Anne will be competing for a ticket to bodybuilding heaven in America in December

Anne will be competing for a ticket to bodybuilding heaven in America in December

Anne immediately won all the prizes in her first bodybuilding competition. Photos: private collection

VELDDRIEL/ROSSUM – Anne Merckx surprised friends and enemies in March of this year by immediately winning all the prizes during her first participation in a bodybuilding competition. The 32-year-old Velddrielse native is now fully preparing for the prestigious competition in December.

“A kind of beauty pageant, but with muscles” is how Anne Merckx describes her bodybuilding, usually to people who don’t know the sport (well). It’s been about seven years since Anne, who now lives in Rossum, started bodybuilding. Before that period, she competed in figure skating competitions at a high level until she was 21 as a member of De Ker-Rolls from Kerkdriel.

From an early age, her life was dominated by sport at the highest level and the sacrifices associated with it: “I couldn’t go to children’s parties, I hardly had any social activities; I didn’t know any better. On the other hand, it brought I have things that most of them have not experienced; Competitions abroad, building a relationship with mentoring, everything really. “I learned a lot from him.”

Inflammatory bowel
When she stops skating, a bad period begins for her. She’s just losing weight, is completely housebound and the doctors have been completely in the dark about why for almost two years. In the end, the diagnosis is made: chronic gastroenteritis.

“I was happy at that moment that we knew what it was, but I thought ‘what now?’ “Then the doctor literally said I had to learn to live with it and that I wasn’t allowed to exercise anymore. As a 25-year-old woman, you don’t really want to hear that,” sighs Anne, who weighed only 48 kilos, was always tired and lived in social isolation.

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Nutrition plan
“I broke down psychologically and went back to the doctor who had previously referred me to the hospital. I told him what I was told at the hospital, and after that the doctor encouraged me to exercise.” Anne is happy to take this advice to heart.

Thanks to the help of a former bodybuilder, she also receives a nutrition plan she can manage. It turned out to be a starting point: “My body responded better, and in the first year I gained six kilograms again. The combination of exercise and good nutrition gave me a push in the right direction. This is what happens now.” Better over the years.”

Things go so well that Anne finds a new sport: bodybuilding. She “builds” her body by exercising and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Her parents and friend Krista weren’t immediately excited about this development, until they attended Anne’s first BeNeLux bodybuilding competition in March this year.

It’s also Anne’s first competition which brings with it some nerves: “It’s fun when you’re training in the gym, but standing in the spotlight on stage in such a tiny bikini is something completely different.” “The fear of failure, which I unconsciously brought with me from snowboarding. It was a bigger struggle mentally than physically, but in the end I took the step to get rid of the fear.”

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The judges were immediately impressed by Anne so much that she immediately won all the prizes she could during her first appearance in the competition. In doing so, she surprised not only her friends, acquaintances and competitors, but also herself: “I thought: What is this?” she recalls with a laugh. “I didn’t really expect it. Once you’ve done ten competitions, you have experience and routine, but for me it was a huge success in the first competition.” Anne’s bodybuilding career – despite her will – immediately gains momentum. And slowly but surely she realizes that she has given a special performance. This leaves her and her French coach wanting more.

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Together they focus on December 3: the day on which a new prestigious competition is planned to be held at the Schouwburg De Meerse in Amsterdam, with the aim of moving to the Mecca of bodybuilding: America. “If I can win the ‘overall classification’ during that competition in December – and I don’t think there’s any chance of that – I will become a real professional bodybuilder. Then you can go to America and compete there at the top.” “Bodybuilding. You will then feel as if you have suddenly gone from amateur to Champions League.”

This would be a dream come true for Anne, who is also expected to face foreign competition in Amsterdam, although her identity will not be announced until the morning of the competition. She has no idea yet if she is one of the contenders. The only thing she can do in the months leading up to the competition is prepare hard and in a disciplined manner.

And that’s what you do. She always trains in the morning at the gym in Kirkdriel, and her strict diet mainly includes balanced portions of rice porridge, proteins, rice, chicken and beef. The same harsh regime continues for another seven weeks. “Mentally it’s very difficult, but I tick the box every day. I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it – certainly not without a coach or help – but for me, this sport and lifestyle has enriched my life. And maybe it will too.” Saved,” concludes Anne.

To fund her sport, Anne gets help from necessary sponsors, including catering butcher Albert van den Heuvel, AVN Kerkdriel and C-Line Beauty. Anyone interested in caring for Anne can contact her at: [email protected].

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