Figure Competitor Brooke Doran
My name is Jana Brooke Doran, but I have always been called Brooke. I am a mom of 3 girls, ages 3, 10 and 16, a wife, fifth grade teacher, fitness instructor, personal trainer and graduate student as well as figure competitor.
My Figure career started completely by accident! One of the gyms I work at, Body to Soul Fitness, asked me to attend a seminar on training for competitions. I was under the impression that I would be learning how to train a client that may want to enter a show. Cathy Savage was giving an informational meeting when about 10 minutes into it I realized that my boss from Body to Soul wanted ME to compete and that was what the meeting was all about!
I just brushed it off, but then decided to go to Cathy's to get some ideas on how these girls train to get into shape. I'll never forget my first session, when all of these Diva's got out their heels, Cathy turned on the Funk, and the next thing I knew I found myself in Wendi West's shoes- literally- and trying to walk.
This turned out to be more of a struggle than a walk, but that was the beginning of a whole new life for me! I went to every single Savage Sunday session I could, and I started to train hard, eat more and practice in those shoes everyday!
Incidentally, I bought those same shoes and they have brought me good luck! I was only going to do the Fitness Atlantic, but then all of my Savage Sisters kept urging me to just jump right in and try this show or that.
So, since April 9th I have done the FAME show (no placing), USBF (2nd in Novice and Masters), Fitness Atlantic (5th), OCB (1st in Novice and Masters) and INBF (1st in novice and Masters and Overall) All in about 5-6 weeks I wouldn't recommend this, by the way! In case you are wondering, my husband has been a Saint through these past few weeks!
Unfortunately, you get what you pay for and he ended up giving me a lot of wrong advice as far as contest prep was concerned. He wanted to train me like a body builder... So, I am back to training on my own, and have found it to be a lot less stressful, although I am planning on hiring another trainer if I can find one who can handle my crazy schedule! My brother in law, Kevin Doran, trains clients at Personally Fit in Marina Del Ray, and he has coached me over the phone quite a bit.
I saw results extremely quick! In February I went to Jamaica as a traveling aerobic instructor. I was teaching 3 classes a day at the resort in exchange for a vacation, and I lost about 8 pounds on that trip. I started lifting one muscle group a day back in February, along with teaching two 90 minute step classes a week and doing 2 sessions of uphill interval sprints on the treadmill for 20 minutes. My "trainer" kept saying "no cardio", but Cathy kept saying "Do cardio". Good thing I listened to Cathy!
Get up at 6:00
Sundays are reserved for housecleaning, food prep for the week and Savage Session
Anyway, fitness has made me feel whole again. When I have other women come up to me at the gym and ask for my help and say they want to look like me I just can't get over it. It means so much to me to be able to give back to others. Especially women who may be in a bad relationship, or dealing with an addiction, or just be depressed- I want to share all I know about lifting and what has worked and not worked for me.
I am absolutely addicted to lifting- it is where I want to be and it has brought me through some tough times. Every single low point of my life has been overcome through my time spent at the gym. I am not just lifting, I am thinking, thinking, thinking. I solve problems, write lesson plans and think up new step routines all while I lift. It is my time and it where it is just me against myself, and that attitude is the one I take with me on stage. I am not, in my heart of hearts, competing against anybody else. Yes, the judges are judging me against others and some I win and some I lose, but what matters to me is this: Did I do the best I could do to prepare myself to get up on this stage? Did I present the BEST me that I could to the audience and did maybe one young girl, middle age woman or other competitor get inspired by me? Did I give anybody else something backstage, whether it is a lipstick, bikini bite or compliment? Did I make my best impression and put my best foot forward? That is why I compete- to inspire others, to inspire myself and to give myself a focus and a goal for every waking moment in that gym, not to mention the quality people I have met.
Katie Boynton is probably the person who I have looked up to the most. We have a lot in common and she has literally pulled me through every single show. I love you Katie! And Cathy, she has taught me more than I can tell here, as well as all of the Savage Girls. In a world that is often hard and judgmental on pretty, energetic girls, I have found my home in the wings of the stage and in the nest of Cathy and her girls. Yes, those few minutes on stage are incredible, but the fun behind the curtain...oh, wouldn't some of you like to know!
My next show is obviously going to be Bikini Universe in just 5 short weeks!!
For diet, I eat extremely clean for the entire 10 weeks before the show. Giving up the ice cream proved more difficult than giving up the Chardonnay, but I managed to get by with some low fat frozen yogurt. I ate the standard 6 meals, always pairing a complex carb with a lean protein.
I began taking Amino Acids, Flax, Glutamine, B12, a multi and Lean Mass Protein powder. All of a sudden I started to see some definition. I was surprised at how quickly my body responded. I did up my cardio a bit towards the Atlantic show and I cut my calories just for a few days.
Now I am back to my 6 meals but I must say this is not a temporary state where I am going to slip back to old habits. I will eat and train like this for as long as my body allows! I know some of this is beginners luck, but I sure am enjoying the ride.
My mind, body and spirit are only going to get stronger! What I would really like to do is some public speaking about fitness to children. I teach a unit to my fifth graders called Fitness Friday. We delve into the various components of fitness and we cook, read nutrition labels, keep food and exercise logs...I love kids and want to reach out to ones whose parents aren't educated enough to comprehend the risks associated with obesity and diabetes, etc.
I would also like to appear in Oxygen magazine, and open my own gym. Gee- I think pretty big, don't I? But as Christopher Reeve said: "At first our dreams seem impossible, then improbable, but when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable"
The Travesty of Winning by Brooke Doran