In most sports, it’s generally considered too late to “turn pro” when you’re almost 40.
That’s exactly what Campbell River’s Nicole Janveaux just did, however, and she did it in one of the most physically demanding sports imaginable: bodybuilding.
Janveaux recently returned from the 2018 Wings of Strength International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) event in Chicago with her IFBB pro card for winning her weight class: under 115-lbs.
She actually dropped a ton of weight to get down into that category for the competition, too, which makes the feat all that much more impressive.
“I was lucky to make that weight class,” she says. “I think I was looking at last year’s entry forms, because I thought I had to get down to under 125. When I got there and saw it was ‘under-115,’ I was worried I wouldn’t qualify. Thankfully I weighed in at 114 with my hoodie on.”
This was only Janveaux’s second attempt at earning her pro card, too. She had a chance at last year’s Canadian Nationals in Edmonton, where she came in second in the middleweight class – after dropping out of the event three weeks out due to a medical complication.
“I have an undiagnosed auto-immune disorder – they don’t know what it is – and about three weeks out I got super sick and my hands swelled up and I was not doing well,” she says. “But after I pulled out, I ate a bunch of food I probably shouldn’t have, and four days later I was completely fine, so I did the show after all.”
It’s not the first time Janveaux has competed under those kind of circumstances.
Two years earlier, she competed at the BC Championships on a torn quadricep – that’s one of the large muscles on the front of your thigh, for those not into anatomy.
But now that she’s officially a professional bodybuilder, she gets to fly all over the world for shows and photoshoots and money just rains down upon her from the sky, right?
“Well, not exactly,” she says. “But it means I don’t have to pay any more entry fees into any shows, at least,” she says with a laugh.
And yes, she can make some money doing photoshoots, but those are few and far between, even for the pros. And while she is planning on joining the professional tour, she’s got some other things to do first.
“I’m actually going to take a couple years off from competition,” she says. For now she’s going to focus on the bootcamps she runs out of West Coast Muscle and Fitness on Ironwood Street.
“And I’m actually working on making my own line of clothes,” she says. “I have it all together, I’m just looking for a supplier right now. We’re looking at it being done in about January.”
And, contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s actually not as rare as you’d think to turn pro in bodybuilding at Janveaux’s point in life.
“Age isn’t really a hindrance in bodybuilding,” she says. “I have a girlfriend who just turned 40 and took sixth at the World Championship this year.
“I know a women who was competing for 17 years and she just got her (pro) card last year.”
Janveaux has also been busy getting ready to officially launch her new website just last week and is still taking on clients at both West Coast Muscle and Fitness as well as online. You can find her at janveauxelitetraining.ca
”It’s my life,” she says. “It’s easy to make it my job when it’s all I want to be doing anyway.”