- 2015 NPC Jay Cutler Baltimore Classic: WPD, 3rd place; WBB, 1st place
- 2015 NPC Nationals: WBB LW, 1st place and Overall Women’s Bodybuilding Champion
I began lifting weights and training heavy in college about three years ago. Over time it just became part of my daily routine. I loved going to the gym and eating healthy. When I met my husband we started training together, and that’s when I really began training heavy and pushing myself. I took each workout more seriously and focused on constant progression, as well as eating right to support my goals. However, it wasn’t until I attended the Baltimore Gladiator Classic in March of 2015 that I decided I wanted to compete. I had watched Kris compete and followed the sport through him but when we went to this show something changed. Seeing others display their hard work on stage lit a fire inside me. It ignited a burning desire to test my own limits and get on stage myself.
After that, my husband introduced me to David Johnston, one of the few people he said he trusted that would look out for my best interest as well as push me towards my goals. Shortly thereafter I began working with David on my nutrition, and training legs with him every other Sunday. Every other Sunday turned into every Sunday, as I trained with two of the Team Warrior Within men, Hank Fitzpatrick and Mike Taylor, and they just motivated me to keep increasing my weights and push harder than ever.
To me, bodybuilding is much more than something I do. I love the pain of an absolutely insane training session and thrive on the sacrifices that you must be willing to make in order to reach your goals. Following a plan has always been easy for me because I am one of those people who is motivated by goals and am willing to do whatever it takes to achieve and destroy them, and I won’t back down until I am done… and that will be a long time from now…
I found out about Team Warrior Within through local friends talking about the team, all of the advertising at the Gladiator, as well as Kris knowing David through GEAR’D Up and several bodybuilding outlets.
My prep was done by David Johnston who worked tirelessly to ensure I was the best “me” possible come show day. He was the most supportive, positive and encouraging coach and mentor I could have ever asked for, and I truly feel blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to be one of his clients.
My training days with David were nothing short of hell. Each and every Sunday I would lace up my leg day sneakers and prepare for battle. Every session he would come up with something new that would just destroy my legs. It never failed that I could barely walk until the Wednesday following training.
David gave me the confidence to put weight on my back that I never would have considered in the past and working with him was the best type of challenge any competitor that truly wants to excel would welcome. You get a sense of satisfaction from knowing you have a trainer who genuinely cares about you as well as your success. Changing and tweaking the programs and workouts to the individuals who are there, as well as pushing each person to achieve their goals. David is one of those people who also educates you as to why you are doing something, he doesn’t just bark orders at you (well that’s not true; he definitely does bark orders when you are training, but you aren’t going to question those orders because you know they are going to get you to where you want to be; so you’ll just shut your mouth and do the work because the weight isn’t going to move itself!).
I could sit here and list a million things that were hard throughout the prep for my show, I could tell you all the gritty details from Kris having cancer and undergoing a liver transplant, to having an emergency surgery the day after, the whole recovery, going back to work and Kris being readmitted to the hospital. Missing our honeymoon for the surgery, then right before Nationals my grandmother passed away. I switched to bodybuilding four weeks prior to Nationals and only competed in one show previously. So you could say there were many difficult tasks that I had to overcome throughout the prep, however the hardest part was controlling the guilt I felt for spending so much time at the gym and prepping my meals instead of being at the hospital caring for Kris.
Being at the gym and training is a passion, meal prepping and following that plan is easy and it is not optional to not follow it if you truly have your sights set on a goal, and the cardio, well that you can always make time for if you really want it. I could have quit at any time, and I could have just threw in the towel, but I wanted to succeed and I wanted to prove to all those people that say you can’t, that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Being a teacher I try and teach my students that it’s okay to not be the best, but it’s not okay to not try, quitting gets you nowhere, but you have to know your limits. Nothing can stop me now.
One sentence that Kris muttered to me after coming out of the emergency surgery on July 7th when I jokingly told him I might not train that day (I already trained in the morning though), “We are NOT quitters.”
Know your goals and your limits. Do your research and ASK QUESTIONS. Prepping for a show is not the easiest and is definitely not for everyone, but if you are ready and motivated you can definitely succeed, but use those resources and people around you to support you and encourage you and do NOT be afraid to ask for help.
During this prep, I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to and that strength truly comes from within. When you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give there is always that one last rep that you can push out when you dig deep enough. It’s like training to failure and when you get to that last rep when you feel like you can’t go on, you go blank, and nothing else matters, you give one last push and you know you have accomplished your goal. I’ve learned that when I dedicate my sole focus to something, just like getting that last rep, I can achieve far more than I ever thought possible. I know that I am a warrior and I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
There are so many people that deserve thanking, from my husband who was my rock and support through everything. He pushed me in ways he doesn’t even realize. His strength and passion are what got me started, and his love for the sport and for me are what kept me going through all of this. My friends and family who were supportive even though they didn’t truly understand or love what I was doing but continued to support me and encourage me every step of the way. My entire TWW family that has supported and motivated me throughout this entire prep, whether it was training together in the gym, posing together, or just chatting after training, you all kept me going in the dark times. Most importantly, David for giving me that chance to become the “freak” that I wanted to be, without you and your crazy ways and methods I could not have accomplished all that we did this season. I am truly grateful for everyone that is a part of my life and has helped me in some way throughout this process. I definitely could not have done it without any of you.
Moving forward I plan to grow, and use my IFBB pro card! I would love to compete as a female bodybuilder as I love the conditioning that is necessary to compete in the division. So for now we will continue to put on some size and see what happens. Working with David I know we are just beginning something amazing, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we also have a lot of time to achieve these goals…so what’s next for me will begin a new chapter in this story that has just begun. As good as it has been thus far, it is only going to get better, and I am excited to see where this journey leads.