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# Monica Alongi Interview

Photo by Doug Schneider Photo by Doug Schneider

Many fitness models and competitors start as spectators. They will see inspiration from a competition they saw on TV or read about in a magazine. Monica Alongi, a native of our nation's capital Ottawa, was no different. Inspiration came after seeing Sylvia Tremblay, a 3-time Fitness Canada pageant winner, in a magazine she read. Sharing some similarities with her inspiration, as neither woman had any previous gymnastics experience, Monica was now ready to take on the world of fitness.
Today, that inexperience is a thing of the past, as Monica has spent the last five years weight training and the last two years training in gymnastics. Toss in the competitive spirit she's gained from competing in Karate and Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, and you realize you are dealing with a lot more than just a pretty face and firm body. Recently, Monica has been busy working with her sponsor InterACTIVE Nutrition through appearances at various fitness & health expos, as well as their upcoming advertising through magazines and website. Considering her hectic schedule; Canadaka.net correspondent John Jinks was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to learn a little bit more about this rising fitness star.

-- JJ: Monica, firstly thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. I understand you have been rather busy lately. And I can't forget to mention that you are going to be featured as part of the 'Future of Fitness" in Oxygen magazine (Issue 41) later this month. How does it feel to be recognized by the same magazine that first inspired you?

MA: Yes, I've been busy! Fitness is a moving sport! I am squeeling with excitement over my feature in Oxygen! I have been as subscriber to Oxygen Mag since their first magazine. I really admire a lot of women in the magazine and it was merely a dream to be in it. It still seems like a dream! I feel that I have accomplished my dream and this has proved to me what every successful person says: "Any thing is possible if you put your mind to it!".

JJ: You finished the 2002 competition season in September, and are currently training for the World Qualifier in July 2003. Is there anything important that you are taking with you leading up to July?

MA: This season was interesting, I learned a lot at the provincial level. The bar is a little higher and the girls are more competitive. I will take the attitude I had since I started which was to have a good time!

JJ: It mentions on your website that you train 5 days a week. And on top of your normal training, you also incorporate 3 45-minute cardio sessions during the week. That certainly takes a great deal of dedication and focus. Is it second nature to you now, or are there still days where you donÂ’t feel like training?

MA: Training has become second nature to me. I really enjoy training and miss it if for some reason I can't go. There are days that I don't feel like training but sometimes those are the days I have the best work out! Even though I am dedicated, sometimes I still need a kick in the butt! I have pictures of my favourite fitness girls posted on my closet door as motivation. It also helps having a dedicated training partner like my fiance so we push each other to go to the gym.

JJ: Being an obviously attractive young woman, are men intimidated by you when they see you in the gym, or do they seem more intrigued?

MA: *blush* to your compliment & thank you... I don't think I'm intimidating, if fact, I have a lot of friends at the gym - guys and girls.

 Photo by Doug Schneider Photo by Renee Kimlova

JJ: How does fitness carry over into relationships or dating? Would you ever consider dating a man who was not as dedicated as you are to being fit?

MA: Fitness is a big part of my life. My fiancÃ© and family are behind me 100% and share their enthusiasm and support through encouragement and assistance. I think it also encourages them to be fit and eat healthier. So it's a positive thing for everyone! As for considering a man who isn't dedicated to fitness, I would have to speak hypothetically since I am engaged to someone who is. Since fitness usually plays a big part of a competitor's life, it could clash if he doesn't understand why gym time is frequent and the diet is unordinary. So I don't think I could consider it being the right match for me.

JJ: I understand that McDonalds is one of your "cheat" foods, as well as donuts. Would you feel insulted if a gentleman wanted to take you for a bite to eat at McDonalds, or let's say Tim Hortons?

MA: I would not be insulted! I would be ecstatic! Of course, I would have to decline if it wasn't a cheat day!

JJ: LetÂ’s say you are going out with your fiance for the evening. What would you consider to be the perfect night out?

MA: We enjoy going out for dinner or even spending time with close friends. Going to the movies is a real treat too. As long as eating is on the agenda - we know it'll be a good time!

JJ: Hypothetically, if you had not gotten involved in fitness, what do you think you would be doing?

MA: Wow, there's so many things that I would do! I'm sure I would be in martial arts like Aikdo or Judo. I would even consider taking up dancing: Latin, Ballroom, hip hop or belly!

JJ: Where would you like to see yourself a year or two from now?

MA: I see myself becoming more involved in fitness. I am looking into getting my certification so that I could have the option to train others. I am hoping to get more exposure in the magazines by taking part of some modeling. In 2003, I will continue competing in Fitness and also start in Figure. My fiance and I may explore the opportunity to promote shows as well!

JJ: I would like to take this time to thank you for giving us this opportunity to get to know you a little better. And I would like to wish you the best of luck with everything that lies ahead in the future.

MA: Thank you! I think CanadaKA is a great website, I am flattered to be a part of it! Keep up the great work!

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