Penny Sutherland Finding Comfort In Discomfort

As Penny Sutherland raised her hand in victory after earning The Most Marketable Female at WPC1 in Miami on June 15th, one would never get the impression that she was out of her comfort zone. She embraced the stage though, and all that comes with it, but her first love is the work, in the gym with her hat pulled down grinding out the last few excruciating reps in a grueling set. But Penny recognizes the danger of staying in her comfort zone. She believes that she can only grow and become her very best self by embracing discomfort and facing new challenges, and she courageously approaches all aspects of her life this way.

Penny’s next great challenge is modeling, and as a WPC athlete, she will be doing a lot of that in the future.

She Is An Athlete
“I was on the track team as well as the basketball team in high school. My favorite event was always the triple jump. As an athlete, my first love was basketball. I walked on to our community college’s Lady Seahawks team in 2009. Being 5’3, I trusted my skills, but I realized my career would be, well, short. Basketball remained part of my routine for many years. As time progressed, my passion for the game took a back seat to my training in the gym. The time I spent training became much more meaningful to me because I was spending that time getting to know myself and recognizing strengths and weaknesses in my body.”

A Self-Professed Gym Rat
“I will forever be a gym rat. I believe that the best training is done in your comfort zone with an engaged mind-muscle connection. For me, that is in basketball shorts, with my hat and calf-high socks. Somehow, I had to get out of my comfort zone and embrace the strong and confident woman that I had built in the gym, outside of the gym. I promised myself that I would do something to shock myself and prove, to me, that I am a woman. At 26, I decided I was going to be a bodybuilder. I looked at the international professional women and admired the physiques that they sculpted for themselves. Their feminine personalities shine through their movements, and I wanted to express myself in the same way.”

And She Is A WPC Fitness Model
“When my coach mentioned competing onstage in the WPC, I was up for the challenge, yet I hadn’t heard of the organization before. Last week being the inaugural show in America, I find myself so fortunate that I was able to attend the first leg of the USA endeavor. I have almost no experience modeling besides mandatory posing for previous bodybuilding shows.
I’m looking forward to working with the WPC and expressing myself as an athletic fitness model.”

She Likes To Compete
“This Miami contest was, of course, my first with the WPC. I am also an amateur bikini athlete in another organization. I competed in one show last year, and three contests with a different organization since 2017. I currently hold a national qualification for bikini and figure classes.”

Her Faith And Facing Challenges
“Competing is a constant learning process. Yes. Haha. I could best describe my experience with a verse my Mom shared with me the week of: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. Somehow, my Mom always has the right verse to share for the occasion. Every day we receive tests of faith and fitness competitions are nothing short of that. Between the bipolar Florida thunderstorms, Miami traffic and the uncertainty of show day, I found myself ‘freaking out’ about the what ifs. Replaying this verse in my head, I arrived at the James L. Knight Center to find welcoming new friends and familiar smiling faces. The fear of the unknown can be very stressful. I was reminded that keeping your faith is overall most important. Firstly, keep spiritual faith. Next, I had faith in my training; dieting every day, weight loading workouts, posing through muscle fatigue. I had faith in my coach, Carlos & Team Will It. He continually gives us his 100% with check-ins, reminders, touchups, snacks, etc. etc. (My Coach Rocks!!) Work Hard & Keep the Faith – that is my greatest takeaway from this show.”

Giving Back
“I want to help others through fitness by expressing that our bodies are our temples. What you put into your body today will be what you get out of it tomorrow, literally. We only have one body, one lifetime. The foods, drinks, and nutrients we consume directly determine the functionality of our bodies, and we need to treat them right! ‘One step at a time’ really helps to pave the way for fitness and life goals.”

Sports Vs. Physique Sports
“My biggest challenge as a physique competitor has been adopting new workouts that are effective in body shaping. As a basketball player, specific movements & skills can measure growth in strength and fitness; with bodybuilding, each body is different. In physique sports, the athlete must train according to their aesthetic assets and weaknesses, making it almost impossible to create a cookie cutter plan. Self-love projects have been the most enjoyable part of my transition to a physique athlete. The extra skin care, hair, and makeup all take a backseat when game time or track meets come around. Preparing to compete for physique wise drives the athlete to become the most visually appealing with overall aesthetics considered. Getting glammed has been a huge challenge for me but turned out most rewarding.”

And She Can Cook
“I’ve been a chef for over ten years, and I currently work at the Cheesecake Factory. I decided to continue my education at the beginning of this year; I’m currently pursuing a business degree minoring in psychology. At the end of schooling, I plan on starting a new career in public service.”

You can follow Penny Sutherland on IG @pennyprotein

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Terry Goodlad

WPC Media Director, Photographer, Writer, Vlogger, Podcaster, Business Consultant, Athlete and Elite Coach

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