Through sheer determination, steadfast preparation and sacrifice, Alethea Borman, 37 year-old legal advisor of CGN-Swakop Uranium landed second place at the 2016 IFFB Arnold Classic international bodybuilding competition.
The Arnold Sports Festival is an annual multisport event celebrating numerous sporting codes, and is named after the legendary professional body-builder, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Held in conjunction with the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB), this exciting event was launched in Johannesburg, South Africa on 27-28 May 2016.
Patricia Martinez Marquina of Spain took first place, with Aletheain second and Karen de Beer of South Africa in third place, making Alethea the first African woman that has achieved the highest ranking in this event.
Alethea (first one from left) celebrating with other two laureates
Persistence comes from devotion
Undoubtedly, it is a huge challenge for Alethea to be a professional at workplace and in the competition field at the same time. Giving insight into her unswerving love for the sport, Alethea says: “I fell in love with body building at the age of 12. I trained with my brother, who was an active body builder and competed in my first ever body building show when I was just 14 years old.”
At that age, she had to focus on her school work. Efforts yield to two law degrees. She also holds a diploma in personal training and general nutrition from the American Council of Exercise. Now being a professional woman with three kids, she needs to strike a balance among her family, career and body building. On top of her 8 to 5 job from Monday to Friday, she spends the whole weekend with her husband and kids and hits the gym at 5 am in the morning and 04h30 pm after work. This routine has remain unchanged for several years.
Body building starts with willpower building
Given the academic pursuit in her school years, Alethea only started competing competitively in 2008. “This is my 2nd international event. The first event was the body building Olympia where I placed 4th in the world and now, the Arnold Classics where I placed 2nd in the world,” she adds.
To be best prepared for the competition, Alethea followed a strict training and dieting program. “For such a big competition, you have to train hard, eat right and sleep enough. I train two times daily, six days a week. I wake up every morning at 04h30 to do my first workout before heading off to work. In the afternoon of the same day I do my second workout which is a weight training session.”
She confesses that it does become difficult because she does get tired. Nonetheless, “I know there is a higher calling and that’s why I do what I do. I represented power, perseverance and discipline. These are the stuff champions are made off,” Alethea says proudly.
Besides the training, dieting is also important. “I don’t eat what the average person eats. I eat eight to nine small controlled portions of either fish, chicken breast, sweet potatoes or green salads. I don’t eat pasta, chocolates or junk food at all. I drink up to 4 litresof water daily and don’t drink frizzy soft drinks. These are sacrifices, but ones I willingly do,” she explains.
The ones that stand behind her
It takes a whole village to raise a child. It takes more for a female professional to raise three children and pursue her dreams. “My family and friends understand what it takes to prepare for such a big show, and they support me 100%. It’s because of these people that I was able to get to the show. I’m especially grateful to my best friend and husband, Theo Borman. He is the one that knows exactly how much I go through during preparation for a show and the sacrifices I make to get to where I am. Without him and his support and love, I don’t know what I would do”
Alethea says the most difficult part is getting sponsorship for her participations. “The sport is not exercised in Namibia, thus I have to compete in South Africa for selection and then again travel there or oversees to compete in these events”. To help her raise the money for the competition, a fundraiser was held on May 13th 2016 in her name with the help of the colleagues from CGN-Swakop Uranium and her family and friends. The event registered a big success with attendance of more than 300 people, helping her finance all of the expenditure to the Arnold Classics.
“As for working at CGN-Swakop Uranium, it’s quite a new environment compared to where I come from. I do enjoy the challenges that come with my work and being at CGN-Swakop Uranium is truly amazing as I have the best boss,” Alethea says.
CGN-Swakop Uranium colleagues celebrating Alethea’s success
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up
As her motto, Alethea believes that “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up”. Being a female professional, she wants to send a message to all women: “It’s really possible to follow your dream and still work a normal 8 to 5 job. It takes much more work, but it can be done. Don’t ever give up on your dream. Don’t ever think you are not capable. Don’t ever doubt yourself. It might take long, but chasing your dream and reaching it finally, is worth every step you took.”
Alethea Borman, aged 37, works as legal advisor for CGN-Swakop Uranium and provides the legal consultation on legal compliance, company contracts management and review as well as labor relations. And she is one of all the excellent female employees in CGN-Swakop Uranium. As an advocate of women empowerment, CGN-Swakop Uranium now has 150 female employees in the counting, accounting for 10.5% of the whole complement and working in mining fleet operation, site safety management, company culture roll-out, finance, human resources and administrations. The development and operation of the giant mine could not be a success without the active engagement of them and could be a bigger success with bigger contribution from them.