How a car accident transformed Sudbury's Jessica MacMillan in a fitness goddess
The trophies, medals and honours are one aspect of the sport for MacMillan. What lies behind her success, especially the last three years in the sport, can’t be seen by everyone, but it is what means the most to her.
The sport helped MacMillan overcome neck and back injuries sustained in a 2002 car accident. This has been the true power of competitive figure bodybuilding for MacMillan — how the sport changed her life.
MacMillan returned home in March from the 2014 Arnold Amateur IFBB International Body Building, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships, having earned first place in the Figure A and Figure Masters Divisions, and Overall Masters Figure title. She also earned her Pro Card to compete on tour.
The results served as a stark reminder for MacMillan.
“The results have been motivating and have given me a lot of confidence in many different aspects of my life,” she said. “Earning my Pro Card at the Arnold’s was an incredibly validating experience for all of the hard work and sacrifice.
That sacrifice not only includes time with family, but also meals.
“It has been a real challenge balancing my family, my work and my training,” she said. “The training, I’ve come to accept, is nothing short of a lifestyle in itself. Eating the same chicken and fish meals day in and day out along with the extra long cardio sessions and the daily hours spent lifting weights can be exhausting and monotonous at times, but I have an amazing group of people supporting and encouraging me on a daily basis.”
In 2013, MacMillan placed second in Figure at the IFBB North American Championships and in Figure Class A at CBBF Canadian National Championship. She is no stranger to stepping up to perform on big stages, but the Arnold event was a whole new level of competition.
“I think the most challenging aspect of the competition was the high-profile nature of the show itself,” she said. “The Arnold Amateurs attracts the best competitors from around the world. It’s been something I've been wanting to do for years.”
MacMillan has her sights set on competing more and also establishing her own business to help others reach goals.
“I’d really like to compete in some upcoming pro shows and, hopefully, one day, at the Figure Olympia. I’m also trying to launch a new business venture called Figure By Jessica in hopes of helping people attain their goals whether it be weight loss, improved diet, or even competition training and coaching.
“I’d just like to help and inspire people to never give up on their goals and dreams.