LEE’S COMPETITION HISTORY:

 

  • 3rd Place “Bikini” Nabba Jozi Classic 2014
  • 1st place “Toned Bikini Division” WPF Regionals 2014
  • 2nd Place “Figure Division” WPF Nationals 2014
    Invited to Represent South Africa at the WPF World Championships Slovenia 2014.
  • 1st Place “Miss Body Beautiful Fitness” Body Beautiful 2014
  • 1st Place “Miss Toned Bikini Extreme Bodies Champion” Easter Rossi 2015
  • 1st Place “Miss Fitness” IBFF National Launch 2015
    Invited to Represent South Africa at the IBFF World Championships Slovenia 2015
  • 2nd Place Toned Bikini U1,65 Rossi GrandPrix 2015
  • 2nd Place Fitness Bikini U1,65 NABBA Pretoria Classic 2015
    Invited to Represent South Africa In the NABBA WFF Universe France 2015
  • Top 5 Placing Fitness Diva U1,62 WBFF Spectacular 2015
  • 2nd Place Body Fitness IFBB Boksburg Classic 2015
  • 3rd Place Body Fitness IFBB H&H 2015
  • 2nd Place Ladies Figure IBFF Nationals 2015
  • 1st Place Fitness Bikini IBFF Nationals 2015
  • Overall Winner Ladies Athlete IBFF Nationals 2015
    Invited to Represent South Africa in the IBFF World Championships Italy 2015.
  • 3rd Place Toned Bikini Rossi Classic 2015
  • 1st Place Performance Figure Nabba Nationals 2015
    (Invited to WFF World Championships 2015)
  • 2nd Place Fitness Bikini IBFF Universe Italy 2015
  • 3rd Place Ms Figure IBFF Universe Italy 2015
  • 2nd Place Fitness Model IBFF Universe Italy 2015
  • 9th Place Athletic Figure Nabba WFF World Championships
  • 2nd Place Body Fitness IFBB Muscle Mulisha 2016
    (Invited to Arnold Classic Barcelona, Spain 2016)
  • 1st Place Ladies Physique IFBB Provincial Championships
  • 1st Place Ladies Physique under 163cm IFBB National Championships
  • Overall Winner Ladies Physique IFBB National Championships
Lee’s Stats:

 

DOB: 27/03/1988
Weight: 60 kg
Competition Weight: 55
Height: 157 cm
Nationality: South African
Division: IFBB Ladies Physique under 163cm
“Number 24!”
Sweat on my skin, heat in my muscles, tense, my heart racing, I feel it; excitement, strength, anticipation.
“Number 25!”
shifting on my feet, waiting. A collage of sound; cheers, screams, applause, the beat of a popular song pounds through the room, I feel the vibrations through the stage.
“Number 26!”
My breath is coming faster now, adrenaline rising, I feel the thrill of fear, it doesn’t matter, I raise my head. Stairs. Climbing.
“Number 27!”
I step out. Lights, blinding, a sea of faces, flashes, cameras, eyes upon me, my time, my universe, my celebration.
I take off my mask.

 

stage-empty

The Rhyme and Reason:

 

If you had told me a few years back that I was going to be strutting on stage in nothing but a bikini and heels, I would have told you to get your head examined. I’ve always been shy, quiet and awkward, avoiding large groups of people, the skinny girl picked on throughout school, confidence? What was that?

I spent  most of my school life being unwell, after that I remained underweight,  my health hitting a serious speed bump a few years later resulting in a number of unpleasant surgeries. The only form of exercise would be running which I used to clear my head.

However in 2013 I developed a heart condition which stopped me from being able to do any form of extended cardio.

 

The complications which followed led to a number of painful realisations about what matters when everything is stripped away. My health was degrading, there was so much I wanted to still experience, I was so afraid of change, of uncertainty, of feeling helpless and betrayed by my own body.

Lee Binks Fitness Logo

It was about that time that my  boyfriend and I sat down and took serious stock of the situation. Life can be short, but no matter whether it lasts a week or a year becomes irrelevant when weighed against what you fill that time with. Everything had to change.  He suggested that I start training with him, he did a lot of body weight training and in martial arts and we agreed that I would begin joining him. I wasn’t too sure I would like training but I resolved to give it a try.

It was a lot of hit and miss at first, finding what exercises I could safely do, our greatest concerns being avoiding my being injured and not pushing my body too hard. My health was a constant concern as we experimented; trying a number of different things before settling into Calisthenics as my primary form of exercise.

