NPC Bikini | Collinsville, IL
I was a pro cheerleader in Canada during my college days and once I hung up my pom-poms I was ready to try something different and take my love of dance and performing to a new level. I saw a fitness competition and I began following the sport and trying out workouts and diets of some of the top pros. I finally decided to get on stage in 2005 and began training 4 months out from my first show. I walked away with second place in the ‘Fitness America Miss Bikini Florida’ competition, and I have been hooked on competing ever since! Over the years I have modeled in the fitness industry and continued to compete, taking a break here and there to have my two beautiful children. Being a mom has changed my attitude towards competing drastically. When I first started, I was not enjoying the preparation process of competing very much and walking away from a show without a top 3 finish was devastating for me. Now it’s all about balance and having fun☺ Getting back into shape after having children was a huge challenge for me as it is for many women and I have turned my passion for fitness into my career as a Women’s Nutrition Specialist helping other women get fit and healthy.
MY "AHA" MOMENT
In 2009 when I was preparing for the North American Championships I put myself under a great deal of pressure and was working myself into the ground trying to bring my best physique to the stage. I knew that the level of competition was going to be very high and I wanted to bring my best to the stage. This is a very tough sport to participate in, as the judging can be very subjective and you never know what the judges are looking for. I began having a lot of trouble sleeping and I was over trained and overstressed. I seriously contemplated giving up, simply because I was so exhausted and I didn’t think it was worth it. I had a heart to heart with my husband Brett, who has been competing in the sport of bodybuilding for many years. He reminded me that worrying was not going to help me win and that there are just some things that you cannot control. He said all I had to do was just train hard, diet hard, practice my posing and just ‘let the chips fall where they may’. I pushed through my last few weeks of training and walked away from the show with a 1st Place finish and came very close to winning my pro-card. This made me realize that no matter how hard the process is, the grind is worth it in the long run.
MY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
My dad was the most courageous and hardworking man that I have ever met. He taught me the benefits of hard work and instilled in me the “Never Settle” attitude before I even knew what that meant. When I think about missing a workout, I think about how strong and hardworking he was in all aspects of his life and I push through it.
THE NEVER SETTLE ATTITUDE
The phrase “Never Settle” means to me that I will never get too comfortable in any avenue of my life- whether it be my personal relationships, my career, my business or my athletic endeavors. I have always been someone who enjoys challenges and I’m always asking “what’s next?” To settle, in my opinion, is to give up.
Having children is my life’s greatest accomplishment and it has made my experiences competing that much more rewarding. I know that they look up to me for inspiration and I’m helping them learn how to take care of their health and showing them the value in hard work and perserverance. Each time I compete now, no matter what the placing is, I feel that I have won because I feel so grateful for the blessings God has given me in my two beautiful children and that I am able to do what I love to do.
THE THING THAT KEEPS ME GOING
I remind myself that continuing to prepare for shows and deal with all of the preparation and organization that goes into the process that this is a CHOICE and a LUXURY. There is no prize money on the line and the only reason why I continue to compete is because I love the satisfaction of knowing that I was able to set a goal for myself and reach it. Whenever I think about complaining to anyone about the rigors of competing, I remind myself that I chose to do this and I can quit at any time. No one will even bat an eyelash. I’m not going to let anyone down if I don’t make it up on the stage. I do this for me.
THE END GOAL
Masters Bikini, 60+ class….just joking! One day I will walk away from competing, I’m not sure when that day will be, but I will never give up the lifestyle of clean eating and working out. Taking care of my body and helping others learn how to take care of theirs is my passion and calling in life.