An expert in German Language, a Team Leader with an extremely prominent international bank, a promising future as a Banker, Stella Gode this lean and striking to look at lady has more to her. Body building at one time, to be precise from the 1950s to the 1970s was a sport only for men where women shows such as a beauty contest or a bikini show supplemented the sport of body building for men. However let’s say it was a start. It was not until the late 1970’s until the advent of the feminist movement that female power lifting was introduced. Women were now being considered as capable in their own body building championships.
Stella Gode joined the gym approximately 4 years ago as she was putting on weight. However. with time she realized it was not mere gym exercises that she wanted to do. She wanted to do something more recognizable. Her personal trainer Akash decided that she enter the women’s Body Building Competition. It was when one day he travelled to Mumbai for his Body Building championship show that he found out that there were multiple categories in the Body Building arena for women.
The one that he felt suited Stella Gode’s body was the Model Physique Category which is the leanest form of body with a bit of muscles. Stella was now eager to start her training.
“Your body is capable of doing more things. You just need to convince your mind.” Said Stella.
And yes she proved that by winning the Maharashtra Shree Gold Medal in the Model Physique Category in February 2018.
“This competiton takes place for the competitors in Maharshtra, and it is one of the most recognized titled in the sport of Body Building. It is organized by the Maharshtra Body Building Association.”
She goes on to name the other categories for women who wish to compete.
“We have Sports Physique which is more or less the same as Model Physique, then we have the Fitness Physique which consists of a routine where you have to perform a one minute regime like cartwheels and exercises related to Body Building. Then comes the main Body Building for women as well. Height is one of the main criteria for the women who enter this sport.”
Was Akash partially responsible for her participation in the competition?
“Yes, she said. “He recognized the potential in me and supported me all the way.”
Akash had another take.
“My work is only 10 percent. The rest 90 percent is hers. She had the desire and determination from within. I am with her just 1 hour in a day, the other 23 hours she is own her own. She needs to have the determination to follow the regime. All credit goes to her.”
That was very gracious I must say!
Akash added, “I saw the capability in her. People come with a specific requirement, ‘I want to lose some inches on the tummy, I want my clothes to fit’ etc. Stella was different from the others. She wanted to do something beyond the regular training and she wanted to make the nation proud. ‘I don’t want to do anything that is regular’. When she said this, I decided to push her.”
Stella trained for 3 years for the Maharashtra Shree Body Building Competition. During this time she participated in other competitions; however, with every competition she realized she needed to give more and wanted more for herself.
Training for the Maharashtra Shree Body Building Competition was a challenging journey.
Did it affect her personal life? In her words:
“Yes it did. I stopped socializing. I stopped attending birthday parties, corporate parties. When we had team dinners I did go with them but then I didn’t stay for more than an hour cause I would feel hungry. If there was salad I would order for one, or run back home to get enough sleep so that I could train the other day. I didn’t attend family functions because when it came to family functions they would say ‘kya tum kuch nahi khati ho. Itni sukh gayi ho. Itni patli ho gayi ho.’ And then they would force me to eat without any understanding as to why you am I doing this. Friends I had very limited, only 2 who are in the gym one is Shruti and the other is Akash. I was the chirpiest in my college days, in my school days, with 15 to 20 friends around me; however, now I was focused on my training my eating and sleeping.”
“I have no regrets.”
“My parents are proud and I am happy I made them proud and my nation proud.”
A common cliché, No gain without pain!
I asked if her parents friends and relatives understand today all the effort she put in to win the Gold Medal at the Maharashtra Shree Body Building Competition.
This is what she had to say, and there was joy and happiness written all over her face as she spoke.
“Initially when I began practicing for the competition I was a little afraid to tell me parents that I would have to pose in a bikini, since it is an Indian society. But when I won the gold my mum started selecting my bikini colors and she started watching these videos on how you pose on stage. She started giving me tips on how to flip my hair. And how to walk. That was the most beautiful thing that happened.”
Working for almost 10 hours a day and then coming to the gym to work out is a daunting task. But Stella Gode gave it her best. There were times when she would come to the gym and just sit wondering where was it all going. However, the resilience she comes with has eventually made her shine.
She won the 4th place in the Mr. India competition in the Miss India category soon after the Gold Medal that she worn at the Maharashtra Shree Body Building Competition.
Today she has qualified for Mr. Asia (Miss Asia), the Asian Championship where she will be competing with contestants from countries across Asia. There are approximately 28 countries participating in this competition and it is happening for the first time in India in Pune.
This is not all. She has qualified for the World Championship also which is taking place in December in Thailand.
Being the pretty woman she is I could not help but ask her, “What about your love life?”
I have no intentions of getting married soon. I think marriage is important, however I am focused on my training right now. It will happen when it is supposed to happen.”
“After marriage will your training stop?”
“I will put it across that it is the most important thing in my life and would like to continue with it.”
Very clear in her thoughts is Stella Gode. Focused she is on her training for the Championship. Her desire is to make her nation proud, and what a noble thought.
Her message to the youth of today is to become achievers. Make their parents proud. Make their friends proud. Above all make the nation proud.
Stella our prayers are with you. Our good wishes are with you. I am sure you will make us proud once again.