Bodybuilding doesn’t define me, but it most certainly is a very big part of who I am as a woman, an athlete, an entrepreneur, a fighter, a hustler, a survivor. The path I have walked my entire life is one that is paved with very difficult challenges which I had to work hard to conquer… From Karate to Ballet to a Mechanical Engineering degree to Bodybuilding to taking up CrossFit… each of these things involve putting in a lot of work… countless hours upon hours of focused, detail oriented work.
My first karate class, I learned how to do a front kick… just a front kick which in Japanese is mae geri keage (snapping front kick). For one hour, I practiced that kick. I was 7 years old and that was my first real taste of life. What an experience. Sometimes in life we have to do one single thing over and over and over until it is perfect and then what happens next? Well, do it on the other leg of course! and after that? do it faster, do it while transitioning from another stance, do it while hitting a still target, do it while hitting a moving target… So, you get my point right? and this is how my life has unfolded before me.
Bodybuilding was very similar for me. I started lifting 20 years ago. I studied magazine articles and stared in awe at the fit women I would see in the gym. I had a long way to go, but I knew it would take a dedicated effort and I couldn’t miss scheduled gym sessions. One summer that I was home from college, I used to walk a few miles to the gym if I missed the bus or couldn’t get a ride. I would be totally drenched in sweat and exhausted by the time I got to the gym, but that didn’t matter to me. I wanted to look like Monica Brant and would stop at nothing to get there. For those of you who may not know who Monica Brant is, she is the most photographed woman in fitness. She has been featured on more magazine covers and in more advertisements than any other woman in the world of bodybuilding and fitness. Please, allow me to share THE PHOTO that kicked my butt into high gear…
So, I ripped this photo out of a magazine and taped it onto my wall. This was my motivation then and I still absolutely adore her physique to this day.
I will never forget my boyfriend at the time saying to me, “You know, you have a really good shot at looking like Monica some day. Your body types are similar. Even though she is taller than you, your structure is almost the same.”…. Are you kidding me? That was all I needed to hear. The bodybuilding addict was born!
For years, I would lift weights 5-6 days per week… I did a little cardio, but not much and if I only had time for weights or cardio, but not both… I always chose the weights. It was a love affair between me and the weights, especially once I started to see results.
Now, I still love my weights, but a few years back I did start to notice that I wasn’t as enthusiastic about my training. I was bored working out alone and I was not enjoying staring at myself in the mirror every which way I looked in the gym. At this time, I started dabbling in other types of training such as Boxing, Powerlifting, Yoga and CrossFit. The latter of this list has really captured my heart recently. I love the constant new challenges and I love working out with a supportive group… but don’t get me wrong, I will always be a bodybuilder at heart. So, while I may not train like the bodybuilder I once was, it is a very big part of who I am. Right now, my fitness goals are different… and that’s ok.