VIDEO: Champion bodybuilder pursues her dream

She's a dedicated primary school teacher, a doting mum and a busy personal trainer, but right now it's time for Asher Prior to chase her dream.

The 32-year-old is on a plane bound for the United States for the biggest multi-sport festival the country has seen since the Olympic Games.

Mrs Prior, in all her bronzed glory, will don a bikini and high heels and stand centre stage to compete against muscle-clad women from 180 countries in the bodybuilding section of the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival (named after Arnold Schwarzenegger).

After taking out the Miss Australia International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness short class figure competition a few months back, Mrs Prior is now "knocking on the door" to get her professional qualification.

It's not all glitz and glamour - the Warrawong Primary School teacher spends hours in the gym, completing cardio sessions before her four-year-old daughter Myalee is even out of bed.

Then it's back to the gym after the final school bell for her weights sessions.

Why does she put her body through such pain - and pass up her favourite naughty foods?

"Because I want to provide that role model for my daughter and the students that I teach and other women as well," Mrs Prior said yesterday.

And on top of that, she has some "unfinished business".

"The hardest part was after I had my daughter and deciding whether it was selfish of me to keep training and chasing my personal goals," Mrs Prior said.

"But in the end, I decided ... what kind of example was I setting for her if I didn't?

"So now I involve her with going on bike rides for cardio and I've done cardio sessions in the hallway while she is in the bath.

"As she gets older we will do more together but for now she just wants another trophy."

Working as a trainer at Ultra Body Gym, Mrs Prior wants to inspire other women and hold workshops for those keen to compete, and others just interested in living a healthy lifestyle.

"Part of the reason I got into it was the whole issue of body image," she said. "You grow up with all those images of stick-thin models and what you're supposed to be like.

"When I first saw a picture of a woman with muscle, shape and so healthy, I was inspired. That's a big part of the reason I do it, to be that role model.

"We need to inspire each other and think about our health and not think about that stick-thin waist."

Despite the stereotypes about women pumping iron, Mrs Prior usually finds people supportive and has picked up many local sponsors along the way, including Aussie Supps Shellharbour.

"Most of the time people are pretty inspired, or scared," she joked.

"They want to know how to eat properly, how to train and what to do. My biggest secret is consistency and kindness to yourself. I think that's where we fall down."

When she returns from Columbus, Ohio, she has a date with Myalee at Hog's Breath Cafe. It will be "burgers and fries" all round.

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