Interview with Fitness Competitor Babette Mulford
Building a championship-caliber physique has been like designing a sculpture for former competitive waterskier turned fitness star Babette Mulford, who danced rhythmically and flipped acrobatically across three national stages in 2011. Carving and chipping out a path to the pro ranks, however, has been the trickier part.
During an interview this week, the 37-year-old alluded to the possibility that age and the repeated pounding of fitness training could be catching up with her. “I’m having problems with moves I used to do with ease,” she said. You’d hardly guess as much seeing her execute a barrage of awe-inspiring tricks.
Still, it was a topsy-turvy 2011 campaign for the Iowa native. Babette finished second in her class at Jr. Nationals—just missing a pro card—then slipped to sixth at Team Universe before climbing back to third at North Americans. She’s hoping a turn back the clock resurgence can help her ahead of next season’s planned debut at the 2012 Jr. USAs on May 19.
“I’m actually looking to get back to where I was in 2009 and 2010,” she says on fine-tuning her physique. Behind the tutelage of trainer Mike Davies and fitness champ Adela Garcia, there’s a good chance Babette will return to that level and perhaps snatch that elusive pro card.
The youthful 5-foot-2 blonde ball of energy still has plenty of spark and exuberance and loves the self expression and irresistibly raucous, crowd-pleasing tempo of fitness. Just don’t ever ask her to reveal any new fitness theme ideas. Those are top secret.
Dean: What motivated you to try competing in fitness and when did you start? Did you have a role model in the industry that inspired you?
Babette: “In 1999 I was on an adult dance team called the CR Spirits. We danced at a bodybuilding competition’s intermission. I thought it was interesting so I stayed and watched. There was only one woman in the whole show. After almost nine months I got up the courage to contact the lady through her hair dresser.”
Dean: Could you share some of your favorite contest experiences or best placings?
Babette: “My favorite thing about fitness is meeting Wendy Gardner. I’m not a girly girl and I don’t talk much. I do laugh a lot, which I get that trait from my dad. Wendy was a chatter bug when we first got to know each other waiting to get our make up done in New York. She gave me the courage to contact Mike Davies to be my trainer. She is such an important part of my life both in fitness and in everyday happenings. I am truly grateful to have her in my life.”
Dean: About how long does it usually take you to figure out and perfect a routine? What were some of your favorite themes and are there any new ones you are working on?
Babette: “Perfect…well no pro card yet! So I guess I haven’t but the Forrest Gump I thought was totally me. I’ve loved all my themes. You are asking about my new themes…ARE YOU CRAZY? You can ask a fitness competitor about her age, weight, and if she has had any plastic surgery BUT DON’T DARE ASK HER CLOSEST SECRET OF HER THEME IDEAS.”
Dean: What kind of reaction have you gotten from family and friends on your healthy look and habits? Have you inspired anyone you know to begin working out?
Babette: “My family doesn’t say anything. I have my friend Jill that is fun to bounce ideas off of as far as eating well and exercising. Jill is one of those great friends that just lets you vent if you’re having a bad day. I don’t think I have inspired anyone to work out more but I have inspired many to change their eating habits and drink more water.”
Dean: Could you share a memory when you surprised someone with your physique or strength? What sort of comments did you get?
Babette: “Oh I love this story! I teach with the CR Spirits dance studio and I once had a little girl that was normally brought to class by her grandmother. When I got the chance to meet her mom after class the first thing out of her mouth was, ‘I thought you were a new super hero.’ Apparently the little girl had explained one of my fitness routines moves to her mom.”
Dean: What would you say are your biggest goals with working out and being involved in the fitness industry?
Babette: “I don’t have any current industry involvement goals but as far as working out I will be adding stretching 6 to 7 days a week and more focused time for developing my fitness skills. This is all thanks to an amazing four day weekend I just had training with Adela Garcia.”
Dean: Besides working out and routine practice, what are some of the other ways you stay active? Do you have any favorite hobbies?
Babette: “Hunting. I bow deer hunt, I already got my buck on the second day of the season and field dressed it for the first time by myself via my boyfriend giving me moral support and helpful hints. That is a true test of patience and communication… I love to sew, read and play on the Internet.”
Dean: Is there anything else we can help you promote (website, sponsors, personal training business, etc) or any special shout-outs you’d like to give?
Babette: “I’m sponsored by Nutri Sport and Oasis Tanning & Hair Salon… I teach for the CR Spirits dance studio… I train with Julie & Mike Davies, Adela Garcia and Nicole Duncan. Shout-out to my best friends at Truck Country, where work has to deal with my annoying energy and grumpy moods, Ang, Ed, Aldin and Ridder, ‘cuz I work out.’”