“Even at 56…soon to be 57 years young in June, I make it a point to stay fit for life.”
Activities: Strength training, Running, Trampoline
Social Media: @beachamp_ifbbpro
Career: Trainer, Fitness Influencer
Accomplishments: IFBB Binkini Pro
Song: Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp
I don’t believe there is a fountain of youth, aging is a right of passage if you are lucky.but the pace at which we physically age can often be slowed or sped up by our day to day choices. How much we sleep, what we eat, how active we are, sun exposure, drinking in excess, smoking , and drug usage are just a few choices that can affect the process. After all, we are a sum of our choices and what we do to and put into our bodies is reflected, not just in our physical abilities but also our appearance.
I found Arnita Champion on IG. One of my friends sent me a video of the “Don’t Rush Challenge” and all of the women participating in it were 50+. I knew I wanted to interview women of all ages for MCBMI and over the past four or five years. I noticed more and more women 50+ keeping it together with just as much if not more energy than women half their age. In watching the video, I remember seeing Arnita and thinking “#goals,” so I reached out to her to explain what MCBMI was and asked if she would do an interview. Everything happens in it’s own time and when things are right, they’re right. She immediately got back to me with a, “yes.” I was surprised because she has her own business, and usually people who are as busy as she looks, don’t respond or if they do, the response is, “no.” I’m thankful she said yes. In watching a few of her videos, her energetic spirit, love of health, well being, life, and practicing what she preaches, lets me know I chose the right person.
Please read the interview below, and I hope you enjoy and are as inspired by it as I am. Also please join us on IG this Sunday 7/18 for a live chat on the @mcbmi ig page at 6 pm (EST)
Q: Where did you grow up?
Well I was born in Norfolk VA. I lived there until I was about seven or eight then my mom moved my three sisters and me to Virginia Beach VA.
Q; Did you have an active life as a child? Did you participate in sports? If so, what? If no, why not?
I had a very active life as a child! I can remember playing hard until the street lights came on. That is when we had to get in the house. We would roller skate with the kind of skates that required a key to tighten them. I would run so fast trying to find a hiding place far away from others where no one would find me while playing “hide and seek” From “hopscotch” to “dodgeball” I was either running, jumping or skating. Needless to say, since the age of six, I have participated in Track and Field. This is what paid my way through college with a full scholarship to Texas Southern University. I was also a cheerleader in High School.
Q: Has good health always been a focal point in your life?
I know that good health is in my blood! I have always loved the feeling of just being active. Even on the track during hard workouts, I looked forward to the feeling of my chest burning, my legs feeling as though they were about to fall off and the feeling of trying to catch my breath was a high for me. I know, I know, what in the world is right? Even at 56…soon to be 57 years young in June, I make it a point to stay fit for life. Even if it is just bouncing on my Bellicon Rebounder for 15 minutes.
Q: How did you get involved with the fitness industry? Was working in fitness always a career goal of yours?
I have always been into fitness. It was not until I was 50 years young that I started pursuing some items on my bucket list. One being able to complete a Marathon….26.2 miles. I promise you, it was 26 miles too long for me. I remember thinking to myself while at mile 10 e…. “Gurrrrl you are a sprinter, now a long distance runner.” BUT I did it. Another one of my bucket list was to be in a Bikini/ Figure Competition. I just wanted to be on stage for one time and see how it felt. but of course, once wasn’t enough. Once I felt the excitement on stage, I knew I had to go PRO. Both of these events in my life opened the door for me to pursue the industry of fitness. I never planned on being a personal trainer or coach but it is just in me I guess. ☺
Q: How long have you been in the industry and what noticeable changes have occurred within the industry over the years?
Well I feel as though I have always been in the fitness industry but now at 56 the noticeable change I see is that we “Baby Boomers” are going head to toe with the Millennials. We are taking care of our bodies, eating right, thinking right and owning it. I have noticed more women of color shining bright at the age of 50+.
Q: More than ever before, you see more women and men who are 50+ and they are in great shape. What do you attribute this to?
