Novice bodybuilder among the best

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • AFOSI Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Jasmine Spruill not only welcomes challenges - she thrives on them.

That's why it's no surprise the Assistant NCOIC of the Personnel Readiness Unit, Warfighter Readiness and Execution Directorate at Air Force Office of Special Investigations headquarters here, has made an immediate impact as a bodybuilder.

Spruill entered her first fitness competition Oct. 24, 2015 at the National Physique Committee Blue Ridge Classic in Charlottesville, Va., where she captured 1st Place in Women's Open Bikini Class C and 2nd place Overall. Three weeks later at the NPC Max Muscle Mid-Atlantic Open & Armed Forces Show, and the NPC VA/DC State Bodybuilding, Physique, Figure, Fitness and Bikini Show in Woodbridge, Va., she took 1st Place in Armed Forces Bikini, plus 2nd Place in both VA/DC State Bikini and Mid-Atlantic Bikini.

She says her reaction to the impressive debuts was a "rush of emotions." 

"It was shocking and overwhelming," Spruill said. "The first competition was such a blur, going through all the motions of getting your suit on, the tanning touch ups, glazing, etc., and the next thing you know you're walking on stage under the bright lights in front of a theater full of supporters and fans. My only goal was to make myself proud, which I did."

Spruill's self-assurance stems from her sports experiences as a youth.

"From eighth grade through high school I had a track coach who also coached football," she explained. "He had me training and lifting with the football players. I was doing 2-a-days during the summer to keep me in shape for track and volleyball. He was a tough coach who knew what he was doing and for that I'm grateful. Thank you Coach Grant!"

Following her high school graduation at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, weightlifting became Spruill's lifestyle.

"It calmed me, she said. "I was always excited to find out my personal max."

However, competitive bodybuilding wasn't always on Spruill's bucket list until she was encouraged by random weightlifters she met as a certified personal trainer and her present coaches who saw her potential from day one.

"I asked them to stand in my corner, they truly care," she said. "They are my go-to for whatever while I'm training."

Spruill prepared for the two competitions in June 2015 by training six-days-a-week. As she approached the competition dates she added two-a-days for fasted cardio and lifting in the evening punctuated by endless posing practice.

"Training to compete has helped me in my (Air Force) Physical Training test and more," she said. "It gives me a new mindset that helps me prioritize and not let small stuff get to me. It's a new challenge for me."

"I'm not at all surprised Jasmine did so well in her first few competitions," said Mr. Robert Powers, AFOSI Warfighter Readiness director. "She's dedicated and focused in everything she does, whether it's at work or honing her physical/mental fitness. We are all proud of her accomplishments." 

Spruill's accomplishments have her pointing to Nationals to earn her professional card and become a pro bikini athlete in the fitness community.

The NPC is the premier amateur physique organization in the world. Since 1982, the top athletes in bodybuilding, fitness figure, bikini and physique have started their careers in the NPC. Many went on to successful careers in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Professional League, including 24 Olympia and 38 Arnold Classic winners.  

What would Spruill tell other first-timers who want to compete?

"My advice is to stay motivated and dedicated to your preparation," she said. "Have the support of your family because they should know how mentally and physically draining your training will be. Make sure you have fun during the experience. It's worth meeting new people and living outside your element for a while."

Reflecting on her early success, Spruill said," The last 20 weeks have given me the satisfaction of knowing anything I put my mind to I can achieve. I always tell myself: decide, commit, succeed."

(Editor's Note: This story first appeared in the Winter 2015 Edition of Global Reliance Magazine.)