Carla began her athletic competition at the age of ten. Her first sport was gymnastics. Carla then expanded her scope to include speed swimming and synchronized swimming.
After graduating college she continued to compete in synchronized swimming events, winning the gold medal in the 1977 Junior National Team Championships and a bronze medal at the inaugural National Sports Festival in 1978. She was about to retire from competitive swimming in 1979 when, at the suggestion of sports writer Steve Wennerstrom, Carla decided to enter the upcoming "Best in the World" women's bodybuilding contest. Although she had never trained for the sport, Carla placed fifth in a field of 45 entrants.
In March of 1980, Carla began to train seriously as a bodybuilder. She continued her winning ways by taking the next three major professional championships, making her the Grand Slam winner of 1983.
A consistent top placer, Carla then proceeded to add to her collection of titles including the 1984 and 1988 World Professional Mixed Pairs title with partner Tony Pearson, and competed in the 1984 ABC "Battle of the Superstars" with the likes of Martina Navratilova and Olympic speed skater Beth Heiden. Carla sampled a new athletic challenge by competing in the first three Danskin all-female Triathlon Series races, the first totally female half-Olympic distance triathlons in the world.
Carla has appeared on several talk shows as a spokesperson for fitness including DONAHUE!, Good Morning America, Regis Philbin Show, Sally Jesse Raphael, Nightline, PM Magazine, Geraldo!, Mike Adams "SportsWorld", Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition. In addition, Carla completed a four year stint as a regular cast-member of the very successful show " BodyShaping" on ESPN 2, along with regularly commentating for ESPN.
Using her many years of experience teaching such diverse subjects as yoga, belly dance, interpretive dance, aerobics, guided relaxation for stress management, swimming, weight training and gym safety, Carla currently trains people with a variety of fitness goals at her own 1200 sq. foot "by appointment only" facility.
Carla continues to represent Danskin Inc. active wear, working alongside Nadia Comaneci-Conner and Kerri Strug, as a model and member of "Team Danskin" . She is a fitness competition training consultant, and travels nationally and internationally as Head Judge of the National and International Fitness Sanctioning Body, the founding organization responsible for the "Ms. Fitness USA" contest.