It’s all about Hart – Emotional Wellness and the Bodybuilding Lifestyle: The Lanie Hart Interview
Lanie Hart’s life is full of “typical” life stressors, but she is no typical woman. Lanie has discovered how the bodybuilding lifestyle improved her emotional well-being, and now, she’s helping other women realize the same benefit. Strength Advocate is happy to share her story with our readers.
You’re an advocate for more women taking up the “iron game.” What are some the things you’re doing to guide others down that path? I’m an advocate for women empowering, encouraging and supporting other women in all sports. When racing in triathlon, cycling and marathons, I loved getting my friends involved and enjoyed meeting other women who were active as well. It’s a lifestyle, and once you realize that and live it, I think you naturally gravitate to others living the same way. Having other women who push you when you’re tired, or who celebrate when you’ve reached a new goal is an incredible experience. It’s a pure joy to see.
You’ve successfully competed as a physique athlete which is no easy feat. What’s the most critical key to success on stage? Competing is no small undertaking, and I chose to compete during a very rocky time in my life last year. I would not suggest doing that, but it did give me something positive to focus on when other things were a challenge. Competition is an intense experience, and I would strongly advise any woman considering doing it to have the support of her family and friends. The most critical key to success? For me it’s having an iron clad support system and a pit bull mentality.
Weight training is hard, but life is even harder. Negativity is just as powerful as positive thinking. What are some things you do to prevent negative thoughts from getting a foothold? I’m very selective of who I allow into my inner circle. You become like those you spend the most time with, so I choose wisely. I thoroughly enjoy people and have many acquaintances, but only a few speak into my life. Surrounding yourself with positive and goal oriented people is imperative to success in life.
As my brother often says of bodybuilding, “there’s no finish line in this sport.” How long have you been weight training, and what are your future goals in the sport? Definitely no finish line in this lifestyle. I love that though! Don’t you? I started lifting when I was 13 after I saw pics of Rachel McLish and Cory Everson, and I said to my mom, “I’m going to look like that one day.”
My dad bought me a Weider weight bench for Christmas, and I trained every day and read all I could find on women’s bodybuilding. At the age of 16, I stopped due to boys teasing and social priorities, and I fell back into it during the fall of 2012 (while sidelined from racing because of an injury). That same year, I went to the Europa in Dallas and saw Dana perform and met Beni Lopez. She is an incredible woman and someone I look to daily for inspiration. I decided shortly thereafter that I wanted to compete. I chose the Europa show to train for but honestly never thought I would win—I just wanted the experience and to do my very best. It was my 39th birthday when I stepped onto that stage, and I will never forget that moment. It was pure euphoria.
Of course, one of my goals is to earn my pro card but it’s not my ultimate goal. This is a lifestyle and want to gain more influence in order to demonstrate what living this way can do for good mental health and self-confidence.
How have your efforts inside the gym improved your life outside the gym? I have three teens, a full time job, a part-time job, and I’m a personal trainer. Busy is an understatement when describing my life, but I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. If I can help other women better themselves and give them hope that they can reach their dreams, it would be more fulfilling than a card that says I’m a pro.
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