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Iron Will Award Candidate:

Alexandra Heberger

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Alexandra Heberger's Submission:

The Iron Will award is often given to those who lost a substantial amount of weight. My story is the opposite. Shortly after competing in MABBA Figures 2012, I found myself challenged by a major medical crisis. When I was told my chances of survival were low, I decided to fight back. I fought for my children, to be there to see them grow up and achieve amazing things. I fought so that I could continue to do what is important to me. In the end, I gained back almost 30 pounds that I lost during recovery, and am competing this year in the Physique category. Facing adversity, I am stronger than ever…

My name is Alexandra Heberger. I am a University Professor at the University of Manitoba. I love my job and see working in education as a huge privilege. I am a single mother raising two children and have to say that my kids are the best thing that has ever happened to me. In the last couple of years, now that my kids are a bit older, I decided to return to an active lifestyle. I started with daily boot camps at Professional Edge for two years. There I discovered my love for body building. With the help of Darren Mehling from Freak Fitness I did not only get in the best shape of my life, but placed second in the 2012 Novice out of 18 in Figure Tall in the open class. Just two weeks after the competition I went to the hospital with severe stomach pain and found out that scar tissue from an old appendix operation had cut my lower intestines off. I had an emergency operation and was told that most do not survive. The reason why I survived, according to my surgeon, was that I was in such great shape that my body somehow still pushed blood through the obstruction. He said that any “normal” healthy person would not have made it. I think the most terrifying thing about going into operation, was that there was a chance that I would never get to see my children again. The outcome of the operation was positive and I ended up with a huge scar down my belly and a weight loss of almost 30 pounds. Some of you might think that is a good thing, but for a body builder that is devastating. I dropped from 134 to 105 pounds in 3 weeks of having no solid food. I was told to not to work out for at least two months, that I would possibly not be able to body-build again and was in quite a lot of pain for weeks. After a visit to my sport-physiotherapist, D’Arcy Bain, he sent me back to the gym after 5 weeks. He supported the now healing incision with a corset top, lasered the scarring on my stomach, and told me that I am an athlete and to get at it again. With his help and my amazing trainer Darren Mehling “feeding” me properly, I am now not only back to my competition weight, but put on 10 more pounds of muscle and will be competing in the physique category at the Novice 2013 in March. What this experience taught me is to kiss and hug the ones you love every day and make sure you tell them how much they mean to you and to never give up. I have an amazing trainer who encourages me every step of the way and makes me proud of my accomplishments, I also have a great sponsor - Meyers Drugs - who believes in me, and good friends to support me. Look for me at the Novice as I am coming in strong!

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