Faith, Family & Fitness: Bobbie Jo

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Bobbie Jo isn’t new to fitness, but her WHY has evolved over the years.

“I spent my early 30’s as an endurance athlete. For years, my fitness world was comprised of full marathons, half marathons, and several duathlons (run-bike-run). My first husband was a triathlete; attending those events and watching athletes cross the finish line ultimately led me to find my own place in the endurance world.”

It’s a sport that Bobbie Jo grew to love and poured into for years… even after her first marriage ended. “Running and cycling was my world; it was something that helped me through a difficult period in my life,” she confided.

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Racing continued to be a strong passion for her as she found love again, remarried and had her first child at age 38, followed by her daughter 4 years later.

After having her daughter in 2012, Bobbie Jo found a new nutrition plan to reclaim her pre-baby body and improve her energy. “I started to feel really good and it just became part of my lifestyle.”

On the flipside, Bobbie Jo felt her passion for endurance sports dwindle. “I wanted to focus on something … but knew that this sport wasn’t for me anymore. A friend suggested bodybuilding and encouraged Bobbie Jo to go watch an upcoming competition. “The women who graced that stage looked strong. And I knew that strength was where I wanted to focus my efforts.”

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With a refreshed focus and new goal in mind, Bobbie Jo joined Sisters in Shape in 2014 and began working with Coach Val to prepare for her first fitness competition. In 2015, she competed in 3 natural fitness competitions, placing top 3 and earning her Elite status. She competed on the stage once again later that year at World Championships.

At the end of 2015, Bobbie Jo’s focus shifted away from fitness and onto moving their family from Canada to Florida for her husband’s job. “We started over as a family, as 2 adults in a foreign country, without any friends or family for support. It’s very humbling. My job was to find us a home and build a community again for our family.”

It takes about 18 months to re-establish yourself. Greg and I would always say, ‘Wouldn’t’ it be great to move close to the ocean?’ It’s a dream realization that came at a small cost; you have to get through those small hurdles.”

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Shortly after her family relocated to Florida, Bobbie Jo was ready to set personal goals again and began preparing to compete again this time as a figure athlete, winning her master's tall division.  “After that show, I gave myself some time to step away. I did a lot in 2016 to settle my family and then jumped back into my career as an HR Professional.

Bobbie Jo stepped away from the fitness world for a two years to focus on family and her career. In 2018, she was ready for a new goal. “I told myself, ‘You’re gonna be 50 soon and you need to be in the best possible shape you’ve ever been in.’ That goal led me back to the gym.”

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Not long after, Bobbie Jo reconnected with Val. “She just reached to check in and see how I had been. I told her I was getting ready to be the best year of me as I lean into 50.” Bobbie Jo re-enrolled with Sisters in Shape to begin prepping for her next competition in March 2019. Her first event was UFE Liberty in Tampa where she earned medals in Open Figure, Open Fitness model, Open Model, Masters Figure, Masters fitness and Masters Model.  Right on the heels of her 2019 kick off event, Bobbie Jo competed in a natural NPC event in Ponte Vedra Florida in April 2019 and won her Masters figure category.

While Bobbie Jo has crushed some serious personal goals over the years, this busy working mom of 2 small children has passions that trump fitness: Faith and Family.

“There’s a lot of things in life I’d put on hold; my faith is not one of them.

Creating special moments with my family and my kids is also so important to me. My children are very active and I want them to be involved in sports they are passionate about.”

Bobbie Jo’s undisputable drive is rooted much deeper than crossing finish lines or winning trophies.

Bobbie Jo’s drive to accomplish goals (family, athletics, career) didn’t happen overnight. From taking risks, stepping outside of her comfort zone and believing in herself when others doubted her… she now realizes are her gifts. “Passion is driven out of losses, out of experiences and my experience in life is I will be and can be anything I set my mind to regardless of what others think. When I step back in my smallness, my faith tells me that I can do anything through Him.  The journey I am on is based on my faith and He’s opened opportunities for me.”

As Bobbie Jo approaches her 50th birthday, she reflects on her accomplishments and hopes for the future: “I don’t do it for anyone than me… but if I can inspire one person along the way on their physical journey… then the work I’ve put into it is that much more rewarding.”

When asked what advice Bobbie Jo would offer others, she said:

“Don’t stop. If you’re passionate about something, see it through...look hard enough, deep enough, wide enough… you have to be the example you look to, so you can inspire someone else.”

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