Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo 2015 - Erin Q Harding IFBB Pro

If you felt extra-safe sitting in the crowd watching the 2015 Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo show, it was with good reason. The women's side included not just one, but two pros who just happen to be police officers. For added safety, throw one of the judges into that fraternity as well. 

IFBB Figure Pro Erin Q Harding doesn't just step into any role when she exits the stage for her day job: Her profession comes with a gun, a badge an an oath to uphold the law. Along with the demands of being a police officer, she still finds time to train and be a mom.

Transitioning from figure pro to police officer is something Harding takes in stride. As she explains, "The way I see it is that they are each different aspects of my life. When I'm at work, my focus is work and whatever task I'm doing there; and when it's training time, or girlie stage time, my cop hat comes off. Being a police officer does not define me as a person; it is part of who I am. I think it's so important to have more than work in your life. Stepping on stage is truly important in keeping me well rounded!" 

Oh, and if you're wondering what the Q stands for, it's Quinn. 

What's your age, height, competition weight and off-season weight?

I'm 38, 134 lbs competition and 145 pounds off-season.

Were you athletic growing up? 

I was extremely athletic growing up playing almost every sport there was however, my main focus was competitive swimming and rowing. When I was born my mom owned a swim school so I was basically born right into the water and competitive swimming. I found the sport of rowing when I started high school. 

How did you get started lifting weights and training? 

I discovered the gym when I was about 21. It was my best friend who first introduced me to the gym and lifting weights. In the beginning, lifting weights seemed so crazy to me because I was so used to playing sports, but needless to say, it didn't take long for me to get hooked!

How long have you been competing and what inspired you to start?

I didn't start competing until about 11 years after discovering the gym. I'd always been interested in the competitive world, but didn't know much about it other than watching the fitness competitions on TV. I found those very intriguing given that I had a little background in dance, but alway wrote it off figuring I would never be able to do the diet. In 2010, my husband made an appointment with a local prep coach and I started prepping for a novice show. All I really needed was that last 5% push to commit myself.



Where and when did you turn pro?

I earned my pro card as a natural athlete in my own backyard here in Vancouver, July 2012, at the Canadian Nationals, 11 months after having my daughter via c-section.

What are your goals as a competitor?

I always strive to be better than what I was the last time I was on stage. Competing is a hobby for me as I have a full-time job that's far from the fitness industry. As a pro competitor, I strive to inspire amateurs to enjoy their process as competitors.

Do you enjoy performing onstage?

As I mentioned above, I have a dance background, so when I get to be on stage it feels very comfortable. So yes, I do enjoy performing on stage!

If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?

Ohhh that waist! I wasn't blessed with a teeny tiny waist!

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

I would have to say my delts. I was blessed with wide clavicles and the sports I played growing up created a fantastic foundation for the sport of figure!

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know? 

I was lucky enough to grow up with three moms! My mom came out as a lesbian when I was five-years-old, so I was fortunate enough to have a very liberal upbringing. I truly believe this has added so much to my personality; I'm more accepting and non-judgmental because of it.

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

I am a 100% natural athlete. Always have and always will be!

Was the Vancouver show the first time you've ever been on stage with a fellow police officer?

No, I have competed with other police officers in the past.

What's a typical day like for you when you have to juggle training and being a police officer?

It really comes down to being prepared. The start time of my shift really dictates when I can get my training in. I always try to get my training in before work because you never know what the day will hold. I always carry my food with me. I love my 6-pack cooler!

Have you ever arrested someone that recognized you as a competitor? 

No, thankfully!

What type of reaction do you get at work when other members find out they're working with a pro figure competitor?

They generally don't really understand what being a "pro" means. They generally respond with a "ohhh" kind of like "that's nice." The ones that do understand are super-inspired and generally want to hit the gym with me. I find that so inspiring!

Do you feel the extra weight training you do gives you a physical edge as a police officer?

Absolutely! When I'm in uniform I look small which I feel is an edge because I actually have a "boom boom pow pow" gun show happening that no one can see! I get to be secretly strong under my uniform while presenting as a small female officer!

How long have you been on the force and what motivated you to join? 

I've been a police officer for going on 13 years. It was my best friend who opened my eyes to a career in policing. She was preparing to become one and this piqued my interest. I was actually in university to become a kindergarten teacher!

Find Erin Q Harding on the web:

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ErinHarding.ca

twitter @ErinHardingPro

Periscope @ErinHardingPro

Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo - July 9/10 2016

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