If we were to say that today we will interview a future winner of Mr. Olympia in the bikini fitness PRO category, surely would say us that we are playing to be fortune tellers or that we are crazy, but what we can say is that we have today interviewing a person who will not rest until she achieved to win the Mr. Olympia in bikini.
Why do we say this with such confidence? Since we follow (and admire) Sheena Jayne Martin We’ve never seen her say…” I will try to do… “, she always says” I do… and I will do whatever it takes to get it” and, she simply makes it. Fears and concerns exist, as in anyone, but everything is on one side in the fight for her goals.
That is what she has been doing since he decided to leave her job as a lawyer to be happy and dedicate herself to what made her feel full, the fitness, and since then she has overcome a challenge behind another until she has reached where she is today, without coaches, learning from each experience and getting better with each defeat.
Obsession? Does anyone know of a successful person who has not devoted all hers efforts, her time, and her life to being one? Why do we say people who devote effort to improving their body are obsessed? When someone finds what he loves to do in her life he devotes a large percentage of her time to it, it’s not true?
Newcomer to her new home in Santa Monica, Sheena has gone one step closer to her goal, change the place of residence to continue growing and learning, being closer to where things happen, those things she wants them to happen.
Today we have the great honor to interview Sheena Jayne Martin and learn a little more about her.
Sheena, welcome to TC10 and thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
For those who do not know much about you, could you tell us who is Sheena Jayne Martin?
I grew up in a small town at the bottom of New Zealand. Growing up, riding my horses after school and climbing in trees, I never saw myself living in a big city. After law school, I moved North, but it took a couple of steps to make the move to the “big smoke” of Auckland in 2012.
They call Auckland the “City of Sails”, which is fitting really, as Auckland City and all of the incredible people that have been a part of my time here, truly did help me to discover my sails.
I bought my first home in Auckland, I worked in the biggest law firm in New Zealand before leaving the legal profession to pursue my passion in the fitness industry. I got married & unmarried. I begun my career as an amateur bikini athlete with the New Zealand Federation which lead my to representing my country internationally. I had the honour of being awarded my professional status as an IFBB Bikini Pro and the rest, as they say, is history.
In this little introduction that we have already made, we have advanced some of your beginning, but can you tell us about the change that provoked the beginning of your new life?
I have ended up doing what I do because I refused to live a life void of passion. As a lawyer, I had no passion. I felt empty. I went through the motions of life trying to be excited about my “prestigious career” but I simply couldn’t fake it.
I decided that a life without passion was a life I refused to live, and little by little I turned everything around. I quit my job and I found my thing. My passion.
Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement. Passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is humanly possible.
Making such an important decision in your life did not have to be easy…
I had to be brave. There was absolutely no guarantee that quitting my salaried as a lawyer to be self-employed as a fitness professional would be successful. I had invested 4 years getting an Honours Degree. I’d done the “hard yards” for 4.5 years in the legal profession. Walking away could have been a disaster but there was only one way to find out. I wasn’t willing to be unhappy any longer and so I jumped.
Have you always been such a determined person?
Uncertainty used to frighten me. Now I thrive in it. When nothing is certain anything is possible. I am stubborn. I work hard. I am relentless & passionate & when I set my sights on achieving something I will pour my heart & soul into achieving it.
All of these traits I got from my Mumma & I am inspired every day by how tirelessly & passionately she works. Having raised 4 kids, almost all on her own, she still works 12 hour days as a physiotherapist without a complaint. I watched her get home at 8.30pm last night after working at least 12 hours. Then she goes out in the dark & cold to feed the horses. I was raised that way & if I hadn’t been taught to work damn hard & had a role model like her there’s no way I would be where I am right now.
And now that a few years ago you started that road, is it all as you expected?
If you’d told me 5 years ago I would become a professional athlete and would represent my country at the highest level competition there is, I would have laughed.
The Mr. Olympia is the most prestigious show there is and to be honest, most of New Zealand doesn’t actually comprehend the significance of this show and the privilege it is to qualify for a place on that stage. This is the Olympics of bodybuilding. This is it. This is the dream.
We say that if you work on what you are passionate about, you will never work again, is that your feeling now that you do what you really like?
It’s funny, you know some people think it’s “unrealistic” the idea that if you find a job you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. People associate a job as something you “must” do to earn a living to pay the bills. At one point in my life I believed that. It took an extreme amount of unhappiness to break free from that mindset.
I haven’t “worked” a day since then. I am literally communicating with clients and working on my business plans and programs every spare moment, during cardio, between my sets, halfway through a meal. I pour everything into what I do but it never feels like “work”. I wouldn’t change a thing.
We read in your networks that your goal is to win Mr. Olympia, sure that is the dream of many girls, are not you afraid to make such an ambitious goal public?
My business goal is to become a worldwide leader in the fitness industry, a leader inspiring and creating change, a leader guiding others to live out their dreams with a dominant mindset & an unshakeable self-belief.
My goal within the IFBB Pro League is to be crowned Miss Bikini Olympia before I retire. I’m kind of laughing at myself right now with visions of me, with grey hair hash tagging #cantstopwontstop still busting my ass for that title! But, seriously, my ultimate dream is to be the best in the world in my sport. I know it’s a big dream, it’s huge. It’s completely ridiculous and that’s the way I choose to dream.
