Chichester NHS worker’s resilience pays off when she takes first place in bodybuilding competition
“When you’re focused on something you want to do, you just do it. You find a way.”
Bodybuilder Ewa Jedrasiak came away with a first place win on June 27 when she competed in the Physical Culture Association’s (PCA) British final- even though it was only her second ever competition.
“I was just like, ‘oh my god’. It was an absolutely amazing weekend, to be honest. I feel very grateful, so happy,” she said. “Obviously you go into a competition hoping to win, but I’ve been dreaming about this for so long. My dream was just to be able to get onstage and compete, but I won. Dreams come true, they can happen.”
The competition took place in Princes Hall, Aldershot and, Ms Jedrasiak competed in the Women’s Trained category- despite training for the Women’s Short.
When she’s not hefting weights and wowing judges, the 34-year-old is a senior nursing support worker at the Bognor Regis war memorial hospital, balancing her frontline duties with a rigorous diet and training regime.
“It was quite tough, to be honest, because I worked through the pandemic while I was training- there was a staff shortage and heavy workloads. But my colleagues and manager were very supportive, giving me time off when it was possible.”
Even more challenging, she said, was continuing with her training when the gyms closed during lockdown. Not only did she have to continue to eat right and work hard, she had to get creative with her workouts.
“I had to train at home on the staircase, using anything I could to work my muscles because I didn’t want to lose the progress I’d made in the gym.”
That meant using resistance bands and bodyweight exercises, running in the rain and doing whatever she could to stay fit.
“When you’re focused on something you want to do, you just do it. You find a way,” she said.
It’s an inspirational idea, and that’s exactly what Ms Jedrasiak hopes her victory will do: inspire.
“I was like shocked what my body could look like and it motivated me to do more and more. And I think I motivate people as well- I speak to people at work and they say ‘you are an inspiration.’
“And I think that makes me happy. I’m happy that I’m the kind of person who can inspire and motivate others.”