Do you know what’s spectacular about living in the Elko area? Well, there are many aspects of life here that are very cool, but one of them, specifically, is the fact that we get to live around many diversely talented men and women! Our neighbors have so many amazing gifts, talents, skills, and passions! Someone from the outside may assume that our community is made up of a bunch of one-note folks; however, that’s not the case! Many of Elko’s residents are doing things that some would only expect to find in a “big city,” and this week’s guest is no exception!
This week, we’re joined by the infamous bodybuilding realtor, Jill Wickens! For the past fifteen years, Jill has acted as one of Elko’s top real estate agents. You can currently find her working out of the offices of Coldwell Banker Excel. However, Jill’s impressive resume doesn’t end there! For the past eleven years, Jill has trained and competed as a woman’s physique division bodybuilder! Real estate and bodybuilding—those are two things you may not necessarily associate with each other, but Jill has married the two worlds together with much success!
Thank you for joining us this week, Jill! Let’s start our time together by discussing how you came to enter into the bodybuilding lifestyle. From where did that passion of yours come?
“I’ve always been a bit of a fitness junkie. As a kid, I was a tomboy who liked to be outside. I played sports; I didn’t really excel at anything except maybe softball, but I was also kind of chubby. So, in junior high, I started getting into nutrition. I lost weight, started running, and got more into sports. However, it wasn’t until my adult life when I started going to the gym. I was a cardio junkie who taught group fitness. Somehow, I discovered weightlifting. I liked that I felt stronger and how that was, fundamentally, how I could change my body. Cardio is one thing, but adding weights can really change your body.
“I started training people at the Elko Athletic Club, which would eventually become Gold’s Gym. The owner had done bodybuilding in the past; that was very inspiring, and there were also some other bodybuilders in the gym. I became very intrigued by it. There was another trainer there who shared that passion with me, so I signed up with and became his training partner.
“I went through a couple of life challenges around then, such as a divorce and a battle with cancer. In fact, about eight months after having recovered from cancer, I had my first bodybuilding show at forty-six years old! Since then, I’ve done thirteen or fourteen shows, all at the amateur level. I’ve won three overall titles in Nevada and one at a big show in Seattle! My goal was to compete for my pro-card this July, but everything is, of course, postponed. So, I have taken this year off competing, but I’m still training.”
Let’s pretend as if you did have a show coming up this year; what does the preparation process look like for you before getting on a stage?
“Sixteen weeks out, I’ll start prepping. This is when you get your nutrition in-line and start eating clean; I don’t get to drink wine! Then, the ultimate goal is just getting ripped to shreds! I have a really good support group behind me because it can be hard.”
Wow! We could only imagine how much discipline that lifestyle would take. What about bodybuilding keeps you in it, year after year, in spite of all of the sacrifices that have to be made to compete?
“We all have our thing! I just fell in love with weights and going to the gym. It helped me overcome some past injuries, it’s my anti-depressant, and it’s my sanctuary. My people are there, and it’s almost like a place of worship. I’m not perfect at all of it, but it helps me stay sane; it’s medicine.
“Some people may think that. Bodybuilding is just about getting up on stage in a bikini, but for me, it’s truly all about the process. You’re really learning so much more about yourself throughout that time. It teaches you about your limitations and how to overcome them. At the end of the day, all bodybuilders are really competing against themselves. Sure, I want to win, but I also never want to go to a show looking the same way I did as last time.
“We all have the things we’re passionate about, and we make time to do those things. You may not want to be a bodybuilder, but you may want to be a blogger or paint or play the guitar. It’s all about what brings you joy. Wherever you choose to succeed, you’re going to put more emphasis on those areas of your life.”
What kind of advice would you give a young guy or gal who came into your office with a desire to investigate whether or not bodybuilding was the lifestyle for them?
“Talk to other competitors and me to get a feel for the lifestyle. But what did it for me was going to my first show in Seattle. It was all crazy, but it’s what led me to fall in love with bodybuilding. My goal was to compete in that show, which I did in 2017!”
Fantastic! Now, we talked a lot about your bodybuilder hat. Can you please share a bit of what it’s been like working as a realtor in the Elko area?
“For the longest time, I tried to keep being a realtor and a bodybuilder separate. I thought people might perceive my lifestyle as one about ego. However, recently I’ve decided to celebrate it!
“I feel like being a realtor is the coolest job ever. I get to make a great living off meeting some amazing people and helping them make the biggest investment of their life. I love selling real estate!”
Wonderful! We thank you again for taking a break from either showing houses or putting in your daily reps to chat with us this week! Is there anything else you’d like to share before we let you get back to it?
“I hope that I’ve been able to inspire other people to make being healthy and active an everyday commitment. Every day, before I start my job or do anything, I figure out my workout, when I’m going to the gym, and what I’m going to eat. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s self-care for me. It keeps me focused and sane. I wish that each person could figure out what their love and passions are and do it every damn day!”
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See you around, Elko!
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