Li Ling Cavanaugh, a physical therapist for the city of Virginia Beach, VA, wins 2nd Place at the 2019 National Physique Committee Championship in Pittsburgh, PA on July 18, 2019.
The wife and mother of two teenagers who came in second out of 17 women in this year’s event said that she owes all to her success to her family and friends.
“Words cannot describe how proud and blessed I am to have such an amazing family and great friends supporting me,” Li said. “From early morning workout sessions to the late-night meal preparations. All while working with my own clients, they have been my ‘lighthouse’ on this rocky sea of national physique preparation.”
During the final stages of the competition, she was immediately chosen for 1st Callouts and never to be moved during comparisons, according to her husband and personal coach, Brian Cavanaugh.
“It was a fantastic feeling to see and hear the judges make that decision,” Cavanaugh said. “Li was placed dead center, and she never moved. In the IFBF world, being center means that you’re the one everyone in the seat eyes is focused on.”
Cavanaugh stated that being in the center is what Li trained for all her life. “As a personal trainer, I work with clients from a wide array of fitness levels,” Cavanaugh said. “Yet there is something special about having one client such as Li who wants to take the program and push it towards its extreme levels. Li is that person who wants more and more because; to her, the jobs not done until after the competition.”
Additionally, Cavanaugh stated that Li has reached a point or a level of “self-mastery” very few people have attained.
“Li has achieved and demonstrates what I like to call the concept of ‘Self Mastery, This is the hardest victory a person could have over themselves when obtaining a goal. She has proven time and time again that she could simultaneously be a great mom, an awesome wife, and an international caliber professional NPC competitor.”
There was a moment of sadness and disappointment when she was called for 2nd Place versus 1st Place, according to Li.
“I train to win, I guess I wasn’t what the judges were looking for at that particular moment,” she said. “My team and I offer zero excuses for the year’s placement because we did everything humanly possible for everyone to see the very best version of myself.”
Even though the results were not what they wanted, Cavanaugh saw positivity in the situation.
“I am beyond proud of my wife for dedicating herself 100 percent to this campaign from start to finish,” he said. “I am proud of the elite physique that she has created. I am in awe of how she carried herself like a pro[fessional] with poise, confidence, and elegance. I want to thank and applaud the coaching team that helped Li realize this huge accomplishment and secure 2nd Place at a very prestigious and highly competitive event.”
Li stated that she is already looking forward to next year’s event.
“To place second out of 17 beautiful and determined women is something I am very proud of,” Li said. “It is the absolute best I have ever looked, and this was the result of dedicated, intelligent workouts and judicious nutritional applications. I thank my family and friends for being so supportive in my endeavor. We are already thinking towards this upcoming off-season to make improvements for next year.”