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Brenda Kelly Interview

Article care of www.star-interviews.com

Don Lemmon: Sum up for those who do not know you, who you are? Maybe say what you are known for and what you strive to become but also what you do now as well.

Brenda Kelly: I am best known in the Fitness industry by my appearances on ESPN 2 Fitness America Shows for the last two years, my Ironman Magazine Lingerie spreads (sorry) and their supplement ads in the magazine. After my Ironman Cover came out last December, my Fitness Modeling career became a reality to myself, and my fans. I acquired a mainstream Modeling Agency: Allure in LA, and moved there last year from Seattle to do commercial and printwork. I am learning about the commercial/film business, and have become an actress and event hostess as well! I love it. I also have gotten acknowledgment from a very strange phenomenon, simply by being older each year than the one before! I will be 43 in January of 2002. Oh well, it is what it is! I have never felt or looked better.

Don Lemmon: Who was the first person to tell you getting into pro fitness was a crazy idea? We all have supporters but you know there has to be one person, without naming names, that just sucks! Why?

Brenda Kelly: It is not lost to me most people in my industry are mostly in they're twenties and early thirties! I expected a lot more flack than I have received. Surprisingly to me, I have been held up as an example and trailblazer to give others hope and permission to attempt new and exciting paths in their own lives. The only resistance I have gotten is from a few who see me as a threat to their own fears and insecurities. They seem to be afraid, and I threaten their excuses! All I can do is lead by example.

Don Lemmon: I have seen you in person so it's obvious to me that you more than belong and stick out in fitness but what directed your attention to the industry itself as a profession and how did you originally see your part in it?

Brenda Kelly: I was not looking to find a different profession, or find such a welcome. I had been running fitness programs, and teaching exercise classes in the Seattle area Health Clubs with much success for 17 years! It got so it was not challenging me anymore. I had competed in the National Aerobic Championships in my late twenties, and remembered how much I had enjoyed the intense training, and preparation. I was 39 when I decided if I ever wanted to compete again, I had better do it before my body might not be able to handle the strain of the routines. Women's Fitness looked like just what I was looking for. I hunted down my ex mixed pairs partner from my Aerobic competition days, Marc Castillo. He had a training facility and was training groups of athletes for all levels of competition. I still remember his words to me when I came to him. He said, “This is the hardest thing you will ever do.” He was right! I thought it was just an addition to my everyday life. I was caught offhand when it ended up being a lifestyle. Don Lemmon: Your 5 favorite websites are: Brenda Kelly: Mapquest! (I'm new in town), Beautifitgym, Getbig, Ironmanmagazine, and Nuclearnutrition.

Don Lemmon: Got a secret you want to share? Tell us something nobody knows about you but only because they haven't asked.

Brenda Kelly: I'm not really a blonde!

Don Lemmon: What's your craziest experience in the sport or maybe witnessed happen but didn't participate in? Something juicy and unethical!

Brenda Kelly: I and other women I know have been chased around and hit on by various judges, promoters, writers, and the men athletes. It is all well and good if the interest is genuine, but I remember one time when I was with my friend, Brandy Maddron this guy tried and tried until he finally used the “its my birthday” line! Lucky for us Brandy’s hubby, Aaron was close by!

Don Lemmon: Anything embarrassing ever happen to YOU when trying to look cool? What? A heel broke? Your top slipped? You said the wrong thing?

Brenda Kelly: At the 1999 Emerald Cup I had a Hawaiian/Tahitian theme fitness routine. I started out swinging poi balls, a Maori implement. I remember thinking right before I got onto the stage: I am going to swing these things faster than I ever have before! Big mistake! I am an ex Professional Hula dancer and have NEVER screwed up during a show! My lesson was; you must always practice exactly like you are going to perform. I tangled almost immediately and had to smile and finish swinging the tangled mess until I could unwrap them and toss them away! Of course its all on tape. Thank God for the physique rounds! I ended up placing second in that prestigious show.

Don Lemmon: Your biggest lie ever is:

Brenda Kelly: Did I say I'm not a true blonde?

Don Lemmon: What's the grossest thing you ever ate? Was it because someone said, "Hey, taste this!" and did you get even with them for it? Or did you want to try it?

Brenda Kelly: I use this Echinacea herbal throat spray. It works like magic when I get run down. It might be the most horrible taste in the world. I make my friends use it when I see they need it. I like to watch their faces after. Hey, what are friends for?

Don Lemmon: What's the hardest and yet easiest part of dealing with the sport?

Brenda Kelly: If I can keep in mind remain detached from the outcome of any event, or project, I have always found success. You can’t find better odds than Always! When I try to over analyze, or control the experience I typically have a VERY tough time of it.

Don Lemmon: Have the people around you changed since you got started? Those who weren't supportive, suddenly are or vice versa?

