Fort Jackson's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted the annual Natural Fitness Competition June 29 at the Solomon Center. Competitors took center stage to show their hard work at sculpting their figures.

"My best friend came to me and asked me if this was something I wanted to do," said Adria Hornsby, a female competitor. "This is my first competition, I was nervous. So many emotions in one honestly."

Hornsby along with nine other competitors set their nerves aside as they walked onto the stage to display their levels of fitness. Each had an opportunity to compete within their height categories for fitness, shape and bikini for women and fitness and definition or physique rounds for the men.
Some competitors took the opportunity to enter the local competition in preparation of future competitions that will include competitors from across the nation.

"This is my first one," said Sgt. Tyler Boris from the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy. "I have a couple (of competitions) coming up but I am practicing for those (here)."

Boris, who took first place for definition and physique, explained how he learned a few things for his upcoming competitions. Each competitor stands before the panel of judges and are required to stand in certain poses, flexing to show the definition of their muscle groups. This flexing pose must be maintained for a couple of minutes per pose to give the judges time to view each competitor and make their notes. These flexing poses can be tiring after a few sets. Boris stated he will need to work on his posing and duration of flexing for his future competitions.

Audience members were allowed to speak with the competitors after the competition was complete.

Some were asked what it takes to compete in fitness competitions like this.

"Clean eating and commitment to working out," said Alsena Edwards.

The competition was open to most all age groups and Edwards took advantage of the competition to show that age really is just a number. Edwards is a 61 year old grandmother and took third place in the fitness, shape and bikini rounds.

"I'm a grandmother and I am up here in a bikini," Edwards said. "I am proud to own it."

Boris recommended getting a personal trainer and staying consistent with workouts. DFMWR displayed tables full of materials for fitness classes and personal training available through the various Fort Jackson gyms. All valuable information for those interested in becoming a fitness competitor.

Trophies and certificates of appreciation were awarded to the top three of each category. The competition's emcee also enticed the audience and competitors to compete in the 2020 Natural Fitness Competition.

For a list of available fitness classes and upcoming DFMWR events, visit the website at Jackson.armymwr.com.