Quintin van Jaarsveld
Jessie Toweel gave a good account of herself at the IFBB South African Bodybuilding Championships in Witbank on Sunday.
The Uvongo fitness athlete was the only South Coaster who make the trip up North to represent KwaZulu-Natal, after earning the right with a fourth-place showing in the provincial championships last month.
Competing in a 13-strong body fitness under 1.63m line-up, Toweel came away with a top eight placing.
“I gave it my best,” the 45-year-old told eHowzit. “In this sport there is always room for growth and improvement and this weekend I learnt a lot about where I need to improve and what to do to get to where I want to be.
“I stood on that stage with amazing athletes…they were all stunning. What is a comp without good competition?”
Results aren’t always a true reflection of an athlete’s evolution, and this is certainly the case when it comes to Toweel.
The personal trainer finished fourth in last year’s national championships, yet was in significantly better shape at the weekend, trimming down from 8% to 6% body fat at a competition weight of 55kg.
“I delivered my best condition to date. My training was tougher but my prep was easier because now I know what works for me. Last year, I was lean but tiny. My aim this year was to add on size, which I accomplished and was satisfied with.”
Bodybuilding is her biggest passion, said Toweel, who started weight training roughly four years ago after being inspired to get on stage by her sister Kim, an experienced fitness bikini competitor.
“I have been blessed with good genetics and my body responded instantaneously with weight training. For me, bodybuilding is an art; I am moulding and shaping my body to my desired perfection. What I enjoy most is the challenge; this sport allows me to be the best version of myself.”
Having made good gains in the gym this year, Toweel is hungry for further improvement.
“I am now more determined than ever to grow and once again be the best I can be next year. My goal is to bring a slightly bigger and tapered package and improve on my legs and waist line, which I believe will improve on my overall presentation and placing for 2018.”