-Buns & Barbells Athlete-
How long have you been in the fitness industry: I started playing sports at age 5 and continued being an athlete throughout high school. I became interested in weight lifting in middle school and have been in love with it ever since!
What are your current goals and what are you doing to reach them: I am finishing out my master's degree and hoping to continue my education toward a PhD in the future. As far as fitness goals, I am hoping to compete in the near future and break out of my shell on stage! I've always been extremely shy, and the fitness industry has allowed me to open up and share more of my personality. Right now I'm working hard to ensure that I bring the best possible package to that show, whenever that may be!
Favorite athlete: Courtney King and Taylor Chamberlain are two girls who I deeply admire. Courtney has such a beautiful personality and she is so down to earth but has also achieved so much as a young woman. Taylor carries herself in such an incredibly way and has accomplished so much in her career. Both women are humble and kind, and provide more to their following on social media than simple selfies. They educate and motivate women and provide support, which is what I hope to achieve through my social media platforms.
Other hobbies: I am a movie FREAK, I can't even have a normal conversation without quoting a movie at some point or another. I'm also strangely talented at memorizing rap lyrics immediately after listening to a song. I also genuinely love learning, so I am always reading books and journals or taking classes, and I hope that yearning for education never goes away.
How important is fitness to you and how has it impacted your life: Fitness is more to me than just going to the gym or competing. Fitness saved my self-confidence and self-love. I was never comfortable in my body before I started weight lifting. At first I was too curvy, and then when I lost weight I was too thin. I based my self-love on what others thought of my body. Then, I found how much I loved lifting. I loved getting stronger, both mentally and physically. I finally appreciated my body not for what it looked like, but for what it could do. The gym is my safe haven. No matter what is happening in my life, the gym is a place where I can go and let go of any fear, anger, sadness, etc. This lifestyle is going to allow me to one day run around with my future children or grandchildren. This lifestyle will allow me to have adventures and be youthful even when my age says otherwise. Fitness and health is so much more than being shredded, it's about taking care of your mind, body, and soul so that you can truly live life to the fullest.
I've been active since I can remember, and I've participated in so many different types of sports that it has given me an appreciation of the many ways a person can be fit. I played softball for over 10 years, some volleyball and basketball, and even dabbled in cheerleading. In high school I went through some difficult times regarding my self-love and self-worth. I was told I wasn't attractive enough and that I would be better if I was tall, changed my hair color, and skinny. I threw myself into cardio for hours a day, 7 days a week. I ate nothing but salads, dropping my calories significantly, thinking that this was the way to get that person to love me. After leaving that relationship and years of learning about myself and finding my confidence again, I am back to loving my body.
I found weightlifting back in middle school, but developed a true appreciation and passion for it along with a love for bodybuilding, during my senior year of high school. The gym was no longer a place for me to burn off calories and thin myself down to please others. The gym became a place where I could challenge myself and become stronger in more ways than one. I learned about the body as well as the nutrition side of bodybuilding.
Throughout college while studying psychology and Spanish, I spent more time in the gym than I did anywhere else. I got a job at my school's gym which is where I met so many great friends who taught me even more about the industry and even encouraged me to compete. After graduating, I became a group fitness instructor at the same gym. My goal is to motivate others to challenge themselves, which is why if you attend one of my classes you will hear me saying "Push yourself!" over and over again.
I also enjoy educating others about health and fitness, as the myths that are out there can be so wrong and so destructive. After three long years of graduate school, I now have my M.Ed as well as my B.A. in Psychology. Education is so important to me and I believe it is important to have multiple passions. My passions include fitness, health, psychology, behavior, among many others. Currently, I plan to work toward a personal training certificate as well as a nutrition certification. I am looking forward to having more time to pursue competition goals in 2017 as well as spend more time with friends and family.
-Buns & Barbells Athlete-
Hometown: Concord, NC
How long have you been in the fitness industry: I was a gymnast for years, then fell in love with volleyball and I have now been in love with fitness industry for 10 years! Can't believe it!
What are your current goals and what are you doing to reach them: Major goal: to earn my IFBB pro card in the Women's Physique Division. I will compete again in April to re-qualify for the national stage and would love to go back to Jr USA's in Charleston, SC In May. If I don't get it there I plan to compete at Jr Nationals a couple weeks later in hopes of earning it!
Favorite athlete: My husband. He is good at everything he does and works super hard for what he wants. Haha but no, really, he is. If I had to choose another one it would be Juliana Malacarne, the current Women's Physique Ms. Olympia.
Other hobbies: Business! I love small business! Currently working on my own venture! Drinking black coffee on my porch with my Rottweiler, Axel Rose.
How important is fitness to you and how has it impacted your life: Fitness is a way of life for me. It is a part of me now and my life wouldn't be the same without it. When I was a young gymnast I quickly learned respect, discipline and time management. I also learned that nothing would ever be handed to me. I had to work hard for the things I wanted. That has carried over into every aspect of my life, and now those principles are carrying me as a work hard to reach my goal of becoming a Women's Physique IFBB Pro.
I am a gymnast turned volleyball player turned women's physique competitor at 26 years old. While managing and marketing a Medical Spa full time, I still makes time to "Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire." While working hard to make my dreams come true in the fitness industry I am also a lover of black coffee, heavy weight, all the food, small business, writing and my wonderful husband. Full of passion for life and a desire to succeed I plan to improve my physique each day and make it to the big league!