Photography by James Patrick
If there’s one athlete who doesn’t sweat the small stuff, it’s our May/June cover star Callie Bundy. Callie’s sports career began as she was selected for college-level softball, and she eventually progressed into the world of bodybuilding, satisfying an undying call to compete in as many places as she could. She secured her IFBB pro card, but for this all-American athlete, competing on stage just wasn’t the same as on the field. “After five years on stage, I just wanted to do something athletic again—I really missed sports,” Callie explains in her interview with STRONG.
Pivoting to the pigskin, Callie channelled her softball skills into football, and posted a video of herself throwing a football to her IG account in 2016—it was met with some criticism. “Everyone was saying how terrible I was—and yet they were all still there, still watching. And they’re still watching today,” she says.
It’s this attitude that reminds Callie not to take anything too seriously, and it works to her advantage in an environment that can sometimes be harsh. “The internet is like an octagon: if you’re going to enter it, you’ve got to be ready for anything. Everyone wants to go viral, but until you actually get that level of attention, you have no idea what it’s going to be like and, usually, it’s mostly negative. Luckily for me, I’ve never really cared what other people think,” says Callie. “But I’ve found the more I’m questioned or receive negative feedback on something, the more sure I am that I’m on the right track.”
Here, we dive deep with Callie to find out exactly how she deflects negativity, her advice for women in sports, and her favorite fitness go-to’s. (Full disclosure: she wants you to know her favorites can change with her mood!)
STRONG Fitness Mag: Negativity is rampant on social media. How did you develop such thick skin?
Callie Bundy: It’s kind of just who I am innately. I would say dealing with negativity on social media just affirmed that, and that was in fact who I am. It doesn’t mean that it’s easy all the time, but ultimately, I understand it’s just how people operate. I think it’s impossible to get the good without the bad, but that shouldn’t stop you from being you.
SFM: Do you have any advice for women in sports?
CB: Playing sports is a privilege, and no one owes you anything. If you want it, go out and work for it every day, every practice, every game, every opportunity. It will be over before you know it, and a lot of the time, we don’t get to decide when, so make sure you give it everything you’ve got. Sports are special—we don’t get to redo them.
SFM: What does "being courageous" mean to you? How can someone develop it?
CB: [Being courageous means] putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable, again and again and again. [It means] failing hard and not letting that stop you ever, no matter how many times, no matter how much it hurts. KEEP GOING.
SFM: Do you have any future plans lined up in fitness that you can share with our readers?
CB: My app is dropping soon! It will be filled with my philosophies on fitness and wellness, and it’s meant for real people, who are busy, with lives, jobs, kids, etc. It’s something you can stick with, not a fad or “six weeks to shredded” app—it’s about being in it for the long haul! You can check it out at https://www.calliebundy.app/pre-sell1591298000073
Your most burning questions for the sports queen herself.
Favorite athletic apparel company: Reebok
Favorite workout song: “Wherever I May Roam” - Metallica
Go-to post-workout snack: Six Star Whey Isolate in chocolate with almond milk and a banana
Favorite way to recover after a workout: Massage and sauna
What brings you joy: The journey of constant improvement
Which do you prefer:
Push-ups or squats? Squats
Chocolate or wine? Chocolate
Cardio or strength training? Both!