Fitness has always been a big part of Nicki Podworny's life, but she admitted to turning to food in tough times. Over the years, Nicki has completed a childhood dream, and now, she's going up against a select group of women for $20,000.

The story of Nicki Podworny is about a Laurier woman who always knew what she wanted to do in life. Through twists and some turns along the way, Podworny has remained determined and she's now helping others who are looking to achieve their dreams. 

About five or six years ago, Podworny was at a standstill. She went from having three jobs in Dauphin as a single mother to not having that in Brandon when she moved. In 2012, Nicki got married. As she was trying to establish herself in Brandon as she had in the Parkland, Podworny turned to food. Not happy with what was happening, she made a change.

105646034 314822306578512 3465492129613215998 nShe started doing beach body workouts and within the first three weeks, Nikki had lost about 11 lbs. Although fitness had been a part of her life from the get-go, it was losing that 11 lbs in three weeks that motivated Podworny to in her own words, better herself. She was feeling better and more confident about herself. 

Now if we take a look back to Podworny in her '20s, her goal was to compete in a women's bodybuilding competition. However, she was never confident enough or believed in herself to compete in one. That until, just a few years back. After getting a trainer who specialized in training women for bodybuilding competitions, Podworny competed in an International Drug-Free Association event. 

It was her first-ever bodybuilding competition and she placed in her group. 

"That was definitely the toughest thing that I have ever done in my life," said Podworny. "I was ecstatic when I won third, it was incredible. I went in thinking I wanted to place, but I think I was getting myself prepared just in case I didn’t. It was everything I ever wanted, it was a special event."

Nicki wasn't done. She competed once again in 2018 and she went into the event stronger and leaner and once again, she placed third. 

Next Stage:

Podworny knew first-hand how good she was feeling not only physically but mentally and she wanted other women to have the same feelings. Podworny became a certified personal trainer 105312254 570331783671584 8228776890358991031 nlast February. She has a private training studio in her gym so she does one-on-one training with her clients.

"I just wanted to have an impact on people and really just help them achieve their goals," added Podworny.

About six years ago was when Podworny wanted to make a change and starting in less than a month, the voting begins as one female will be rewarded with $20,000. Nicki is a nominee for the prize money and if she does end up winning, she will also be featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers.

She entered a contest a while back which included her sending a few photos of herself and biography on what she's been through. Fast forward to last week now, Nikki was named a top 20 finalist in her age group.

'I was shocked, I didn't think I would even get this far," said Podworny. "I'm honoured to have been selected among so many other great women and to have a chance to win this big prize."

The first round of voting begins on July 20 with the top 20. That will lead to a top 15 voting period, top 10 voting period, and a top 5 voting period. The eventual winner will be selected in the fall.