It’s been well documented that we have a thing for Canadians, especially in the fitness industry (and metal, but that’s for another discussion). If you were to ask us most anything about Canada we could probably tell you. Except New Brunswick. We really are in the dark about that part of the True North. We know it’s population is less than a million. It’s near Nova Scotia. They speak two languages. And there is at least one plant based fitness competitor there that is Metal Made. Other than that, we had to Wikipedia the shit out of it to figure out anything else about it.

But Nadege Corcoran calls it home. Just as she calls the gym home. Or the stage home. In a short amount of time she has already built a super impressive resume from competition. Bouncing between bikini and figure, Nadege has never finished lower than 7th (once) and maintained top 4 placing at minimum in all her other shows, showing the dedication she has not only to her training and pushing herself to stay in show ready form, and at her absolute best. And she owes a lot of it to her “For The Animals” diet keeping her strong, lean and able to train and recover like she’s training for the Olympics.

And with a busy palette of shows coming up in 2016, her focus remains the same. This includes the IFBB Natural International qualifier in New Brunswick in June and the IFBB Nationals in Winnipeg, which we’re pretty sure she’ll train her ass off for both. It’s how they roll in Maritime Providences.

MMF: So have you always been a gym rat? Did you grow up into sports or is this a new thing for you?

Nadege Corcoran: For some reason I was always seen by everyone as “active” but I really wasn’t. I played a bit of badminton and swam when I was younger but never really saw the inside of a gym until 3 years ago when I joined CrossFit. My big awakening was when I got lost in the trails in a park and had to go up a very steep hill to get back and had to pause a few times to make it up the hill. Then I realized I had to do something! I’m still a bit baffled that I stuck to CrossFit even though I was petrified!

I knew nothing about lifting but the coaches were amazing. I learned all the proper lifts and started feeling strong. Then I was hooked to working out! And the pushed me to understand what training with intensity was. I was fueled by wanting to turn my body into a tank that wasn’t afraid of a little hill. From there I eventually wanted to tackle goals other than “increase the weight on the bar”. So after 6 months of Crossfit, I switched to personal training and uncovered “gym workouts”. Dumbbells, barbells, machines, etc. I fell in love with it and came home one day saying “I wish this was a sport!” Little did I know it was! So it’s fairly new to me. 2.5 years. And I’m not a gym rat… I’m a gym unicorn for sure! (laughs)

MMF: So from all that when did competing come into play?

Nadege Corcoran: The fact that I, myself, spent so many years thinking that I had to eat animal products to be strong and healthy is what I want to help eliminate by stepping on stage. I don’t want to slander people for eating animal products. I was there myself and I know it is mostly from misinformation, peer pressure and a lack of listening to our inner self. It’s a journey and I don’t want to displace pain to animals by causing pain to humans. You attract more bees with honey! (…and leave the bees and the honey alone!) So instead of cramming something down someone’s throat I find that competing gives me a platform to showcase what veganism can do. It prompts people to ask me “how” and that helps. Most people that have that nagging feeling that what the massive industrialized animal product industry is doing isn’t ok will be prompted to ask questions. Veganism for health is also a gateway drug to veganism for the animals and for the environments in my opinion. So Health and Fitness is a great place for many to start exploring a plant-based diet.

MMF : Tells us about your experience with your first show, on stage. What you went through, how it felt to get up there, the kind of prep you did?

Nadege Corcoran : That’s a tough question for sure! There are so many things I could say! I LOVE doing things that are difficult so keep that in perspective with my answer. So when I say I loved it, remember that a piece of me loves conquering the impossible. So if that isn’t naturally in a person, they would have a totally different answer. The hard work and the dedication that it takes to get ready to step on stage is definitely not something I imagine everyone would enjoy. But I did! And I still do!

Essentially, I compare it to someone who loves running who shows up at their first race. It’s exciting and so motivating during training to have that date. The difference with a race is that everyone around you is super excited for you all the time. They love to see people running with them. They understand that to have a race you need many many runners and the finish line is the goal. Not placing. Even when you are trying to do a certain time to qualify for a certain high profile race. You don’t wish worst on other runners, you just run as best you can.

 ..The fact that I, myself, spent so many years thinking that I had to eat animal products to be strong and healthy is what I want to help eliminate by stepping on stage…”

Competing is similar in the sense that “show day” is like “race day” (exciting and motivating). BUT competitors there are not the same as runners… At least some of them.

People “size you up” and I found that very hard. Inside I am super competitive, but I hate seeing someone sad and self criticize because they compare. Which is probably the type of empathy that led me to veganism to begin with. So I found it hard to not self-sabotage in the competitive world. I would say that this is actually a very good thing that came out of that for me personally. It allowed me to come into my own and remain kind to people who maybe are hard on themselves but realize that they would do that regardless of me. So I do my best. Always.

But seriously overall it was a great experience! I have to say that my team, Blueprint Athletics, and my coaches have a lot to do with that. We are generally a very happy bunch the whole time backstage and we love the experience which produces amazing energy to feed off of. And for prep, my coaches support my goal of health first the whole way so I love prepping! Again… remember that I thrive off of really difficult challenge and I really enjoy rigor and structure.

MMF: A lot of people find it hard to be married or in relationships in this training lifestyle and or being vegan. How essential is the support you get from your guy to what you do? Is he also vegan?

Nadege Corcoran : I stay focused on the fact that I myself wasn’t vegan or into fitness when we met. And we have the same “live and let live” philosophy. So that’s first and foremost. I’m the one that changed and he does love me and support me. But he would support me in anything that betters my life and I would do the same for him.

So to answer the question, his support means everything to me! But him doing what I do is not important. There are times where competing gets hard on the schedule and there just seems to not be enough hours in the day and if it wasn’t for his understanding it would be mentally straining to get him to understand that I can’t “just skip this workout” or “eat this one bite of sweets” (which is what I hear other competitors go through when they don’t have a supportive spouse).

As for him being vegan, if you asked him, he would say he is not vegan but that he mostly follows a plant-based diet. But really… I can’t remember the last time he bought eggs, dairy or meat. So…..

As for working out, he’s always liked running more than anything and I learned to love that as well. Now that my strict competition schedule is loosed up a bit and I can workout a bit less structured, he has been joining me at the gym and he is following Robert Cheeke’s Shred It plan. He’s already feeling/seeing amazing results! I just joined the gym I go to so I think he got the bug (and I’m out of control excited about it!!!

Overall though, him supporting me is extremely appreciated and makes my life so much easier! BUT I’m ultimately I’m my own hero. I would do this with or without support. It would be more challenging if he wasn’t so supportive, but I would still be doing this.

Photo creds:
Stage Shot: Garry Bartlett photo

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