Rema Jones: Sixty-three-years-young IPL Bikini Athlete
“Having a solid spiritual foundation, knowing your why, and learning to love others while respecting yourself are some of the keys to a fulfilled life.”
At the October 2022 6th Annual IPL West Coast Pro/Am in Sacramento Rema won Bikini Masters 50+ and placed 2nd in Novice. Rema is an inspiration.
This is her story.
INTERVIEW & PHOTOS BY BEN YOSEF
BEN YOSEF: First, wow! You are an inspiration! Congratulations on your success at IPL West Coast Pro/Am Contest last October. You were awesome! How does it feel being such an inspiration and how are you feeling about the show? And, if I am not mistaken, your birthday was the day after the show. So, you are now 64-years-young?
REMA JONES: Greetings! I really enjoyed competing in the IPL West Coast Pro/Am! It was my first IPL event, so I had to quickly learn the rules and format for posing and the battle…like literally while on the stage! [laughs]
In terms of being an inspiration, there have been so many people in my life over the years who have inspired, motivated, encouraged and supported me. Therefore, I feel an obligation to pay it forward and do the same for those aspiring athletes who cross my path. We were created for community and not just to receive, but to also give back. I was 63-years-young when I competed on 10/29/22 and the very next day, I turned 64. I felt good about the competition and my placements, but I know I can and will do much better in future events.
BEN: Love it! How long have you been competing and what lead you to pursue the stage your first time?
REMA: Great questions! When people ask what lead me to pursue the stage, my first response almost always is, “What else is there to do when in a pandemic?” When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the gyms closed, and I started working out at home on my own. As the stay-at-home order lingered, I joined an online training program, DAM Sport Fitness, which utilized HIIT type training.
As my body began to respond to the training, my Coach Andre Ammons asked if I would be interested in competing. I wasn’t really interested, but continued to train as if I were. I started competing in September 2021. I competed in two local competitions back-to-back and took home 1st place medals in both and best overall athlete in my very first competition. For my next competition I placed 1st in the Masters category. Competing is kind of addictive and it’s great to meet the other athletes and learn of their journeys.
BEN: Awesome! Congratulations on ALL your competition success! I am sure this helps fuel you to keep going! Do you have an athletic or sports background?
REMA: Athletic background, hmmm… If you count my being the only girl raised with six brothers and us chasing each other around the house athletic, then yes! [laughs] Seriously though, I ran track and played volleyball and softball during my high school years, but that’s about it concerning organized sports. I have always been a long-distance walker and I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors. Whether walking, jogging, exercising or watching others play sports.
BEN: How are you feeling at sixty-four-years-young? Are there changes with your workouts compared to say 20-30 years ago? What about changes in your diet/nutrition?
REMA: When you take good care of yourself, your age really is just a number. At 64, I am in the best physical shape of my life. Of course, my skin, eyes, heart and other internal organs have all been around for 64 years too, which is why it is important to manage your health at a young age for the duration. However, health management can begin at any age and even after a bad medical diagnosis. Health management is really all about taking the reins and being intentional about the direction in which you want your health to go. I am fortunate that I have always been in tune with my body and have managed my health nicely. I truly believe that your health is your wealth.
My workouts have varied over the years. I started with walking long distance then I moved on to aerobics and from there to body sculpting with weights. Then I joined a gym when I was in my 30’s. Since then, I’ve had one personal trainer and one fitness coach. My coach taught me a lot about training the body, which is very different from merely working out at the gym without clear purpose or direction. My fitness training program is intense at times, but very invigorating. I train five days a week for around 90 minutes each day. On my rest days I try to get in a nice walk outdoors if the weather allows, otherwise I’ll jump on my treadmill.
When it comes to nutrition, I have always been a picky eater which made it easy to cut out foods that worked against my fitness goals. Most of what I eat now like egg whites, veggies, and lean meats were already staples in my diet even before I started training for competitions. I’m not a big fruit eater, but I add fruit to my morning protein shakes just to get it in. My kryptonite is cookies. I love cookies! But when training to compete, I get so locked in that I am able to deny myself those goodies for months at a time.
BEN: Love this! Where do you see yourself within the health, fitness and competition industry, say within the next 5 to 10 years?
REMA: 5 to 10 years from now I plan to still be healthy and actively pursuing my goal to stay fit. I won’t continue competing but would love to one day be a competition judge while also continuing to train aspiring athletes.
BEN: Well…never say never! [laughs] Maybe you will still be hitting that stage in your late 60’s and into your 70’s! I have a feeling it is totally possible for you. And that is awesome with regards to training athletes and judging. Are you currently prepping other athletes for stage?
You have dropped quite a few gems so far in this interview, but what would you offer as the biggest piece advice to the youngsters as they aim for health, fitness, and longevity? And what advice would you give to those who are further along in age? Would the advice be the same?
REMA: I don’t necessarily have a bucket list of things I’d like to do or accomplish in my lifetime, but there are some goals beyond the stage that I am interested in pursuing. I am one of the Coaches at DAM (Dynamic, Athletic, Movement) Sports Fitness and I totally enjoy and embrace training, guiding, motivating, and encouraging people as they strive towards their personal fitness goals. I train alongside other competitors in DAM and advise and encourage them based on my own stage preparation and practical experiences.
Having a solid spiritual foundation, knowing your why, and learning to love others while respecting yourself are some of the keys to a fulfilled life. Longevity is a gift from God. But practically speaking, whether young or more mature, everyone should exercise daily, eat for longevity, rest for mental clarity, hydrate for better health and take good care of their skin.
BEN: Fantastic words of wisdom. Rema, what a pleasure it has been getting to know you a bit more and watching you inspire on the IPL stage. I appreciate you and feel honored to have you in the league. Thank you again. Any final thoughts for INSPIRE Magazine?
REMA: It’s been my pleasure! I just want to add the importance of managing stress to my list regarding longevity. Stress will kill you if you don’t manage it. One thing that will help is to accept people for who they are. A leopard can’t change its spots. So, people need to get out of the business of trying to change others to meet their liking. When a person shows you who they are, believe them and move on. Lastly, I have a question for you…When do you rest??? [laughs]
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“Today, as I stand on the cover of INSPIRE Magazine, I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to share my story. I am deeply thankful to the IPL for providing a platform to amplify my voice, allowing me to inspire others by proving that transformation is within reach for anyone who dares to believe.”
“I would have never dreamed this was possible at the beginning of the year! I am extremely grateful to be alive and healthy at age 59! If I can be an inspiration to even one person to not take their health for granted, it will all be worth it.”
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“It’s been a long challenging road, but so fulfilling. I’m loving my journey.”