Vanessa Barrett is competing to be the face of fitness for a health and bodybuilding magazine. (Vanessa Barrett/Special to the Maple Ridge News)

Vanessa Barrett is competing to be the face of fitness for a health and bodybuilding magazine. (Vanessa Barrett/Special to the Maple Ridge News)

Ridge fitness champ aims to become face of magazine

Vanessa Barrett wants to add ‘Ms Fitness’ to her titles of entrepreneur and mom

A Maple Ridge woman is competing for a fitness magazine’s title of Ms. Health and Fitness, and is hoping some local votes can get her into the next round.

Vanessa Barrett has been into fitness and training for years. She’s kept in shape and trained while working at a local gym chain and raising three kids as a single mom.

But in March 2020, Barrett was laid off due to COVID-19.

She decided that instead of slowing down, she would keep training, and also start her own small fitness business, teaching classes both online and in person, as conditions allowed.

“COVID did not put a pause on my fitness, but rather I continued daily to stay healthy in order to protect my mind,” Barrett said.

It was while thinking about new directions that she decided to go for it and enter the contest for Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine, which comes with both a title and a $20,000 prize.

Barrett won another fitness competition in 2018, but had never really considered going for the big contest of the magazine before this year. It was something that was always outside of her comfort zone, she said.

But at the age of 50, she believes she has what it takes to win the contest and be a good representative of the title.

“I wasn’t born fit, but I work hard at it,” Barrett said.

She recommends those looking to be fit and healthy are kind to themselves first, and work on a positive mindset, and the body will follow.

If she wins the contest, Barrett plans to put the $20,000 towards growing her business, while also providing more free and affordable options for people who want support and motivation but don’t necessarily have the means to afford classes.

“I’d also really treat my amazing kids who have always cheered on my endeavors,” she said.

You can vote for Barrett at the contest’s website at mshealthandfitness.com/2021/vanessa-ba. The current phase of the contest ends Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m.

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