Our champion carves career
BODYBUILDING: Kelsie Sheppard has only been entering bodybuilding competitions for the past year but she's already claimed an amazing six first place finishes from three competitions.
On September 17 and 18 she competed in the 2016 Musclemania Australia titles on the Gold Coast and walked away with the Open Tall Figure Class title and the 2016 Overall Figure Australia title.
Sheppard said she had prepared as best she could before the titles.
"I think I went into it knowing I did everything I could possibly do,” she said.
"I'd done my diet perfectly, trained really hard and did everything I could do really.
"It's down to who turns up on the day. If they turned up in better shape, they worked harder.”
Sheppard grew up in Proserpine and now lives in Airlie Beach and was initially sceptical about getting into bodybuilding.
"I've been in the fitness industry for seven or eight years and people have always asked me whether I did figure competitions and I always thought I'd never been brave enough. It wasn't about the training, it was the thought of getting on stage,” she said.
However after first turning heads at a competition in Townsville last year, she credits Proserpine bodybuilder and coach Helen Longmuir for overcoming her stage fright.
"Helen is a good coach. She's been competing for nine years and been in over 90 competitions and is going for 100 in 10 years,” she said.
"She definitely knows what she's doing. She believed in me and we worked very hard to get there.”
In her short time competing, Sheppard has already been awarded her pro card after just her second competition.
"It basically means you can call yourself pro,” she said.
"I don't feel like a pro, it feels like the beginning for me.
"I haven't heard of anyone else getting their card in their second competition.
"This particular federation is quite new, that was good for me.”
With pro status for Asia Pacific, which is the same league as Musclemania, they've got an international branch that can take Sheppard around the world.
Sheppard knows what she wants to do next - compete in Las Vegas.
"I've qualified for it twice but I can't go this year with work,” she said.
"That's my next big goal; to make it to Vegas next November.”
There are only a couple of weeks left in the current season and Sheppard says she'll use the off season to rebuild and grow before she gives it all another crack next year.
She said she couldn't do it alone.
"I'd just like to send a big shout out to Helen Longmuir and my gym Gravity Fitness,” she said.