Physique.
My life coach, Diane Murray-Fleck, has helped me learn to navigate life’s turbulent waters and shown me how to become my own North Star.  With her cheerleading, I’ve chosen to remain transparent and authentic in sharing my journey with others.
A special thanks also goes out to Andre “Bam Bam” Scott for continuing to help me improve upon my posing and boosting my bikini swagger.

6. Who or what inspires you to strive for more in the sport?
I am truly inspired by my fellow athletes.  We each have our own unique stories and we each deserve to share them.  I have been blessed with opportunities to meet many of the ladies I draw motivation from, amateur and pro alike.  There is a soft spot in my heart for fellow RN, Lindsey Wells IFBB Pro, and college alumni, Jennifer Williams.  May we continue to empower and build one another up as we conquer our goals!

7. What is next for you as a competitor?
I have my sights set on a National show this summer where I’m aiming to earn my Pro Card!  Stay tuned for details regarding which show(s) I’ll be competing in.

8. What is your favorite memory good or bad while prepping or competing?
My favorite memory was stepping on stage for Emerald Cup 2014 and hearing my aunts and cousins cheer for me.  This moment was priceless and I’m so thankful for their love and support.  If only I could pack them in my suitcase for Nationals.  My dream is to have my mom be able to attend and watch me compete on stage one day.

9. Any website you would like to plug, facebook, twitter, personal site, etc...
I’m on Facebook, and I am also on Instagram

10. Anything you would like to say to all the visitors to NPC Oregon?

Whether you consider it a bucket list item, hobby, or professional endeavor, training and competing has the potential to bring out the best and also the least desirable traits in a person.  Surround yourself with a strong group of like minded individuals who will remain supportive and help you find balance.  Prepare yourself for all of the extreme comments (i.e. too lean, too muscular, too soft, too hard…), and choose carefully which critiques you allow to build you and shape your physique.  At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for all of your choices and reactions.  You have the ability to create and become whoever you want to be.  As for me, I choose to be UNSTOPPABLE!




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