CARLSBAD — Jennifer Rawles, a Carlsbad native and mother of two, took on a special challenge and has since turned into a champion.
The 38-year-old made the decision to pursue competitive bodybuilding with personal trainer Jim Smith, eventually competing in the National Physique Committee So Cal Bodybuilding/ Fitness Championships in the Bikini class. She took first prize, including three additional trophies in the overall sword competition.
Rawles is an Encinitas native and graduate of San Dieguito High School. Her first challenge to get involved in this level of competition came from Smith, who has been her personal trainer off and on since she was 19. She is also training with Personal Trainer Emily Reynolds, who focused on the finer points of competition in the body building events, such as body positioning, movement on stage and skin conditioning.
At the gym one day, Smith suggested Rawles consider stepping up to competition level. Her first reaction was, “No way.” However, with the support of her husband and friends, she changed her mind and “just set the NPC on fire,” Smith said.
“Many women think it is over figure-wise and conditioning-wise when they pass 30 and have children, but this lady showed what can be accomplished with tenacity, focus and hard work,” Smith said.
Since her win June 18, a promoter has called and asked for Rawles to consider competing the upcoming USA Championships in Las Vegas in July. The promotor was taken aback with how far Rawles had come in just nine weeks and thinks she is one of the best over-35 contestants he has seen in awhile, Smith said.