“I was at dinner with some friends, which is odd for me I usually hit the gym on this particular night, but I chose to go eat with my friends." Mayeux said. “So, the irony of that is that I met my coach.”

Wanda Mayeux met her coach on an unexpected night, but it’s what he told her about competing that really took her by surprise.

“So, I asked her if she ever competed before and she’d never even heard of it and so I just kind of gave her a quick rundown of it, invited her to a competition and she said she was all in.” Hinton said. “Knowing her now, I understand how I just showed her something and she said yep I’m going to do it.”

For eight weeks, Wanda trained and dieted. In just a year, she did something rare in earning her pro-card.

“More weight involvement than just hitting the gym and being laissez fair and casual about it,” Mayeux said. “I was actually on a mission.”

Earning her pro-card in a year is rare, but what’s even more inspiring to men and women in the industry is that she was 50 years old when she turned pro.

“She was a pioneer," Hinton said. "She was literally one of the first ones that started doing bikini and at that age.”

“I found her to be so inspiring to me, so now I travel two hours every day from the Lake Charles area to train with her once a week,” Benoit said. 

The now 52-year-old professional bikini bodybuilder’s why behind her training and competing is so much more than just the bright lights and accolades. 

“I no longer have hyperthyroidism and I’m no longer insulin resistant, so that is huge.”