Today's Interview is at true tale in inspiration, and one that I am grateful to have conducted. Sheryl Lau has overcome more then a life time of trials and tribulations and shows all of us that no matter what cards You are dealt with in life, keep fighting!
You would be hard pressed to find a lady that looks as good as She does at the age of 43. The youngest of four siblings, Sheryl is originally from Canton, Ohio, now living in Austin, Texas with Her beautiful Daughter Mackenzie. As You will read, in addition to being a stunningly beautiful lady, She is class personified.
First off, I must say, You have an outstanding physique! How long have you been training?
Thank you very much. I started training while I was attending college at Purdue University. I was very much a geek in high school, and started working at a young age. My devotion for fitness amplified when I moved to Austin in ’97. At that time I was dating a professional Natural Bodybuilder, personal training, and it was very easy for me to start devoting a lot of time to fitness and changing my physique. Living in a new area with few friends and dating someone that led such a healthy lifestyle, the desire to change my lifestyle and improve my fitness just came naturally. After moving to Austin, I also became passionate about becoming an aerobic instructor. Since my moving here I am now a Certified TRX Instructor, Spin Instructor, Kickboxing Instructor, and Mat Pilates Certified Instructor.
I understand You are an NPC figure competitor. Do You still compete?
I no longer compete in the NPC or in any organization. I have had two different battles with cancer in my life. After being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2010, having surgery to remove an ovary and undergoing radiation treatments, I decided that I wanted to take back some control of my life. The year I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer had been a roller-coaster ride of struggles. I had hit rock bottom mentally and physically in many ways. My goal was to transform my physique in a way that I could step on stage that year as a National Level NPC competitor. My body and conditioning was something that I could control, and was something that no one could take away from me. I stepped on stage in Teaneck, New Jersey in July of 2012 as a National Level Figure competitor in the Open and Masters divisions. I knew going in that that was going to be my last show. I had accomplished my goal. I honestly never enjoyed being on stage, and therefore it was silly to continue. I have to give many thanks to the trainer that aided me in obtaining my goal, Ernesto Osorio, out of Houston, Texas, as I would never have been able to do it on my own without his guidance. I was just recently diagnosed with having a lump in my breast last June, and underwent a lumpectomy. My focus now is just on being fit and healthy and being the best role model I can be for my daughter and my clients.
You have an extremely busy schedule, balancing Your own business, Phoenix Fitness, as well as personal training, aerobics instructing, among other things. How do You find time to balance it all?
The only way to find time is to schedule everything in. It may be old school, but, I still use a handheld calendar to log everything I have to get accomplished in my day. I get up early to get my cardio/workouts in or take advantage of free hours while my daughter is at school, I prep food in advance to save time during the week, and utilize the time that my daughter is with her father to do things for myself. My daughter is my world and she always comes first.
In addition to that busy life You live, You also find time to model. What is it that makes You want to set aside time to be in front of the camera?
In all honesty I have never had a lot of self-confidence. I originally started shooting just to see the progress and changes I was making while competing. I really quickly realized that I enjoyed being in front of a camera way more than I enjoyed being on stage. I am a woman that always likes to have a plan and a deadline. Modeling gives me a goal, a reason to make sure that I walk the talk and keep myself in check with my fitness goals. I want women of my age and a single parent, to know that there are no good excuses. If you truly desire something, you will find a way to do it. I want to inspire others.
Who are some of Your favorite photographers to work with?
Some of my best shoots have been with Claude Taylor (FL), Don Bersano (Chicago), and Jeff Kutscher out of San Antonio.
What is Your ultimate goal with Your modeling career?
My honest goal with my modeling is to use it to just keep pushing myself to become better and to be the best role model I can be for my daughter. I want as much exposure as I can get to help promote my business as a personal trainer by leading by example.
When You do find some time for Yourself, what are some of the things You like to do for fun?
Honestly, my “ME” time is typically during the times I have to myself when my daughter is with her father. I love being outdoors: hiking, biking, walking, out in the sun. My passion is horseback riding, but, unfortunately had to sell my horse two years ago. After pretty much losing everything a few years back, I have learned to LOVE living very simply. I am somewhat of a home-body. I love cooking and baking, watching movies, but most of all spending time with those I am close to. This may mean just being in their presence doing nothing.
Is their anything in life that You want to try that You have not as of Yet?
I so want to go to Africa on a Safari!!! This is my dream. I always want to be able to take my daughter to Disney Land or World. I promised her that I would make it happen one day.
If you had one talent that your friends would say you were good at, what would that be?
I am a pretty decent artist. I love to sketch and used to oil paint I haven’t had much time to draw as a single mother for most of my daughter’s life, but, have been attempting to spend more time drawing here recently. It is a release for me.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a cancer survivor. I was a Zoology major at Purdue, got an Associates as a Legal Secretary and use neither of them as a profession,
Give me 3 things you can’t live without:
Peanut or almond butter, my daughter Mackenzie, having some sort of goal to work towards in life.
Favorite Song currently?
I am a country girl at heart and love many. My favorite group is the Zach Brown Band.
Favorite Movie of all time?
Believe it or not, American History X
You can find more of Sheryl on facebook.com/sheryl.lauhopkins and coming soon, Her personal website www.sheryllau.com