A former collegiate track and field athlete specializing in high and triple jump, I began seriously weightlifting just over a year ago. After graduating and ending my track career I found myself unsure how to approach the weight room. While I had always been very active and enjoyed doing so, I had also been very closely monitored and coached; I knew what to do, but without guidance I didn't know how to do it.
Graduating in 2008 and ending my track career I slowly fell out of shape. Though I still went to the gym I gave up lifting - which had been a central component during my time as a college athlete - and became a cardio queen. A poor diet and a lack of real motivation caused my once fit frame to gain twenty pounds and three sizes. I worked out with little return and felt defeated which caused me to have little dedication to working out regularly.
Eventually I became more serious about my eating (due initially to a beach vacation) and found that with a little extra effort my body responded well. It was about this time that I began doing a bootcamp which relied heavily on bodyweight and resistance exercises. My body changed even more and I began doing research and getting more serious about returning to the body I knew I had.
A friend and personal trainer convinced me to try fitness competing knowing I had a competitive nature as well as the understanding of what dedicated training would entail. I entered my first NPC bikini contest last year and developed a lifting plan with a trainer's help. Adding in weights changed my body dramatically and I began to get closer to my track athlete body. I looked good, but most importantly I felt good. I was hooked on that feeling.
Now, a few competitions later, I am not only nationally qualified as an NPC bikini competitor, but I would consider myself to be in the best shape of my life. I've come to a place in my life where I can now say that I lead a truly fit lifestyle rather than simply being someone who works out.
Why I Love it
I love working out because it makes me feel strong, confident and proud. I have confidence not only in the way my body looks, but with the realization that it is so extremely capable. Through my dedication I know that I can handle pretty much anything that comes my way. This has made me stronger both physically and mentally.
Additionally, I enjoy competing because I am competitive both with others and myself. While I enjoy winning trophies and strutting on stage, I most like seeing where I can take my body. There is something very rewarding about looking in the mirror and not simply liking what you see, but know that you created the reflection looking back at you.