Teixeira overjoyed to represent Bermuda
Monica Teixeira never dreamt that one day she would represent Bermuda on the international stage.
But that's exactly what happened to the 26-year-old bodybuilder who competed at last month's International Federation of Body Building Diamond Cup Pro Qualifier at the HardRock Casino in Vancouver, where she won two titles to cap an extraordinary international debut for Bermuda.
Teixeira, who trains at a corporate-owned gym, won the bikini short and bikini overall titles to earn an IFBB Elite Pro Card.
“I was just over the moon to finally be representing Bermuda because I'm not athletic in any way, shape or form and I kind of consider being fit and athletic two different categories,” she said.
“I can pick things up and put them down. I can weight-lift, but ask me to dribble a ball, no. No co-ordination whatsoever, so this sport, which is kind of a marriage between athletics and art, has kind of given me a platform to be competitive because I was never that super-athletic person and kind of channel that in a different way.
“I never in a million years thought I'd get the chance to represent Bermuda overseas and wear, like, a tracksuit. It was just such an honour and as soon as I got my tracksuit, I was literally dancing around and doing a happy dance.
“To go overseas was the biggest thing and I don't think people realise how much of an honour it is to represent your country. It is a massive feeling.
“I have been competing since 2013 and you see each team get selected and going for Bermuda and so to finally be on it was like the best thing.”
Competing in the bikini division was also a first for Teixeira.
“This was a new category switch for me, so I'm very new to bikini,” she said. “Before I was competing in figure, so I still know I'm not 100 per cent ‘bikini-ish', but I'm working on it.
“I was hoping to do my best and come back with a medal to justify being selected on the team. You want to represent and bring something back to Bermuda for Bermuda.
“All you can do is bring the best version of yourself and hope that you've done enough and, at the end of the day, the judges have the final say.
“It was a nice feeling [to win titles] and was all worth it. All the countless gym sessions and eating out of Tupperware and getting weird looks from people. It was worth it, especially the weird looks from people. That tends to happen a lot.”
Teixeira is delighted to have made the transition from the figure division to bikini, which allows her more “freedom” to express her personality.
“I love the bikini division,” she said. “There's a lot more freedom in the posing and you almost feel like you're battling it out with the other competitors because you get to move and get to show off more,” she said.
“You have to bring an attitude as well as a physique. How you present yourself on stage can bring you up a few placings or take you down, whereas figure you're locked into poses.
“Bikini allows me to bring more personality. I will always love the feeling of being on stage, which is one of the most fun experiences.”