Georgetown resident Monika Kovacs became interested in fitness competitions with the goal of losing some weight and just over a year later, the 28-year-old is prepared to pursue the sport professionally. A personal trainer, Kovacs said she was tired of slipping her 5-foot-5 frame into size 12 clothing and was inspired to become involved after watching a figure competition, which involves quarter-turns and physique rounds in front of judges. There is no aerobic fitness component involved; Kovacs said the challenge is to not look overly muscular, yet impress the judges with aspects such as body tone and overall shape. "Sometimes it's like comparing apples and oranges. It's hard to know what the judges are looking for," said Kovacs, who finished second in the recent Canadian Bodybuilding Federation/Ontario Physique Association provincial championships in the Level II medium figure class. "You try not to think about (the judges). Once I'm out there on the stage performing, it's a thrill and like a dream, like letting a kid into a candy store and letting them take anything they want." Exhausted after weeks of working her day job and staying in top form for competition, Kovacs has taken some time off from training to recover. The native of Hungary, who moved to Canada 10 years ago, has done a couple of magazine photo shoots and is entered in some on-line fitness competitions in the meantime. She admits that such a dramatic change in fitness level has required a huge commitment, and hopes that the transformation from being a shy, insecure person who had difficulty learning a new language into someone who is confident and proud to put her body on display inspires other people. "Working out at the gym is a very small part of it," she added. "Nutrition is obviously big. It becomes a passionate lifestyle. It all started with me playing with the idea of `what if?' It's nice to know that because of my attitude and personal drive, others have been encouraged and empowered to achieve their goals." Kovacs has set another goal of attending the world championships in 2007. She had also planned to return to Hungary this fall for a competition, but is having a tough time making a decision. "It would be fantastic to go back home, but I don't know yet. Right now, the U.S. is more appealing because of the modeling opportunities there," Kovacs said. "If I want to remain as a national-level competitor, it's going to involve a lot of traveling and other things like getting sponsors and setting up a website. We'll see where it goes."
Monika Kovacs of Georgetown placed second at the recent Canadian Bodybuilding Federation/Ontario Physique Association provincial championships in the Level II medium figure class.