LINDA GARTSIDE


 

"In 2010 I began a journey that would change the way I feel about myself forever."


Who would have thought that the dumpy wallflower with an eating disorder, that the bullies loved to pick on would be inspired by her idol Arnold Schwarzenegger via a book called 'the education of a bodybuilder' at the age of 15 and have her dream come true and compete one day!

Not only did she compete, but she is also very successful. Within 4 yrs Linda surpassed all her dreams, & now holds the title MISS UNIVERSE.

Linda's words: ''I've never been in the 'in crowd' always been a wallflower, & never seemed to fit into anythingbecause of this I was bullied throughout junior & senior school. so for me weight training seemed the perfect hobby.

23 yrs passed & a new gym had opened up near me called Evolution Physical Excellence, which is owned by IFBB Pro John Hodgson & Paul Booth. I joined and this is where I found what I wanted, I wanted to compete. I set a momentous task, I wanted to be on stage by the time I was 40.'' 

She trained like a demon with one aim in sight that by 2010 she would be on that stage. Searching for a prep guy that she could gel with she stumbled across a guy called Ken 'Skip' Hill from Colorado who turned out to be invaluable to her.

A 20 wk diet was set & in January 2010, it commenced aiming to compete in May.

4 wk into the diet Linda was hit  from behind by a 26 tonne truck in her job as a driving instructor, the diet had to cease.  Sights had to be set on another competition.

On September 26th 2010 that wallflower came alive in the trained figure class and took second place. Four weeks later on October 23rd 2010 she stepped on stage and took first place, and then again one week later in October and placed fifth in the competition.

With only 2 months off-season she had to prepare for the British Finals on 28th May 2011 where unbelievable to her she took first place in class 2-trained figure and then won the overall to become the British Champion 2011 and only 2 weeks later on the 11th June 2011 in Sao Paulo Brazil at the World Championships she placed fifth amongst seasoned competitors.



Linda wouldn't step on stage then until November 2012 for the Nabba Universe, last time she competed against the elite 36 countries she came 5th.....

During the prep it wasn't without it's usual dilemmas, Linda 6 weeks pre comp suffered from cellulitis & gout. Nothing would stop this dream to compete.

Has she stood on stage with all the fabulous top of the tree competitors Linda cried, placings being called 6-1....she won!

Now a new dream has been opened. To make this dream come true, Linda has now switched federations to the UKBFF to compete in the WPD (women's physique division). Her dream to one day shake the man's hand that gave her hope Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger himself...the story continues.....

Each time Linda stepped on stage her goal was not to win but to prove to the bullies & her eating disorder that they had not won!

People that don't know Linda very well are unaware that she is a successful business woman working at her own driving instructor company & the mother of 2 fabulous children that she has brought up single handedly. She has a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo, a qualified Holistic Therapist, & a qualified advanced Personal Trainer

Linda's words: "I work with a very close network of supportive friends They are all my rocks, which have made a mountain & my Dream to Compete come true. When I compete they are with me on that stage and without them it would mean nothing.

"Juggling everything is tasking but you only get one crack at life, so you may as well enjoy it to the full and you can't keep me down for long.

"Yes I've struggled having an eating disorder but after stepping off stage in Brazil I underwent hypnotherapy and regression therapy off a world leading clinical hypnotherapist Chris Wynne Jones.

"The therapy has worked as I no longer hide behind food and next time I'm on stage I will be better... the best is yet to come''