Dr. Wendy Carvalho-Ashby and Dr. Kevin Ashby, chiropractors from Calgary, Alberta, have taken the sport of natural bodybuilding and fitness by storm. After their first year of competing, Wendy and Kevin qualified for the FAME North American Championships held in Miami, Florida, this November 2007. At the competition, this dynamic duo won the title of FAME Pairs North American Champions. Dr. Wendy Carvalho-Ashby earned her PRO card and is FAME’s newest Muscle Model Pro and also won first place in the open “Figure” category. Dr. Kevin Ashby landed an amazing second place in Men’s Natural Bodybuilding at the North American Championships. Wendy and Kevin are very excited about their achievements but will admit that the journey to becoming fitness champions was not easy. This couple attributes their success to the healthy lifestyle they developed during their chiropractic studies at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.
Wendy’s motivation to keep fit comes from a layoff from training that she took about six years ago.
“I was finishing my Masters degree in Medicine at the University of Calgary, and the long hours of study took a toll on my level of fitness,” recalls Dr. Wendy, “I gained about 30 pounds which, for my tiny frame, was overwhelming. I had been a former gymnast and all-around athlete but had lost my motivation.”
She continues, “After I met my husband, and FAME Pairs partner, Dr. Kevin Ashby, we both made the decision to become Doctors of Chiropractic and personal trainers. My life changed with this decision. I became motivated to train for a natural figure competition and to take my fitness to the next level. I am so happy to now say that I am a Doctor of Chiropractic, a personal trainer and have completed my third FAME fitness competition.”
But according to Dr. Wendy, bodybuilding provides more than just a pastime. “I have finally achieved a level of balance in my life,” she notes, “and this journey motivates me every day to go to the gym and train. I am inspired by the fact that so many individuals at my gym, and patients at my clinic, have seen my transfor-mation, and have now, themselves, become inspired to train for something. I love training and competing and look forward to this new and bright path!”
During his youth, Kevin was an avid basketball and hockey player, but, like Wendy, took a detour from healthy living during his undergraduate studies in microbiology. Upon deciding to enter the profession of chiropractic, Kevin made the important decision to make fitness a priority. Kevin felt that he couldn’t ask his future patients to take care of their bodies, if he did not also “live the lifestyle.” Upon moving back to Calgary in 2005, Kevin balanced a career as a chiropractor and personal trainer, and after some gentle convincing from his patients and clients, decided to train for a bodybuilding competition.
“I would repeatedly come up with reasons to not compete,” muses Kevin, “but this year I ran out of excuses! With my wife, Wendy, by my side, we won the FAME Pairs Division and I managed to win first overall in Natural Bodybuilding in our very first regional competition. This motivated us to compete at FAME Nationals in Toronto, where we earned our title as Pairs National Champions. Achieving the title of “North American Pairs Champions,” and second place in Natural Bodybuilding in Miami, was thrilling. All of our patients and clients are interested in our competitions and our ability to live a healthy lifestyle.”
“As a couple, we truly believe in living an active lifestyle and setting a good example for our patients,” says Dr. Wendy. From the start of our careers, we both decided that, if we were going to tell our patients to live a healthy lifestyle, we wanted to demonstrate that very lifestyle.”
Dr. Kevin adds, “Chiropractic is such an amazing profession! As doctors we have such an incredible opportunity to help our patients achieve health and wellness, holistically.”
This dynamic duo view exercise and nutritional advice as an integral part of their practice, and note that their patients and staff appreciate this aspect of their clinic. In addition to training for the FAME North American Championship, they have also embarked on the adventure of opening their own multidisciplinary clinic, called Endurance on 8th Health Centre in downtown Calgary.
New challenges have emerged with trying to balance a busy schedule as clinic directors, part-time personal trainers, fitness models, fitness competitors and leaving time for family and friends.
“Patients and friends ask us how we manage such a full schedule, and still make time to hit the gym,” notes Dr. Wendy. “We just do! We tell them;
‘If you love what you do, then things just seem to fall into place – not without bumps and hiccups! But you just find the fuel to keep trying to achieve your best!”•
Eat, Sleep, Lift… Repeat
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