By Army Pfc. Karina Paraoan of Alaska National Guard
The festival, founded by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is billed as the nation's largest multisport event and features competition in archery, boxing, amateur bodybuilding, cheerleading and dance, and other sports.
Army Staff Sgt. Diane Singh, an Alaska National Guard drug demand reduction noncommissioned officer, will compete in the amateur figure bodybuilding category. One way to qualify for the category is to be a nationally qualified bodybuilder, a qualification Singh met when she competed in the Emerald Cup amateur figure bodybuilding competition in Seattle on April 16.
"This competition is different [from] the others I have competed in, because everything I have done up to this point is going to culminate in this show," Singh said. "Every show I have done so far has been a stepping stone and learning experience. For me to say that I'm competing in the Arnold is a dream come true."
Along with a strenuous workout schedule, Singh said, her diet plan is a challenge. For the next few weeks, Singh is limited to eating only grilled chicken, fish or turkey with green vegetables, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Another key to staying healthy with her workout plan, she added, is to drink a lot of water.
"I have always been impressed with Staff Sergeant Singh's enthusiasm before, during and after her competitions," said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Theulen, also an Alaska National Guard drug demand reduction NCO. "Even if she wins fifth place, her smile never disappears and she only has positive things to say about the experience."
Singh has represented the Alaska National Guard for the past two years in various bodybuilding competitions in and out of state, including two nationwide events.
"Ever since I started competing, I've had so many soldiers ask me questions," Singh said. "They've asked me questions about bodybuilding and what to eat. I'm always happy to help Guardsmen out, and I love sharing that information with them."
Singh said she'll continue to compete after the Arnold event, and plans to take part in the Alaska National Physique Committee State Championships on April 30.
"She has been a role model to the women in our office, as she is always sharing fitness regimens and techniques," Theulen said.
Alaska National Guard