Since I was young, I was a natural-born athlete. I played softball and basketball, but later found my true passion in running. My love for the sport carried on to my high school years where I joined the cross-country team; and excelled doing so. For 3 years it was my life: I ate, slept, and breathed it 24/7.
However, once senior year came around, I became aware that I developed a hip injury after only my first meet. This left me heartbroken, knowing I would not have a chance at scholarships, or even living out my passion for the sport just one final year.
Long story short, my hip kept me from being the runner I once was. But behind the scenes, God apparently had other plans for me.
Through relentless therapy sessions with trainers and weights, He opened my eyes to a brand new world: the world of bodybuilding. The more I researched it, the more I became intrigued. I started reading up on pro figure and bikini competitors, using their exercises to build my own routines, and cleaning up my diet. Before I knew it, I had practically become my own personal trainer, excited for the future gains I would see and enjoying the windows of opportunities this sport was already bringing my way.
Working out is a passion God himself has blessed me with and I know it would be for shame not to put it to use in a positive and impacting way. It's no longer just an obsession of mine or a hobby I pursue- it's a complete way of life: one that incorporates every aspect necessary to excel.
So when people see me busting my butt day in and day out in the gym, turning down alcohol or question why I refuse to indulge in certain foods, I don't tell them that I can't. I tell them that I won't. Because the truth of the matter is that I could if I wanted to. But in all honesty I'm too in love with my God-given passion and lifestyle to do so. I wouldn't have it any other way!
Since day one, I've never been one to follow the crowd- I've always insisted on paving my own path. So knowing that I'm part of a minority is enough to keep me motivated. Although this isn't just any minority, it's a small group of men and women out there who take the time to train, nurture, and truly know their bodies inside and out. Not abuse them, as so many do these days. To me, being able to be comfortable in my own skin is a success.
Yes, I realize I have countless improvements to make; and yes, I also realize that I'm nowhere near knowing all I need to know about this lifestyle. However, I'm on my way. And at the end of every day I can take pride in being able to comfortably look in the mirror without critical thoughts shooting down my own reflection (as many teenage girls and women alike tend to do). This to me is motivation. This to me is victory.
After a couple months of training, I witnessed my first actual figure/bikini competition. From here, my mind was made up: I will compete in my own competition, even if it's the last thing on this Earth I do! I know I have a long ways to go, but my drive is consistent.
My body's far from perfection, but my minds willing to work through all barriers to get there. And with time, I know that my dreams will become my reality.
I hope to enter my first Figure Competition this coming up year. But this will primarily depend on sponsorships as I'm only a broke college kid after all!
Beyond this, I have tossed around the idea of fitness modeling, and wouldn't be opposed to it. Alongside of competing, I could also see fitness modeling being a new goal of mine as well.
Your body is your canvas ... So paint what you want to see.
Oh gosh I could name hundreds, but I would have to say that my top five are Pauline Nordin, Larissa Reis, Dana Linn Bailey, James Ellis and Zuzana Light. They have all, in some way, inspired me to keep my drive alive regardless of surrounding negative influences.
I'd say I use about 50% of the features on BodySpace. I love updating my Fit Status, Current Supplements, Gallery Pictures, and even BodyBlog when I have a free moment. The Personal Info and Background feature provides a great opportunity to share my testimony! Also, the "friends" features are very useful too, as many other fellow bodybuilders, fitness fanatics, and aspiring workout junkies remind me daily that this journey is not one to walked alone.