Monday, 30 November 2015
Jessica McKenzie @NPC Nationals 2915
Jessica at the NPC Jr USAs (left) and IFBB North Americans previously in 2015
We have one of our readers to thank for first spotting Jessica McKenzie back at the end of May as she won the NPC Jr USAs, but at the time we were a tad preoccupied with Brooke Walker's quest for pro status in the Physique division. We were undoubtedly impressed, but the post never got written. Then, in September, same reader, similar scenario - this time it was the IFBB North Americans and we were distracted by Theresa Ivancik's class win. And now it's suddenly November and here is Jessica again at the Nationals. This post is long overdue, and C, this one's for you!
An eagle-eyed talent spotter though our lovely reader is, they're not the only female muscle head to have been blown away by Jessica this year. Such has been the storm that she has blown up in our community that there have even been comparisons made with a young Lenda Murray, and not a single howl of protest in response.
Backstage with Susan Smith
But most of the chatter has - unsurprisingly - been about those wondrous biceps, those "awesome", "delicious", "tremendous twin peaks" that she flexes so often and with such obvious pride. To me the perfect bicep, says one forum poster. The best-shaped biceps I have ever seen, says another. High - and very typical - praise indeed.
According to Jessica though, it's not just us fans who have noticed. Seems like everyone wants a closer look at those bad boys, and Jessica is only too happy to oblige. I can't go anywhere without being asked to flex! she says. I LOVE it!!!
However, it would be wrong to focus solely on her biceps - tempting though it is (they are?!) - because people wouldn't be comparing her to the young Lenda and nor would she be consistently taking home 3rd, 2nd and 1st place trophies from national level contests if those yummy peaks were the only things she had going for her.
Jessica, NPC Nationals 2015, prejudging
In fact, you could say that the best indication that Jessica has such potential is the fact that while her biceps might overwhelm us, they don't overwhelm the rest of her physique. Instead they are like the (rock hard) cherries on the (sweet) icing on the (deliciously muscular) cake. Or something. [get your fingers off the keyboard and step away from the metaphor NOW! - ed.] OK, I'll leave it, but you know what I mean. Jessica's all good, all tempting, but those biceps crown the overall effect.
Jessica, NPC Nationals 2015, routine
And while she certainly looks like she enjoys herself whenever she's flexing, I thought I suspected a special glint in hr eye when she's on stage - now I often suspect this sort of thing, so it's a relief when I occasionally do find evidence that supports my theory. Something about being on stage gives me Life! is how Jessica puts it (and it's her capital "L" on "Life"). So for once I'm not imagining it! My passion for competing runs so deep, she continues. And there's more. Bodybuilding is 100% mental & physical, she says. I often find myself studying my past contest pics, doing a self-analysis. My goal is to improve with each show I do, continuously striving for a better package & a better me. Funnily enough, I often find myself studying her past contest pics as well...
"Constantly striving for a better package": Jessica at the NPC Jr USAs 2014 (top left) and 2015 (top right);
IFBB North Americans 2015 (bottom left), and NPC Nationals 2015 (bottom right)
From her 3rd place at the Jr USAs in 2014 to her win at the same show a year later, then her 2nd place at the North Americans and her 3rd place at the Nationals this time, I reckon Jessica has never failed in her quest to bring "a better package" every time she has competed. And I can't help feeling that bodes very well for the future. Jessica feels it too. The verdict is in... I took 3rd place. I am so proud of the package I brought to the stage! she wrote after the Nationals. My bodybuilding career will continue to elevate to higher and higher heights... greatness awaits me! No argument here.
Jessica in Miami: checking in before, and contemplating her trophy after
Follow Jessica's journey via her Facebook and/or Instagram. And please, PLEASE don't make the same mistake as the Muscular Development forum reader who found it impossible to distinguish between our Jessica and the NPC Bikini athlete with the same name. From Bikini to FBB in a Year! he gushed, before it was pointed out to him that impressive as this transformation would undoubtedly be (what with the fact that as well as packing on muscle the woman in question had also transformed her ethnicity!), these are two very different women. Our Jessica is definitely one of a kind.