I’m disinterested in the “ordinary”. Achievable dreams ain’t on my radar. I choose to dream too big. Way too big. I choose to set extraordinary goals and do whatever it takes to crush them. I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of living an average life.
Although your goals are ambitious you are a very close person and people appreciate you very much. How do you feel being a reference for people from different places in the world?
I feel truly humbled that so many people have (and still continue to) take the time to send me messages, comment on my social media & stop me in the gym or street to congratulate me.
The thing that, to me, is the most rewarding is the amount of people who say that I “deserve this”, I have “earned this”, I have “worked harder than anybody for this”.
It’s not the “win” that most people acknowledge. It’s how incredibly hard & persistently I worked to achieve it. It is an amazing feeling to have so many people, some who I have never even met, say that “I deserve this more than anybody”.
People appreciate EFFORT. It’s not awards that people acknowledge, it’s consistent, honest and grueling effort. I have always said, I don’t care how hard I have to work, I will do what it takes to achieve my goals. I don’t want handouts. I don’t want shortcuts or an easy road. I WILL earn this.
You are your own coach, but have there been other people who will inspire you along the way?
I begun competing in 2013 as a new goal. I didn’t do that well in my first show but it started a fire. I’ve never stopped setting higher goals since then and striving to achieve them.
I am hugely thankful to the New Zealand federation where I started and for the opportunity now to compete all over the world as an IFBB Pro. There’s one man who has been my rock in this sport since day one. Moe Elmoussawi saw potential in that timid girl in 2013. Somehow he got me to smile and constantly he has challenged me to grow. I am honoured now to call him a friend and to have his unwavering guidance and support in my career.
I never had anything handed to me and I would never have wanted that. In contrast, Moe would be the first person to tell me I wasn’t on track, or needed to work harder. He knows I’m stubborn and has constantly challenged me to grow. I will always be appreciative for that.
Moe represented New Zealand multiple times at the Olympia and achieved up to an incredible 9th place in the world. He put NZ on the bodybuilding map and continues to do so after retiring from competing. Somebody’s gotta live on that legacy and I am determined to keep showing up and prove that there are no limits on what you can achieve if you give it all you’ve got.
This year you have qualified for your second Olympia after winning the prestigious New York PRO championship and showing a great evolution. How has it been for you this year?
Y’all know that the NY Pro on May 20th was my 9th show in 9 months. I was on prep from May 2016 for the 2016 Olympia in September. I didn’t stop right through till after the San Marino Pro in December. I pulled back over December 2016 a little, before dialling up again for March 2017 shows. My stage weight in May 2017 was almost 20lb lighter than my stage weight in September 2016. That is the result of literally busting my ass to implement feedback & come in smaller & tighter. I dropped a tonne of muscle from my naturally muscly ballerina legs by doing 2+ hours a day on the stair master majority of that time.
I needed to win a show to qualify for the 2017 Olympia & quite simply I refused to give up till I did. I would not want to go to the Olympia on points from a few handfuls of top 5 placings. If I am not good enough to win a show I do not deserve to be on the Olympia stage.
I finished with a medal around my neck in 7 out 9 of those and in my opinion, not one of them was a “waste”. This is a journey of improvement, if I had won immediately i wouldn’t have been forced to keep improving over the course of 9 months resulting in a win at one of the biggest shows there is. Coming 2nd & 3rd & 5th in every show was exactly the “NO” I needed to become better.
Of all the things that have changed in you since you left your life as a lawyer, which part do you feel most proud of?
I am proud of the unrecognizable physical changes I have made, but it is the mindset that I have developed that I am most proud of.
It takes strength to push through every single limit you once believed you had, to force yourself to overcome every weakness that you thought was ingrained in you. I have been knocked down countless times. I have failed, I have lost, I have cried, I have wanted to give up. I have felt hugely inadequate to be where I was representing my country on the international stage. I could have given up. But I didn’t.
I persevered, I gritted my teeth & kept working tirelessly for a dream I couldn’t even see yet. I knew my dreams were “too big” for me. But I forced myself to become the person that I needed to become to reach them. With every bigger dream I grew into, I dreamt a bigger dream.
And very recently you have made your last big decision (so far), pack up, leave your country and move to Los Angeles to get even closer to your dreams…
I am ridiculously excited to get to Los Angeles & hit the ground running, no, sprinting, toward my dreams.
Who would have thought that small town girl with big dreams would move to a much bigger “big smoke” all on her own, Los Angeles, California, with suitcases of her life.
I am grateful to be embarking on this new exciting chapter of my life & my career with amazing memories and invaluable life lessons from my time in Auckland City.
Finally Sheena, what advice would you give to those people who are not happy with what they do in their lives but are afraid to make that change you made?
Decide what it is that you want. Ask yourself what you are willing to do to achieve it. If there are limits on your willingness to work and your commitment to the “sacrifices” that will get you to your goals then maybe you don’t want it bad enough.
Sheena, I would like to thank you for this interview, but above all for the kindness you have always shown me, even though you are a very busy person and focused on your projects, and for the positivity and energy you transmit in each of your words . I can only wish you the best in all your projects.
Would you like to add something else?
I just want to tell people to use their one precious life wisely! Chase your dreams & never ever give up