I AM ALFA because even though I wasn’t handed the best cards in life I’ve made the best of it. I believe in the power of kindness and building each other up.
Photography by: Ali Sohrab
Venue: Olympians Gym
My name is Melanie Elaine Hogewoning. I am a small-town country girl from Alberta. I drive a truck, love country music, the outdoors and simple things like sitting under the stars. I am employed as a travel nurse working in emergency departments throughout mainland British Columbia. I am specialized in intensive care and emergency nursing and in my 10th year of practice. Working in high acuity nursing takes its toll on you so self-care and self-love is important. A personal trauma and a death of a colleague from suicide is what really launched my big fitness shift/change. Self-love via self-care for me was something that helped me recover from anxiety/PTSD and depression. I grew up with an absent and an abusive father. We were poor and my mother was strong and she did everything she could in her power to help us grow up strong and well. I’ve worked for everything I own since I was 12. For the longest time I thought this work, this self-earning, this self-built was what made me strong. That’s not the case. I was only strong because I had no other choice. If I didn’t do it for myself no one else would have. This left me bitter and passive aggressive for years until I discovered self-love and true self care through body building.
What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you? Body building and fitness allowed me to manage my anger productively. It allowed me to conquer my demons. It gave me the strength and value I was always longing for. For me bodybuilding saved my life. Bodybuilding is an element of your life you have complete control over and it’s entirely up to you how it turns out. As in if you train and eat half assed you get half assed results; but if you give it your all you end up with incredible results. No one can take away the effort you put into it, so it’s all yours. Your results are a direct reflection of your actions and effort. My love for bodybuilding grew the more I learnt the more I fell in love with it and the process and soon I entered my first bikini competition. I did well with my first competition and am currently in the beginning of my prep for my big debut in the masters’ division. I am fortunate to have found an incredible coach who is not only my physical coach but one that guides me and challenges me to be better mentally, emotionally, and physically. Since competing and taking up training seriously I also started personal training.
Coaching other is a reward in itself; but helping someone learn and foster a healthier lifestyle has been an incredible experience. Career wise I’m working towards advanced education and a gigantic career opportunity. This big opportunity will take time but it’s going to be incredible!! It will fuse my two passions nursing and bodybuilding and be revolutionary for health care. As for now I live a pretty simple life with my dog, the gym, studying and I spend my free time with family and friends as often as I can. I also do fitness modelling as a hobby. I am Looking forward to getting outdoors this summer and exploring my beautiful backyard that is BC. I’m an Alberta girl so I am in awe of this beautiful province.