Tricia Hoyt - Exercise Buff
"It's more that you compete against yourself and not the other girls." Tricia Hoyt, who says fitness competitions have added balance and friendships to her life.
Lifting one leg up over her head while balancing on the other and a one-handed push-up are two moves Methuen resident Tricia Hoyt practices almost every day to prepare for fitness competitions.
Tricia, 26, recently placed third in the Ms. Bikini Atlantic and ranked eleventh in the Fitness Atlantic Pageant competition just missing her spot to qualify for the ESPN National competition in November held in California.
Since only the top 10 finishers in the fitness category quality for ESPN Nationals, Tricia will try again Oct. 11th in Boston to qualify at the Fitness New England Pageant by competing at this regional event.
While watching a Fitness America Pageant on ESPN that year, Tricia said she toyed with the idea of someday entering one herself. She then began studying the videos of the events and started teaching herself some moves.
Tricia choreographed her own two minute routines and did all of her own training for the first two events she entered in 1997 and 1999. "I went blind into those competitions," she said. "I laugh now when I think about all of the resources out there that didn't know about."
One major resource that has changed Tricia's outlook on the sport is nationally recognized chorographer Cathy Savage of Walpole. Tricia said she found out about Cathy while at one of her early competitions and now uses Cathy as her routine choreographer.
"I loved the sport even more when I started working with Cathy," she said. "She got me extremely excited for it." Every Sunday, Cathy holds open practice sessions for all of the competitors she has worked with. Tricia said through those sessions she was able to meet lots of people and has made many friends.
For the Fitness America Pageant, competitors are judged on a two-minute routine which can be dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, or any athletic talent and on their physique while clad in a bikini and walking in 6-inch platform heels.
The Ms. Bikini America competition is judged solely on physique. According to the Fitness America Web site the competition is not a bodybuilding event and special emphasis is put on feminine looks, body shape, condition and overall attractiveness.
Tricia said the Fitness America and Bikini America competitions differ from other similar events where women compete against one another.
"Anyone can enter the competition because it's attainable," she said. Tricia said that backstage the girls are not caddy and, in fact, most of them are good friends. "It's more that you compete against yourself and not the other girls," she added. To prepare for the competitions and to keep herself in shape, Tricia currently works out at Powerhouse Gym on Route 110 for an hour every morning before work. About three times a week, she goes back to the gym for another hour after putting in a full day as a wholesale account rep at World Savings in Wilmington. She does seven cardio sessions per week, performs lifts focusing on every body part at least once a week and concentrates on abs three times a week. She said it's not always an easy thing to do. "I'd be lying if I said I can't wait to get to the gym every morning," she said.
Tricia said although competing is a lot of work, its well worth it. "There are many reasons to do it," she said. "But the most important thing to me is that it helps me to gain more balance. Even though I make lots of sacrifices, it helps me to focus on other aspects of my life." And when she's feeling a bit unbalanced, her biggest fan and supporter - husband Davin - is by her side.
Besides her fitness competitions, Tricia has also run three Boston Marathons, was a member of the UMass Amherst crew team for two years, and ran track and field and cross-country while in high school. Her goal is to someday be a fitness model.
Tricia said she is always looking for sponsors to help defray the cost of attending the competitions. She is currently sponsored by Powerhouse Gym and In-Shape Nutrition.
"For anyone that sponsors me, I can offer them exposure and I will have the opportunity to mention them at the competition as well as signed photographs," she said.
Her e-mail address her website is www.triciahoyt.com.
By Tracey Borucki
Tricia Hoyt Pics