Bodybuilding has been my main priority for most of my life. Getting bigger, fixing weaknesses, healing injuries, getting lean, posing, all of it. From judging, expediting, competing, prepping clients, competition tanning, hair, makeup, you name it, if it's for stage competition, I've done it and had been for almost two decades.

After turning Pro, and competing in my Pro debut two weeks later, I had planned on doing one IFBB Pro show after the other but I couldn't re-engage. I just didn't want to do it bad enough like I had before I earned the "card."

It was time to try something new. My favorite part about bodybuilding has always been training. The stronger I got, the bigger I grew. In 2012 I started Mountain Dog training with John Meadows. He trained at Westside for a long time and there is a strength component to these training programs. The stronger I became, the more I loved the training. Those that have been following along know, I started lifting weights to grow muscles to be strong enough to protect myself from extreme bullying. John’s bodybuilding training was helping me grow in many ways. John would ask how my training was going and I would tell him the weights I was using. To prove it, I sent him videos. We started posting them. Before that, I really hadn’t realized how strong I was. I had always compared myself to males. Even when I played soccer, I went to the boy’s camps because the girls were “boring” to me. John was the one who showed me I was actually “strong.”

After attending the 2018 Elitefts Summit at Ohio State University, I got to go to the compound and train with Traci Tate and she beat the shit outta me. Another epiphany!  Powerlifting chicks are strong! Maybe I should be one. She wasn’t just strong physically (especially after not training consistently). There was a strength inside too that I saw and admired. She was tough but nurturing. Something different about her. I was drawn to her. “I want to be like Traci Tate.” My husband's response, “who? I like you the way you are.” “No babe. Traci is different. Her head and heart are strong too. I want to be like Traci.” So, I contacted Dave, “I want to compete in powerlifting.” Dave’s response, “are you sure you’re not just motivated from coming to the seminar and training at the compound?” “Absofuckinglutely.” It was time to take my strength to the test.

My friend Sherri Wethem helped me find the USPA local Chairman, Rich Ficca and he linked me up with everything I needed to move forward. For the next 14 months, I followed a powerlifting only program that didn’t include much hypertrophy. My size dwindled and so did my strength. My injuries also worsened.  During that time, I went onto submerse myself in as much education in strength training as possible and I came to two major conclusions for me. In order to grow in strength, I need hypertrophy. In order to grow muscles, I need strength training.

During the time between my Pro debut and my competing in four meets my first year, there was a resounding voice from people, "she used to be a bodybuilder." Like it is now a thing of my past. As if I have retired, unofficially. It started to feel like other people had retired me. Now, I'll admit there is a lot about Bodybuilding competitions I do not agree on. I've referred to it as the "traveling circus." Which it is, and I am one of it's attractions. First of all, it's not a sport. It's an art. But, it's my art and my first true love. Why do I have to give it up to compete in Powerlifting? Who says so? What if being a Bodybuilder also will make me an even better Powerlifter? It's something to consider, right? I mean it took me a very long time to obtain the elusive Pro card. Very elusive for Female Bodybuilding as it was being castrated. I just got here. I don't intend to leave just yet. Especially now. And especially since I truly believe it will help me grow stronger. 

Following the 2018 LTTX seminar at Elitefts, I began shifting my focus to Conjugate training. Nate Harvey’s book, Conjugate University has been one of my greatest resources. Now, I’m able to focus on strength moves and still incorporate hypertrophy training. Doing both has helped me to gain weight. At 200lbs my leverages have also improved. My numbers are up, and I feel great, except that I get winded easily. My conditioning sucks and not all the weight I’ve gained is muscle. However, the muscle gain I have achieved in the last few months has ignited the bodybuilding spark again. So, I have decided I do not have to choose. I have been a Bodybuilder my the majority of my life. Why would I stop just to be a Powerlifter? I love both! I am both! I will compete in both! And, I’m really fucking excited about it!

I’m also excited to announce that my friend, mentor, and teammate, Justin Harris of Troponin Nutrition will be programming my nutrition. Justin and I met on the message boards in the early 2000’s and he coached me from 2002 through 2008. We have been friends for almost 20 years. This makes this transition even more special to me because he is in my corner. He knows me and my body and has a brain so big I don’t understand how it fits in his skull. I’ve been very fortunate to work with the best in the industry to make me the best in the industry and I refuse to take any of it for granted.

We will fuel me to continue gaining strength and muscle mass while dropping body fat. This will require creative training programming as well, which I will be programming myself using the Conjugate Method with a large Mountain Dog influence. I have adopted some new strong family members, the Ironbound Barbell Club in Tampa, Florida who will also be mentoring me. Andrew has already made adjustments to my techniques that have already improved the efficiency of all three lifts. I'm very excited to see with his guidance, what I can do.  I’ll be competing in November in my next Powerlifting meet and I have very lofty goals. I plan on hitting a 1300 total before 2020. Then, the IFBB show I’ve decided to compete in first is the Puerto Rico Pro/Am in May 2020. My goal here is to be the most muscular American Female bodybuilder in the IFBB. My placing isn't actually of much importance. Looking the way I want to, is. With the support I have, I know I can do it. It would be lazy for me not to.

I’m very grateful to all my supporters and strong family that have encouraged me along the way. I could never do all this alone. Hopefully, I can ignite a flame inside of you too to find out what you are capable of! I’d really love to know about it so I can support you back.  As always, thank you all so much for following along and reaching out to tell me I need to keep going. It helps! Please, continue to tell me what you would like for me to share with you.  We are ALL STRONGER TOGETHER. Live. Learn. Pass on.