Tuesday, 24 May 2016
The Pursuit of Michaela Aycock
The big clue to the correct answer is in the name of the post, but if I'd asked you yesterday who Florida's youngest ever IFBB Physique pro was before today, you'd probably have reasoned that Dani Reardon is a Floridian, Dani started young - at high school - and Dani didn't hang around when it came to rising through the amateur ranks. So, your answer would probably have been Dani Reardon, no?
I know it's what I would have said.
I'd have been wrong. The correct answer, it turns out, is Michaela Aycock. Just 20 when she turned pro at the NPC USAs last year. And she is not just Florida's youngest ever, she's the youngest ever Physique pro full stop.
Now a ripe old 21, Michaela (whose middle name, apparently, is the somewhat prophetic "Destiny") recently made her pro debut at the Europa Orlando. In a field of 22 women that included women with years of professional competitive experience, former Olympians among them, Michaela finished 3rd.
The feeling when they call your number for first callout... Indescribable emotion, she wrote afterwards (I mentioned yesterday this was a week of something that was hard to define, and there you go!) And you can follow her adventures in Orlando in a short film, The Debut Pursuit, here on vimeo.
It's kind of a keyword for Michaela that, "pursuit". After the show in Orlando, "the debut is over, the pursuit continues", every day before and since the show "the pursuit continues" according to her Instagram posts. It's not, it seems to me, the pursuit of something tangible, like a pro win, an Olympia appearance or the title itself. Rather it is the thing itself, the "ultimate pursuit".
I am an "all in" type of person and I started going to the gym in 2013, she told Christian Duque last year. I really fell in love and found a passion in it and continued making goals for myself. It has just progressed from there.
I think all of us competitors are a little crazy, we love a chase and we love a challenge. Sure we all have moments, some harder than others, but I wouldn’t call any of them either "easy" or "hurdles". When you are doing something out of pure passion and pursuit [that word again] to a greater result, with your eyes fixated on whatever your goal may be, nothing can come against you and nothing can faze you.
Nothing's fazed her so far, partly, perhaps, because she's always had it all mapped out - her Road to... the Future, in two parts on her YouTube channel will tell you how.
This obsession, this fixation, this single-minded determination... Up close and personal with Michaela probably doesn't even exist unless you're one of the team involved in her "pursuit". But from afar, from here, an ocean away from Florida and Michaela, it's all incredibly attractive. The gains, the insane definition, the freakish muscular development, well it won't come as a surprise that I am swooning all over the place, and judging by the buzz around Michaela on the forums I am far from alone.
Below is the most recent pic of Michaela at the time of writing. The pursuit continues.
Watch an excellent compilation of Michaela in all her vascular freakish glory - Perfect Female Muscle - on World of Muscle Girls. And to see what a difference three years can make, you can also see what Michaela looked like in 2013, competing in Figure, not long after she had started lifting, at the NPC Kentucky in 2013 on RxMuscle.