It took Laura 17 years to come out of her self imposed hiatus to once again embrace her dreams of participating in the pro bodybuilding stage. In these 17 years, the arena has gone through many changes and overhauls, particularly with respect to female pro bodybuilding because of the IFBB. But despite her tumultuous preparation and daunting routine, Laura Carolan won the stage - and at the age of 62 no less!
The female bodybuilding category
The world as it seems has been designed specifically around men. As such everything needs to revolve to their specific tastes, and perhaps the hardest hit category belongs to the female bodybuilding athletes, who are judged, scrutinized and body shamed.
Don't judge a person by their appearance
Here's the rule of thumb if you want to lead an ethical life: Never judge someone by their appearance. Just because someone's appearance does not conform to what is considered 'mainstream' in your society doesn't mean that really is the case.
It is a well respected sport
Although admittedly, the female bodybuilding category seems to have garnered less traction and appeals to fewer people in general, it has a massive reach among athletes and has followers all across the world. It challenges stereotypes and redefines beauty in women.
Laura and her journey
A remarkable icon to the female bodybuilding world, Laura is to bodybuilding what Arnold was once to men's bodybuilding. She is hailed as the perfect combination of pure musculature, balanced physique and her sweet nature. She has fans in all corners of the world.
Beginning in 1992
She won her first IFBB pro card in 1992 at the Canadian championships, there she won 1st heavyweight. In 1993 at the Jan Tana Classic, she placed 5h out of 30 women. She went on to compete 3 more times placing 5h at IFBB Toronto Pro 2012.
She almost retired
It was obvious for the Laura however that her journey at professional bodybuilding was about to come to an end and she took a brief hiatus after the IFBB Toronto Pro in 2012. She had to retire on account of her injuries.
It took her another three years to come back
Making a comeback after 2012 was always hard, especially because she was already in her 50s and there was only so much her body could take before collapsing with all the strain suddenly placed on them. But Laura was determined!
Participating in the IFBB Tampa Pro
In 2015 she set her sights on the IFBB Tampa Pro but was already suffering from issues of self esteem, confidence, depression and a host of other mental ailments. But she soon found Darren - the best coach in the world!
8th at the IFBB Tampa Pro
After being guided under the trusting hands of coach Darren, Laura found herself to be in her peak shape, at the age of 51! She went on to bag the 8th position at the Tama Pro for the best female body builders in the world!
She worked as a correctional facilities officer
Laura always defied stereotypes. This time by entering into a youthful correctional facilities to supervise juvenile delinquents. She worked over there for 13 years and claimed it was one of her most rewarding experiences in life. "It's fun and enjoyable to be around and they respect me." Says Laura.
The competition world
It wasn't until 2016 however that Laura decided she wanted to make a reentry into the competition scene. It was a 17 year hiatus but Laura was clearly happy to be a part of it. This time around however, she was in it for the win.
Thanks to Coach Darren
This obviously could not have been possible without the help of Coach Darren who only had 9 weeks to learn her body and get it into shape. He began to work on it and completely shredded her muscles, despite her cramping problems.
Her favorite body part
Laura's favorite body part is her back. "My fave thing to train right now is the back, sometimes it's a shoulder work out, it shifts around but I never train the legs! They take so much energy out of me." Says Laura.
The fate of female bodybuilding
The female bodybuilding category has now been completely scrapped and broken apart at the Olympia. This left many athletes completely depressed and distraught at the prospects of not being able to go to the Olympia at this stage.
It's a smaller world
While it was always considered to be a niche sport, it has become an ever smaller bubble after the IFBB decided to do away with the Miss Olympia title in 2015. While female bodybuilding has certainly taken a major hit, it might just back a comeback in the near future. Within the IFBB, Wings of Strength has gained a substantial following. It could just come back on top.