Hi, I’m Sarah
I’m a restless, polymath who is always happiest when there is some crazy new scheme or career or adventure on the boil, and often they come about completely randomly or impulsively, last for a short while before I move onto the next big thing. In my time I’ve been a Property Investor, Share Market trader, Magazine creator & publisher. In the I.T world I’ve been a Project Manager, Computer Programmer, Database Administrator, Test Analyst, Team Leader and I’m currently a Business Analyst. I’ve climbed mountains, trekked in the Himalayas, Bhutan, done the Inca Trail (twice), been to the Amazon, travelled around the world – solo. On a whim, I moved to Australia; arriving with one suitcase containing my entire worldly belongings, a job, nowhere to live and not knowing a single person. I’m a talented photographer, professional bodybuilder, am deeply fascinated by all things diet and nutrition related, to the extent that I often use myself as my very own ‘lab rat’ for testing out many diet methodologies to understand how they work, the processes behind them and most importantly how I can apply them to my clients.
As it turns out I’m also not too shabby at blogging
So how did I get to here?
I started blogging in 2009 when, at 40, life took some unexpected turns that set me on the most amazing rollercoaster ride I could never, ever have imagined.
You see, like any other person, I was in a stable long term relationship, working as a computer programmer, going out with friends to café’s or restaurants or the pub after work most Fridays. I played a bit of social tennis, went to the gym a few times a week (to earn my Friday night beer!);
It was when my relationship went sour and I found myself suddenly single, a bit lost and direction-less that I knew something had to change. I wasn’t happy with many things in my life and like many other women my weight was a massive issue for me…so a fitness assessment at my gym that put me into the ‘obese’ category was a mighty shock!
I cried. A lot. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this!
But crying wasn’t going to fix it, so I decided to do something about it. Having been on sereval high altitude treks previously, I loved being in the mountains so I decided to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. That is when I hit the gym in a big way, and really began to be much more aware of what, how and when I was eating and also how particular foods made me feel – this was the beginning of my fascination with diet and nutrition and my 1st two blogs: Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Fat to Fantastic.
25 kg later (lighter!) and a successful summiting of Mt Kilimanjaro, I was looking great, but my life was a mess and clinical depression set in. Exercise is frequently touted as being beneficial for depression and so it proved – the gym became my sanctuary, as I focused intently on the only thing that seemed to be working. I hired a trainer and the results we started getting were a revelation to me. For my 42nd birthday and being in the best shape of my life, I decided to reward myself with a photo-shoot – for coming so far and not quitting, and this led to the snap decision to compete in a bodybuilding contest…
Which I won!
State Novice Figure Champion at my first attempt!
That was followed up with 3rd at National and 3rd at the Natural Universe competition…at just my 3rd show! I blogged the whole journey in ‘So You Think You Want To Be A Figure Competitor’
Now I had the bug and wanted to see how far this unexpected turn of events would go, but long term shoulder problems led to the doctors telling me to quit (all) sport – or get a double shoulder reconstruction. I took the surgery option and went back to the gym as soon as I could. My impatience became my undoing, and just 2 months after the second surgery my body was such a mess of compounding injuries and never ending pain that the doctors banned me from doing everything and to ‘not even walk if I could avoid it’ or I’d be facing face double hip surgery too.
Devastated (again!), it was the lowest of low points and this is where Aiden (my trainer) did something extraordinary – he took me aside and said:
‘Sarah, you have the genetics, the shape, the symmetry, the discipline – you’ve got the pins (legs), you’ve got the mental toughness in spades – if you can get over these injuries, you can go anywhere…and I will go there with you’
I was stunned.
Sometimes it only takes one person to believe in you, and that was it – after I’d picked my jaw off the floor, we set to work. ‘Diary of a Comeback Queen’ follows 9 long slow months, not of bodybuilding, but re-building my body structurally from the ground up. Another year of slow patient building, leading up to 2013’s successful comeback winning 5 of 6 State categories, 1 overall State title and my category at Australian level…
Wow! Now I had just one thing left to do – I had to see how I compared on the International stage, so I set my sights on the UFE World Championships in Toronto and for the first time in more than 5 years, my body was finally injury free. For the first time with Aiden’s guidance, I could actually work towards a goal rather than working around on going injuries.
And so 2014 was designated ‘My year’. This was the year that it was all going to go my way and so I set myself up for the most ambitious competition season I’d ever attempted (and probably more ambitious than anyone has ever attempted before!)
9 shows, in 9 weeks, in 3 different Australian states (including backing up 2 shows on 2 days in different states!), and 3 different countries.
3 State Titles, 3 National titles and 3 World Titles…could I do it? Could I become World Champion at 45?
Well, the first show was a disaster – 3rd and it crushed my confidence. Mixed results winning some shows, not placing in others – left me confused and low on confidence heading into my first overseas show – how was I going to go, when I didn’t even place in some shows?
Did I really have the amazing physique people have been telling me I have? Have they just been blowing smoke up my arse?
Doubts plagued me at every step.
Los Angeles was first up…4 categories entered Masters Physique, Open Physique, Masters Figure, Open Figure Short…and I won them all!! and then I won the Overall Figure!!
OMG! I’d taken out the whole show and pro qualified on both categories! WOW.
Tail up, confidence up, I headed off to Toronto, this time as part of a big Australian team, which was great fun. Once again I won the physique category and tied for 1st in the Figure category…pro status again!
2 from 2!
Ok, off to Boston for the WNBF World Championships…could I do the hat trick? Could I do something that hasn’t been done before, let alone by a 45 year old?
Miss Fit Body Open, Miss Figure Masters and Open…big lineups in all categories and I held centre spot in each…I had to be in with a chance here!
I won the Fit body, I won the Figure Masters, I won the Figure Open – the pile of statues by the side of the stage was getting bigger – only the overall to go…the 2 ft high statuette was within touching distance. Down to the final 3 – all category winners. Once more through the symmetry, I was floating on a cloud of disbelief, in a bubble I executed my turns flawlessly – I’d won over the crowd…’check out the legs on 32…’, ‘big back 32…’, ‘boom…32!’
And then fairy tale happened…
‘And the winner is…Sarah Taylor!’
Shock chased, disblief, relief – tears, amazement – it was all a complete blur
I’d done it.
3 World titles in 3 Weeks.
I’d taken out 2 whole shows and pro qualified in 6 categories, in 3 different natural federations…simultaneously!
It took several weeks to come down off that cloud, it still stuns me the magnitude of what I achieved.
And now I am a professional bodybuilder, new doors have been opening up throughout the whole journey – I’ve become a posing coach, judge, diet and nutrition coach, I prepare other competitors for stage. I’m a backstage supremo, your ‘Stage Angel’ on the day and a demon with the tanning top coat or glaze having tanned many IFBB Pro’s.
This is my new chapter ‘Going Pro’…who knows where it’s going to lead!
Follow along with me and find out when I do 🙂