The Talon

Teacher Feature: Karla Bhagwandeen

Ms. Karla Bhagwandeen after a body building competition.

Courtesy of Karla Bhagwandeen

Ms. Karla Bhagwandeen after a body building competition.

Kasandra Palacios, Reporter

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Lynchburg Virginia native Karla Bhagwandeen is not your everyday History teacher. When it comes to fitness and health, Body-Building is what she’s all about!

“I didn’t really have a dream as a child; I just wanted to do something with my degree,” Recalls Mrs. Bhagwandeen.

What started your career with body building?

“Well I wasn’t really good at any sports so I wanted to find something to interest me physically and actually be good at. I also wanted to learn how to be healthy and fit. Diabetes runs in my family along with heart disease so as I got older I didn’t want that to happen to me. That was the reason I started getting into fitness.”

Mrs. Bhagwandeen has taught many different types of classes, not only History. She began with teaching Aerobics then later transitioned into Personal Training. Finally, she went into Body-Building. “It’s a step by step process,” she said,” I didn’t just go to the gym one day to be a Body-Builder.”

Her daily routine is set with getting up and heading straight to work. Later as soon as the school day is over, she heads straight to the gym for about two hours minimum. She heads to the grocery store to buy groceries because she eats fresh every day, then she finally heads home where she cooks herself a meal. Mrs. Bhagwandeen has 5 fresh meals daily causing her to buy groceries every other day. “I get cravings for strange things, not pizza, not soda, not doughnuts,” said Mrs. Bhagwandeen, “…but I crave other healthy things. Before I became a Body-Builder, health was a critical step for me. So I am not interested in sugar, I don’t crave Snicker Bars or anything like that. If I eat something, it is from the ‘Nature’ aisle anyway.”

What are some of your milestones?

“Graduating college of course is one of my milestones. I did win First place as a figure competitor and my next step is to try to go pro in Body-building which I will get started on next year. I am a semi-pro Body-Builder now because I do not have massive muscles, but next year my coach will turn me into a real one.”

She’s excited about it because she of course has come so far now, she might as well. “It is a sport, so if you treat it like a sport then you are going to do it the right way,” claims Mrs. Bhagwandeen, “Just like track runners, their goal is to run faster, run in less time, and run more miles. If you do it like a real athlete, it makes complete sense. If you do it because you want to be cute then you are wasting your time.”

Mrs. Bhagwandeen describes herself as aggressively-mild, determined and dedicated. There is no doubt about that either.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

“In Body-Building I am extremely strong and focused. I am also very dedicated to the sport. My weakness is my shoulder injury, but I do not let that become a reason why I will pause my training. I guess that’s another one of my strengths as well, not letting myself get stopped by anything or anyone.”

Can you explain all this fuss about over training yourself?

“In order for growth to happen you must rest. Whenever you are working out you are tearing your muscle. So if you are constantly working out, all day every day, no day off, then you aren’t growing. Rest is very important, that’s when growing occurs,” said Mrs. Bhagwandeen. It would seem that Mrs. Bhagwandeen would be mean or harsh, but in reality, she is very sweet, and calm. If you really must know as well, she plays the violin!

Would you recommend Body-Building to others?

“Yes, of course I would. It helps you understand your body, not just the outward appearance, but the internal as well. In order for you to achieve your exterior goal, your interior has to be working perfectly. And so then, you have better health overall.”

Mrs. Bhagwandeen is a very inspiring and motivated person/teacher. She cares for herself and many of us should follow in her footsteps.

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Teacher Feature: Karla Bhagwandeen