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Maple Valley's Janice Zander sets a fitness example | Q&A

Janice Zander calls the effort she put into qualifying for and then competing in a national Figure and Fitness competition in New York “a great learning experience.” - Courtesy photo
Janice Zander calls the effort she put into qualifying for and then competing in a national Figure and Fitness competition in New York “a great learning experience.”
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Janice Zander helps run a women’s gym while competing in national fitness contests

Janice Zander, co-owner with Carol Kayler of Work It Out, a women’s fitness center in Maple Valley, competed recently in a national Figure and Fitness competition. Zander, who’s 41, talked to the Reporter about her business and fitness roles:

Reporter: What was it like being part of the Figure and Fitness competition in New York?

Zander: It’s one of the hardest sports I’ve done. You are being judged on your physique for both fitness and figure competitions. In the fitness category, you’re also judged on your endurance, flexibility and strength. I started out competing in the figure category to better understand the whole world of bodybuilding. After a few shows, I decided to add the fitness category.

This was my first season competing in this type of event. I did four shows in figure. After watching fitness, I decided I could do what the fitness competitors could do. I wasn’t a gymnast, nor was I very flexible, so I was starting from scratch. It took about three months of training to get into the splits. This was a major hurdle. I trained hard. Since I placed top-five in the two local shows in Washington, I was qualified for a national show. I flew to New York for the Team Universe competition held in Manhattan. I was pretty excited about doing this show, since I was competing against individuals who have doing this for up to 10 years. It was a great learning experience, and I look forward to doing another national show next season.

Reporter: Have you always been fitness-conscious in your personal life?

Zander: I would have to say I’ve always been active and have tried to stay in shape. It wasn’t always easy when my three teenage sons – Vernon, Zack and Sam – were younger. Trying to haul three boys under the age of 4 to the gym was tiring in itself. As they were getting older, I would take walks and then joined a gym.

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