Brenda Kelly: Yes, and no. I remain surprised at the people around me who have switched back and fourth. The ones who I thought were supportive at first are the ones I thought would always be. Unfortunately this is not so. I am blessed to have the support of people who I never dreamed would be a force in my life. I have much to be grateful for in them.

Don Lemmon: I have been asked that 1000 times. Are the dieting extremes really healthy? Is it something one can do forever and then tell me, what is your most frequently asked question and what question makes you crazy, but you somehow manage to remain composed when asked? Like what drugs do the girls take?

Brenda Kelly: The dieting extremes are not practical, or to be desired unless you are educated, or being monitored. I have seen athletes screw up metabolisms, physiques, and mental perception of their bodies. If I could give any advice here I would beg people to forget the drastic short cut drug use, and panic mode dieting down. If done properly these drastic, dangerous methods are not needed. You can have a beautiful, sexy physique year round. Unless you are a professional level bodybuilder, the “bulk up” phase need not put your body into an undesirable shape. My friend Valentina (2000 Ms. O.) looks camera ready around 90 percent of the time. When asked by the public whether I take drugs, I am amazed. They really just assume all of us do. If they knew any better, after seeing me and talking to me the question would never be asked. Unfortunately women who take drugs do not get away without some sort of side effect. Some of the negative ones include lowered voices, bad skin, receding hairlines, hair growth on face and or chest, enlarged clitoris, and aggressive behavior. Lots of these are permanent! If athletes are doing drugs, (and we know they are), they know the risks, and have made an educated decision weighing the pros and cons.

Don Lemmon: Is there a job or a gig that you were offered but passed up in the past that we would find interesting because it has nothing to do with Bodybuilding? Like bagging groceries or something? I used to sell carpet, delivered newspapers, worked at a gas station...

Brenda Kelly: I also delivered newspapers with my girlfriend at the age of 15. My worst job was working as a waitress at a family diner during high school. It was awful! The men would pinch me behind their wives, and children! I could never remember who ordered what, or where my tables were. What a mess! I thoroughly admire good waiters and waitresses now.

Don Lemmon: Some people think you appeared overnight. How does it make you feel to see people less talented or not in as good of shape as you handed something overnight? Does it give the wrong impression to those on the outside looking in? And why do those who never had a chance to begin with complain so much?

Brenda Kelly: I do get asked where I have been a lot. Any success I have had in the Fitness Industry has been honestly surprising to me. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, or unrealistic. I tend to be very cautious about my expectations. This is complicated by high standards I tend to put upon myself. I have tried to stop the unproductive wondering of why. I don’t get to know why. I have met many beautiful, talented women. Some are younger than I, have more talent doing gymnastic fitness routines, more symmetrical physiques, and are taller! What does this mean? Not a thing. Hopefully I can be of help in some way to their desires. There is plenty of room for us all. If you want in, then walk in! I have worked my ass off and walked many a dark road to the light. I answer to no person.

Don Lemmon: Your crowning achievement in life using what you have achieved so far will hopefully be what?

Brenda Kelly: If I can motivate, and inspire people to start making their decisions from a place of trust and faith I will be doing what I need to. I realize I seem an unlikely fitness star. What more proof would one need that anything is possible? I intend on pushing the envelope as far as I can.

Don Lemmon: Tell me a joke:

Brenda Kelly: What does a clairvoyant, agnostic, insomniac spend their time doing? Answer: They lay awake at night wondering if there is a dog.

Don Lemmon: Favorite music album of the year so far and what do you listen to most?

Brenda Kelly: I like Dido and Janet this year. I like a huge variety of music. From James Taylor, Van Morrison to Santana, U-2, and the Boy Bands!

Don Lemmon: Tell me something about the industry you are in people forget.... and something they do not realize....

Brenda Kelly: I think many people think the athletes look like their contest photos all of the time. The photos in the mags are all taken when we are all in the most extreme shape. When I go to Golds down in Venice, I see many name competitors who look just like everyone else! We have bad hair days, breakouts, and occasional off-season weight gain, too!

Don Lemmon: Once that is off your chest, what other thing would you change about your industry if you could without hesitation?

Brenda Kelly: The rigid politics. I realize there are politics in every walk, but the fitness industry doesn't even try to gloss or hide these. I'm talking about judging, promotion of athletes, and fighting between organizations. They are so glaring they hurt our sport. A sport I believe in.

Don Lemmon: Who is the most intriguing person in your business besides yourself?

Brenda Kelly: Timea. I love her spirit. She says precisely what is on her mind. She has grown into a popular athlete and successful fitness siren! All by pure desire and hard work. Her concur of English alone is admirable.

Don Lemmon: Tell me the last good movie you can remember in a long time that you saw in theaters, and the video you watch the most:

Brenda Kelly: I thoroughly enjoyed Shrek, Chocolat, and Memento this year. I still watch the Die Hard Movies!

