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Tina Goinarov Stared Doubt in the Eyes. And Guess What? Well, she won
Passions and strengths seem to be a natural coupling for most.
Goal-driven people tend to lend credit to their successes from the usurpation of drive from an inner core, a strength and dedication found within them when needed.
For Tina Goinarov (pictured left in photo above) her passions are many and her drive is strong, and one might even be inclined to say quite strong, indeed. An instance where someone’s firm grasp is both poetic and literal.
As a Qualified Primary/Junior educator with the Toronto District School Board with a BAA in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson University and a teaching degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE – The University of Toronto), Goinarov confidently saddled her earliest interest for physical education, and with that, has taken it into teaching kindergarten for the last 12 years.
But the aspirations of finding her inner self and the personal strengths, she would soon come to know, came from her early involvement in daily stress-burn sessions at a local gym during her university days as a reasonable means to vent out the pressures students can endure as well as always maintaining a general scope of overall good physical health.
Always being active in sports, she found it simply wasn’t enough of a push to the limits she was prepared to take herself.
Having met several trainers in her time in the gym, one of which being a current professional within the International Federation of Bodybuilding of Bodybuilders (IFBB), she took a real like with their credible praises and referrals in how to press into the sport and life of bodybuilding.
But she credits the decision to make the first effort at “competing” as one made ultimately in the face of doubt and jest. Simply being told she was incapable and wouldn’t win. Like many, she sought opportunity to stare doubt in the face and say: “well watch this, because I just did it.”
“My main inspiration - or as you say the moment of calling - that got me into this sport was when I had that person who was a close friend tell me that I wouldn’t be able to do it, let alone do well,” recalls Goinarov during an interview in a gym in Toronto, ON. “It was at that moment where I had something to prove not only to myself but to them.”
Her stage debut came in September of 2007 in Brantford, ON, where she competed and won the Ontario Physique Association (OPA) Women’s Heavy Weight Bodybuilding class, an opportunity initially disguised before revealing to be one of the proudest moments of her life.
Like many other professional sports, bodybuilding has always had a prevalent stereotype projecting a less than perfect balance of ego and attitude amongst its society and she can shed light on a uglier side to the industry away from the glory and glitz and awe the rest of us naturally might not see and she remembers starting out wondering how she endured the past of the more political and social hardships rather than the simple physical ones brought on by the sport.
But with perseverance and two hands gripped on the bar, she found her chances to prove she would never be seen as not good enough.
“This was a sport that had other females that looked like me and were not average and it was okay. This sport gave me a sense of purpose and belonging.” says Goinarov
In 2010 Goinarov reconnected with OPA in a different capacity and sat the barbell down and reached for the much lighter pen so to speak.
With updating social media sites for OPA’s news and goings-on and regularly covering live events, she seamlessly shifted herself more behind the scenes and has shown to be a very talented agent for promotion.
Driven by memories of her own lack of support early on in her beginning with bodybuilding, she’s found a fondness for sharing and contributing by not only speaking to competitors of her own trails and experiences, but also to help voice the stories of others, both amateur and professional through her dynamic writing.
“All I ever wanted to do was give back to the industry because of what it did for me,” reflects Goinarov.
“It’s amazing how having just one or two people truly believe in you and see your true potential makes all the difference in your life.”
With that, she’s also had the opportunity to meet and chat with many of Canada’s up and coming competitors in the sport as well as several IFBB pros.
A jewel in her crown was recently being asked to report on a Mr. Olympia competition - the famed international bodybuilding competition held annually that saw the career launch of Arnold Schwarzenegger, then just a newbie to fame in 1975. As a journalist, she had the chance to cover and highlight the Canadians competing at the event which was truly a memorable experience for her.
She is also a writer for many of the Canadian media sources within this industry, namely Muscle Insider and on occasion she writes for Inside Fitness. As well she also pens stories for RX Muscle, which is an American social media publication focusing on the fitness industry. And to top it off she also writes for the OPA and Toronto Pro SuperShow newsletter and social media pages.
“I have been lucky that my editor Gail Auerbach, an IFBB Pro from RX Muscle, has given me the freedom to write about whatever I feel or want as long as it is fitness related,” she says. “Gail has also asked me to write about the CBBF Nationals and the North Americans. So my topics and stories come from personal experiences, trends and things I have seen or heard either on social media or within the industry. When I write for Muscle Insider, I have done many bios and interviews with the pros, as well as the odd short piece on breaking news or shows. My story with Domenic Mauro from Muscle Insider this past year gave me the opportunity to write a review of the North Americans for the IFBB site. That was probably my biggest piece to date. The writing I do for the OPA and the Toronto Pro SuperShow are generally announcement pieces or background stories about any of the industry celebrities who will be in attendance and I love communicating all this news.”
And when asked on what advice she would give to women consider going into the bodybuilding sport, Goinarov isn’t one to sugar coat the real life facts.
“I would say to any female who is serious about competing and looking at bodybuilding as their sport of choice that they do their research,” she says. “It is easy to say you are going to compete as a bodybuilder and be a bodybuilder, but you need to be aware of what it takes, what it looks like, and who are the women that made the sport what it is and why, and not be afraid to go after it if this is what you want.”
“Bodybuilding is the hardest class for females within this industry and it has its fair share of stereotypes and myths, but to me it has to be one of the most rewarding. This is the one class where it is not what your hair and make-up can do to enhance your overall look and appeal; this is where it is all about the body and what you brought to the stage. The beauty is about your muscle and overall conditioning and that's it.”
With qualities of confidence, dedication, and natural leadership our hard-bodied, soft eyed kindergarten teacher looks to continue her successful merger of love for the sport and the love of writing.
“Sort of like teaching I guess, those of us all have that one student that we see so much potential in and never want to fail or give up and we work so hard to push them and keep them focused and believe in themselves.”