Surrey’s Dawn Alison at the Canadian Bodybuilding Nationals in Edmonton on July 1. (Photo: David Ford/CBBF)

Surrey bodybuilder wins pro card after 30-year journey fraught with adversity

After 21 tries, Surrey’s Dawn Alison received her first pro card at Canadian Bodybuilding Nationals

A week after Surrey’s Dawn Alison won her pro bodybuilding card, she said the reality has yet to completely sink in.

It’s a dream she’s been pursuing for more than 30 years.

“I’ll just be driving down the road and be like, ‘Oh my god. I’m a pro athlete,’” she said excitedly in an interview with the Now-Leader.

On July 1, Alison won two IFBB (International Federation of Body Building) Pro Cards at the Canadian Bodybuilding Nationals in Edmonton, AB.

“I got this dream when I was 19 years old and I’m going to be 53 in November,” she said. “I worked it out and I’ve tried to get my pro card 21 times.”

She recalled a flood of emotions on stage after her win.

“I started crying and feeling like I was losing it on stage, as I was walking off, I could feel this well of emotions coming up in me,” she said. “Not only happiness and joy but just relief.”

photo

Alison called the cards “golden eggs” in Canada, because so few are given out compared to the U.S.

“In women’s bodybuilding there’s one or two a year given out in this country,” she explained. “Even total pro cards in Canada, probably about 20 pro cards for the entire country for all the classes of men and women. Whereas the States give away over 50 pro cards at each competition, and they have nine shows. In Canada we have two – one drug tested and one not. So it’s a lot tougher in Canada.”

She said the road to reach her dream has been a difficult one. On her path to the pro stage, she’s come back from drug addiction, dealt with two broken marriages, and has undergone nine major surgeries.

“Sometimes you feel like, am I really on the right path?”

Alison said something told her she was.

Though, she revealed she almost threw in the towel last year.

“I really thought, ‘Should I just hang it up?’ But something told me to just keep going. You have to take your licks. Just because you don’t get what you want, you don’t quit.”

She chuckled as she recalled a B.C. judge once telling her she didn’t have what it takes to make it to the top.

“I don’t have the bone structure, right?” she said. “I’d love to see that judge now.

“I never gave up on my dream, no matter what,” she added. “And really, I can’t believe that after all I’ve been through that I’m still alive at my age because I’ve live my life wild and hard and fast. But I’ve always said God was keeping me around for a reason.”

Alison laughed as she recalled being a 19-year-old horse trainer from Canada before meeting her first husband, powerlifting legend Doug Young.

She said Young, who has won multiple world powerlifting championships, was the reason she embarked on her lifelong journey into the world of bodybuilding.

“He’s the one that saw it in me,” she said. “He took me under his wing and taught me everything. He changed my whole life.”

Young has passed away, but Alison said she felt him at the competition.

“He was with me, he’s always with me.”

So, once one reaches the goal they’ve been chasing for 30 years, what’s next?

Alison said her sights are already set on a pro competition in Tampa, Florida next month.

“To me it’s about going out on that stage,” she said. “Once I step out on that pro stage, I’ll know I’ve made it.”

Alison runs a bodybuilding business in Newton with her current husband Brandon Best.

He couldn’t be more proud of his wife.

“She is a testament to perseverance and determination,” said Best. “This culminates a lifelong dream, 30-plus years in the making, a story that has been full of many highs and lows, struggle and adversity. But through it all, she has held steadfast to her goal and now, finally, has been rewarded.”

amy.reid@ surreynowleader.com

 

Surrey’s Dawn Alison at the Canadian Bodybuilding Nationals in Edmonton on July 1. (Photo: David Ford/CBBF)

Just Posted

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read