A math teacher recently showed off her physique at a bodybuilding competition and won first place by displaying "a lean, toned physique, great abs and well defined legs."
Ann Marie Reilly, a mother of three children ages 10, 8 and 4, competed in the Women’s Masters Figure division (40 years and older) at 's first Natural New York Championships at the Irvington's Arts & Athletics Center on May 26. The event attracted more than 20 local and out-of-state competitors.
The 41-year-old woman, who has been at the for the last 14 years, first got introduced to competing by Michael Lipowski (owner of Pure Physique) who trained Reilly's good friend and nutritionist Dawn Robertson.
"I convinced Dawn to do a bodybuilding competition two years ago," Reilly said. "When I went to see her compete I was so impressed with what she accomplished."
Reilly too started thinking about entering the competition, but at first she kept making excuses – she has three kids to take to and from activities and a full-time job. But as time went on, she was giving her students and children the following advice – a busy person has time for everything; never quit something that you start; if you believe you can then you will; don't make excuses.
"I started to reflect on my goals and said I can do this," the teacher said.
Reilly joined a gym in September and started training with a personal trainer twice a week. Once she committed to doing the bodybuilding show, she started telling her family, friends and a few coworkers about it. That's what made it real for her and she had to be accountable.
"My children now know and they know the rule in our home the Reilly's never quit something that we start," Reilly said.
And along the way, the woman did not give up. Although it wasn't easy, Reilly was a scholarship athlete for track and field, so she was never overweight and knew what hard work was.
Her children also helped her to achieve her goal by reminding her to put down the cookies, she said. Reilly started shopping better for her family, she had more energy and slept better than she ever did in her whole life.
"I really enjoy the gym because it is an outlet for me and my time for myself," the woman said. "I am most proud of my arms. But the day of the competition I was most proud of my abs. For a mom of three, I had a six pack and it looked great. I do plan on continue in Figure competitions."
Reilly said she can lift more weights than some of the men in her gym, but she thinks they are impressed and respect the women who do the sport. Her husband Keith had been an "amazing supporter" throughout this experience, she said.
The Lakeland teacher said she proved to herself that with hard work anything can be done and a busy person has time for everything.
"When I was finished with my first show I really felt that I accomplished something," Reilly said.
The competition was hosted by Michael Lipowski, owner of Pure Physique in Shrub Oak and co-founder of the Drug Free Athletes Coalition, a not-for-profit formed to provide a platform for natural athletes and physique competitors to showcase what can be achieved through proper nutrition and intelligent training—without the use of steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.