Don Lemmon: How often do you see concerts and what was the last one attended? Anyone you've seen often?

Brenda Kelly: The last concert I went to was Tom Petty at the Hollywood Bowl. The one before that was Southern Culture on the Skids last New Year's Eve at the Knitting Theater. Both Killer! I've seen the Blue Man Group three times!

Don Lemmon: The TV show you most watch is and the one you would love to have role on is...

Brenda Kelly: That's easy, X Files! I would like to do an E! “Wild On” Thing.

Don Lemmon: When I was bodybuilding, I was around 270 and had abs but wasn't nearly contest ready. I was about 10% body fat. My next question involves being looked at like an alien or something. Being that big, people treated me like an animal, prejudiced me at times. My family was afraid I would crush my nieces and nephews or something when we wrestled... That and Steroid comments abound... I was drug free by the way. And rock stars, I know many that are drug free, but no one wants them near their daughters. Models. Sure, they have the advantage over men, but do women treat you different than they should? Are they quick to judge? Can you relate? Why?

Brenda Kelly: I never had the physique I have now until I started weight training. I have always been pretty in a non-conventional way, but adding the Fitness Model physique in the mix has created completely different reactions from men and women. Some just forget all manners and stare rudely, some give me the VIP thing, some are outwardly contemptuous, and abrasive. Before people seemed to get used to my different (non-Caucasian) looks gradually and tell me after a while how pretty they thought was. Like it was a slow revelation. Now, it seems instant. I am not used to it. I wonder if I ever will be. I am the same person. Sometimes it gets in the way of meeting people. Although I must say I have stopped trying to over compensate by being overly nice and careful. I have a lot of joy in my life, and I act like it. People will make up their own minds. If they have a problem with me, I know the cause lies in them; it is not for me to change.

Don Lemmon: Tell me what you ate yesterday (or today for that matter):

Brenda Kelly: I eat pretty much the same things for breakfast: egg whites, chicken, and veggie scramble. Sometimes I add rice. For lunch I ate chicken fajitas, no sour cream or guacamole. I had two soy lattes, and baked ziti with meatballs from Hard Times Pizza. I also munched on goldfish here and there. Not a perfect eating day, but not over the top either.

Don Lemmon: What type of weight training or aerobic schedule do you keep? You don’t have to go into detail, but teach us something. Do you go for speed, time or distance?

Brenda Kelly: I have to get my cardio in since I don’t eat perfectly. I alternate running for 40 min. with stationary biking for 1 hour. I ride on level 1 or 2! I go for time. I've been known to run slower so I don’t have to add distance! I do one of these 5 days a week. I do squats and push-ups for two weeks or so before any bikini type shoots. I had to loose some of my muscle when I decided to pursue a mainstream career with my acting and modeling Agency. There is more work for a more streamlined look commercially. I am on a mission to find that balance to portray fit women as sexy and desirable to mainstream America. I still am the buffest one in the room at the casting calls I go to. There is no sense to this. I am not even a naturally muscular person! In fact, I'm small by all fitness standards. In Hollywood, I am a “”bodybuilder.” If they could only see a real Bodybuilder!

Don Lemmon: What was the worst pickup line you ever heard... And did that pickup line work? What one do you use? We all have one! Mine is usually "Hey!" Gets their attention. Laughs.

Brenda Kelly: The “its my birthday” one I told you about before was so lame! Pick up lines are lost on me. I really don’t want to play games. If you want to talk to me, please do! I am outgoing so a lot of times I will speak first. I like learning about people, and their lives. Where they are from, what they like. I usually just ask.

Don Lemmon: If you were anyone else who would you be (even just for a day, a good day) or who did you emulate growing up? Do you still emulate or try to be like them now?

Brenda Kelly: This is a hard question. I have learned that what I might think looks easy, or desirable are never what it seems. I never tried or wanted to be anyone but the best Brenda I could be at the time. I have enough work to do with my own struggles and plans. Too much to add in anyone else's! I have always admired my Mother's strength and level of composure. Yes, I hope to emulate her in this.

Don Lemmon: What did we forget?

Brenda Kelly: I am happy to report the Grand Opening of Brendakelly.com! After two years, five designers, and two servers! Please come visit, drop me a note, join my Fan Club, or just enjoy the view! I have some exciting and motivating galleries, videos, tips, and a personal diary. I leave you with my motto: Extend Yourself in the Physical and Mental States. One Cannot Excel Without the Other.

Don Lemmon: Anything else?
Brenda Kelly" It's pretty drippy over at my house. No one seems to even have gutters in this town. I think there's a small error you might want to change. The joke part: What does a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac do? Answer: They lay awake at night wondering if there is a dog. Oh, I'll be on KSEX tonight at 5. Wish me luck fending off the tunnel topic!

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