CS: Tell us what your name means?
RK: Reem is an Armenian name and is quite common in the Middle East. It means Gazelle, which served as my inspiration during my marathon training days. My father is Armenian and Syrian and my mother is an All American girl from Iowa. I spent the majority of my childhood in Kuwait and traveled extensively while growing up.
RK: I spent the majority of my "youth" overseas where women were not encouraged to be competitive or participate in sports. However, I began weight training and running my first year of college (here in the US) as a means of stress relief. Although I trained quite hard in college, I did not have the nutritional knowledge to reap the rewards of my hard work. I enjoyed the feeling of empowerment weight training gave me but felt as though I could never achieve the level of muscularity I so desired (which in hindsight was due to my then aversion to protein). I began to race competitively and did quite well. I progressed into marathon training and enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately, after running the White Rock Marathon in Dallas, I suffered an injury, which forced to me to stop running. Feeling a bit despondent regarding my inability to achieve the coveted runner's high any longer, I decided it was time to delve into my second passion -- body building. I elicited the assistance of some friends who competed in the sport, and overcame my distaste for meat. Low and behold, with the addition of protein and lack of running, on came the muscle. I entered my first show, and took the overall title. I have been fortunate enough to do quite well from that point on. After my first show, I sent my photograph to Oxygen Magazine where I was featured. They put me in contact with a photographer and my modeling "career" has advanced from there. Fortunately, my running injury has healed and I am now in the process of training for a triathlon. My next goal is the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. Fitness is such an integral part of my life and I am so thankful for the opportunities and experiences it has allowed me to have.
RK: I am certain my replies to your questions are a bit verbose, but it gives you something to work with
CS: The Ironman? Wow! But, won't you waste that entire hard-earned hard-body look you've achieved?
RK: I still plan on lifting while training for triathlons to assist with speed and strength. Swimming helps build a strong back and shoulders while my running background has been a wonderful tool in augmenting my leg development. I know I may loose some muscle but the look of a triathlete is something that appeals to me as well. I know it will be a give and take relationship but I think the rewards of accomplishing another goal will be worth it.
CS: You said you were overseas, was that due to your father or was it military related?
RK: My father was a businessman who worked as a CFO for a company that distributed GM cars throughout the Middle East. Living overseas was a wonderful experience but I always dreamt of life here in the United States. I am so thankful for the freedom and opportunity we have here.
CS: Any kids? Or just married?
RK: No children for now, but I get that question a lot from my parents. We plan on starting a family sometime in the near future.
CS: Tell us about the business you two have?
RK: We own frozen food distributorships in Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Chicago. It keeps us quite busy.
CS: Frozen foods? Not ice cream? That's sounds like you don't have time to train with such a big business?
RK: Yes, the business does keep us very busy but I have always made it a priority to get my workouts in (if nothing else for stress relief). Sometimes it may mean making scarifies socially or getting up extra early but it such an important and rewarding part of my life I couldn't imagine it any other way.
RK: I am preparing for a triathlon in August.
CS: Can you give us a little rundown on all the contests and marathons you've done?
RK: Prior to delving into the world of bodybuilding I competed in several races per year and usually came away with a top three finish in my age group. I have run several half marathons as well as the Drake and White Rock marathons. I took the overall title in both the 2000 and 2001 Southern States Classic, won my class at the 2000 Power Shack Classic NPC National Qualifier, won the Midwest Figure Championship title at the 2001 NPC Ironman / Ironmaiden show in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and took 5th place in Nationals at the NPC Team Universe National Ms. Figure show in New York.
CS: Thanks Reem for taking the time to talk with us in-between your busy schedule of work and getting ready for a Triathlon. We wish you luck and please don't tear down that fine Fitness figure competing in those grueling Triathlons because we want to see more of you on the fitness and figure stages going after your pro card. Thanks again and good luck.
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