Everyone has noticed it! I attribute women and men being in great shape because we want to LIVE! We want to live our best days in our latter days. We are like fine wine….. we are getting better as we age! I will give a toast to that!!! ☺
Q: As you have gotten older, do you find it harder to stay active? Has your training changed much?
I have to be honest, some days I am like, “I don’t want to do anything, but I know that one day I choose to indulge it, the idea of slacking off and eating whatever I want will cost me. It is harder mentally and of course physically. I may look like a spring chicken but some days I feel as though I have been sprung! My training has changed to reflect my body’s response to certain exercises. I find I do not have to do so much to maintain my “fitness” body. I now work smarter and not so much harder. Less is best … “)
Q: What motivates you and keeps you going?
My WHY motivates me! I do it for ME first! But it is bigger than me. I have to always remember that. There is always someone watching you! That one thing you do that you don’t feel is special, is what changed that person’s life. I know that I can #champchange individuals’ lives by my actions or words. It motivates me to know that in the process of changing my life, I am changing others.
Q: Did you ever go through a period when training and exercise took a back set? If so, talk a bit about that time and what you did to overcome it.
Did I ever… Heck yeah! Let me start off by saying Mental Health is real! I have in the past, and recently had to ,what I call, “Park” I did not want anyone to ask me if I needed help… or if I needed a jump…. wanted to just sit, say, and do nothing. It was a time when I felt like I was going to crash and burn in every area of my life… Mentally, Spiritually, Financially, Socially and Physically! Yup in all areas! My training did not take a back seat…. Heck I threw it out the window! As the days went on and training came to a halt, I found myself falling into depression, bitterness, hatred, doubt, fear, confusion… you name it. It wasn’t until recently I had to either shake it or it would break me. I found myself literally crying out to God for just a peek of his provisions, protection and His promises! No I am not out of that place of being parked but I am driving now….. slow but driving.
Q: What has been the best thing about living an active life?
By living an active life I have put myself into a position of being able to fight off infections, cold , etc because of the foods and lifestyle I maintain. I am able to show others my age, that it is possible to look 40 or younger. I love it that I am able to share my secrets, routines, and just ME with others!
Q: You obviously eat very healthy, do you have a dietary preference that you adhere to?
Being vegan has allowed me to eat the types of food that go with my blood type, which is A positive (A+.) I may go off a little and eat a Twizzler …and pay for it… but I come right back to my eating regiment.
Q: As a fitness professional what do you believe is the largest obstacle for most people when it comes to reaching their health and or fitness goals?
I believe their goals are unrealistic; they are trying to keep up with the person they see on IG and other social media platforms. Being true to yourself and knowing who you are is key. I always ask my clients, “What is your why? When you find out what that is you won’t have to know how! Your why will drive you.”
Q: What advice would you give your 25 year old self?
Gurl, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. When you see that things may be impossible, rejoice because the word is I M POSSIBLE! Take those steps of faith you profess, and begin professing and confessing what you want, not what you don’t want.
Q: Talk about your website and business, how did it come about, and what was the driving force in getting to where it is today?
My website; www.arnitachampion.com , has always been a dream of mine. I am in the process of rebuilding it! When COVID hit I saw that my website needed to be on point, however my on point person was on point with a new baby. SOOOO now I am looking forward to having a BADA$$ website soon! I knew that I wanted to have a site that represented me, so when I look at it, I smile. Right now, I smile but I want to smile until my cheeks are sore. My driving force is being a success in the midst of haters trying to pull me down. I have cried until I think I cry dust….But I know that greater is HE that is within me than he that is within the world.
Q: Please share one of your favorite healthy recipes.
One of my favorite recipes is a Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Zucchini Boat.
** For the recipe, click on the recipe lunch tab
Q: Give me a song that motivates you when you are working out or teaching.
NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT BY MARVIN SAPP. THAT WAS MY MOM’S FAVORITE SONG SHE WOULD SING.
Q: Why did you agree to be a part of MCBMI?
I agreed to be a part of MCBMI because I saw an opportunity to be apart of a MOVEMENT that will #CHAMPCHANGE THE WORLD!