It was difficult, sometimes painfully so, my progress was almost impossible to gauge at first, but  small achievements and milestones slowly turned into larger ones, I  soon realised that I actually really enjoyed it. I demanded more from my body and my body responded, It became something I looked forward to, giving me something to focus on, a point of release.

As I continued to challenge myself, my body began to adapt itself to meet that challenge. Due to the costs of gym memberships and equipment I couldn’t afford to train at a gym so I trained at home in a spare room using monkey bars my boyfriend welded across the ceiling and cement weights for dead-lifts and squats.

It wasn’t perfect certainly and didn’t have all the fancy machines a proper gym would have but it made me happy and became my little escape. Over the course of the next few months, our little spare room began to take on the appearance of a strange little gym, with equipment either salvaged from scrap yards, cast off by family or friends and in most cases; built ourselves we gradually began to acquire the makings of our own training space. My training routine had now advanced to Calisthenics and Martial arts supplemented by Rock Climbing and Kayaking.

After a few months of training someone suggested that I enter a competition, it was the furthest thing from my mind at the time, but we agreed that I needed to face another fear of mine and get on stage, crowds always frightened me and I certainly did not want to be judged by a roomful of people, each critiquing everything about me, but once you start moving the only way to go is forwards or else you slide backward

I didn’t know what to do or expect but I was going to try it, it was something new and another challenge to overcome. The Nabba Jozi Classic was my first competition and a huge learning curve for me. I didn’t know what I was doing, arrived with completely the wrong tan, a homemade bikini and absolutely no posing practise, it was a recipe for disaster that I was to blind to even see. The women competing where, beautiful, curvy and long haired, I was short, gangly and bald. Yet somehow, and I’m still not to sure what the answer is, I came in third place.

People often talk about turning points in life, moments which change and define them. I would later realise that this was one such moment.  It gave me the confidence and drive I needed to carry on pushing, to know that even with my different look and out of the box character I could still do more than I had dreamed. I could still stand on stage and be different and weird and do my little dance and trip (which I regularly do) and yet still be accepted.

After Nabba I went onto compete in WPF Regionals where I placed 1st and then Nationals where I placed second and was invited to compete in Worlds. Towards the end of 2014 now, I had gained almost 10 Kgs in weight and I was actively pursuing more and more difficult exercises and had even been asked to consider becoming the South African Representative for the “Kingz of Calisthenics” following a video I released.

Then to top off an already extraordinary year I entered Body Beautiful. I had no expectations going in as I didn’t think I had the right look and still felt too skinny at the time. Life can surprise you when you open yourself to the possibility of it, I won First place in the Fitness model of the Year category, I was Miss Body Beautiful Fitness 2014.

I don’t know what about me changed in the course of that time or when exactly it happened, I am still shy, still different and know that I have my difficulties, yet when I step onto that stage, everything fades away, I couldn’t put it into words; but my boyfriend has a theory on it; which he told me;

“When most people get on stage they put on their mask, their stage face, they do what is expected of them and play the part that they feel they should. When you step on stage, you don’t put on a mask, you take the mask off, I have never seen you so comfortable in yourself, so happy, so exhilarated, so confident or so in your element. Who you are on stage, that is who you really are Lee.”

There is something in that which I’ve come to realise is true, when I am on stage or training, I am not an awkward, sickly, skinny girl anymore, when I push myself and break my limits, when I stride boldly out of my comfort zone and embrace each new challenge, I am no longer defined by my health, my circumstances or my obstacles. For those moments I am everything I ever wanted to be but was afraid to be, I am perhaps for the first time; me.

Since then things have snow balled, gaining a sponsorship from an incredible company like Biogen and becoming an ambassador for Just Physical gym which has allowed me to work on a few problem areas which our home gym wasn’t able to help me target (YAY! leg press machine!) Though I still train at home the majority of the time because the truth is, my rock through this entire journey has been my boyfriend, who has supported, believed in me even when I had doubts and pushed me out of my comfort zone.

So the one thing I will carry on doing is training with him by my side because nothing would have been possible if he hadn’t believed in me, to him and all the incredible friends I have made in this industry, you all inspire and drive me & I look to the future with joy and anticipation to watch us all grow from strength to strength. I don’t know what the future holds but as long as I am able I will continue to chase my horizons, I will, shatter my limitations, I will break all boundaries.

I will Take Off My Mask.

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