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Contests 2009-2013


North Americans 2013 Photo

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NORTH AMERICANS 2013

Pittsburgh, PA

This year, Chris decided it was time to do a bigger show. Get out of the state level contests and jump into a bigger pond. He told me that I work so hard to compete, that it would be better if I actually tried to compete with a larger group of women, like on a national stage vs. a state show where only a few girls are likely to show up. So, I set my sights on the North Americans. I had 3 goals: be in better conditioning than I was last year when I won the overall in Maryland, beat my old contest weight of 180 for the past 2 years, and the ultimate goal would be to not come in last... to beat one girl on stage so that I know I belonged there. After 24 weeks of prep, I ended up in the best conditioning of my life, I weighed 174 the morning of my show, beating my old contest weight by 6 pounds, and I broke the top 10 my first national show and came in 9th out of 15 girls.... so I blew away all my goals, and declared this a HUGE WIN for ME!!!

2012 MD NPC SHAWN RAY CLASSIC

Rockville, MD

In 2012, I decided to do the MD again. I have to admit that I was disappointed in my conditioning last year, as I won the heavyweight division, but lost the overall. I definitely had a lot of obstacles the year before, coming off of surgery for my shattered C6-C7 vertebrae, and starting that prep, I was very weak and had a huge imbalance on my left side. So this year I wanted to come back in much better conditioning and see what I could do. I had some distinct advantages, as I was NOT recovering from having surgery for a broken neck. But it was also the first time that Chris would not be available to train me every day. So I was on my own. My only other challenge I had was that immediately after the 2011 show, I did have a torn forearm that kept me from training upper body for 6 months, but, I doubled up on my legs this time around, and think the results were worth the extra effort. I had a good friend of mine, Maria Acevedo Holt do my diet for me, and while I wasn't crazy about the food, I cannot complain with the results. The worst part, though, was the last 2 weeks.... EVERY MEAL was salmon and asparagus... as in EVERY MEAL, ALL DAY... 84 meals total... and the kicker?? I HATE salmon! But I did it... if that's what I needed to do, then I did it. I won the heavyweight this time, AND the OVERALL! A first for me, after doing 4 shows!!

2012 MD NPC Shawn Ray Classic

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2011 MD NPC

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2011 MD NPC

In 2011, I had a LOT to prove. My last show was in 2009, and I stepped on stage in terrible conditioning. And in 2010, I had surgery for a shattered vertebrae, that left my left arm very weak and numb. There were a lot of things I needed to modify in my training for a neck that now had a cadaver bone, 4 screws and a plate holding it all together. The newest challenge had been that now I was prone to muscle spasms in my lower back that seemed to bother me whenever I trained legs. But Chris was with me and he was determined to help me get healthy after surgery, mainly, getting my strength back to my left side, and compete and be in great shape... to redeem myself after my 2009 show. I had a 16 week prep, and Chris to help me with every single workout, slowly getting my strength back. Until I started that prep, I had not been back in the gym since my surgery in November 2010. It was now May 2011. The show was in August. In the end, I looked better than I had imagined. I had definitely improved my conditioning from my show in 2009, but still hadn't quite matched the leanness I had in my first show in 2007. Still, considering that just 8 months before that, I had surgery on my neck, I think I did very well. It was very disappointing losing the overall that year, but all things considered, I was happy with how things turned out. I won first in the heavyweight division once again.

2009 Mid Atlantic Regionals, NPC West Virginia

2nd Place, Heavyweight Division | 2nd Place, Master's Division

In September 2009, I returned to the stage to compete in the Mid Atlantic Regional Bodybuilding Show.  I had a long break between shows, and quite frankly, I did not understand fully what I was supposed to be doing off season.  I made MANY mistakes.  Mostly, I had NO plan.  And I allowed myself to gain too much weight.  I decided to compete again this year to force myself to get back in shape.  It worked, but it was tough!  And my prep was anything but smooth.  I started in February hoping to have plenty of time to get ready for a July show, but it just wasn't in the cards.  I had wanted to do the Master's Nationals, and simply put, just wasn't going to be in the shape I needed to be in for that caliber of a show. 

So, I regrouped, and set my sights on the MD NPC again, held in August.  About 3 weeks out from that show, my training partner ruptured his aorta and nearly died.  My heart was no longer in it and I pulled out of the MD.  I had SO many mixed feelings about finding another show to compete in.  Part of me just wanted to scrap the whole thing, but then, when I thought about how many hundreds of hours of cardio/training I had put into this, I hated just quitting.  Also, my training partner was still in the hospital, and I needed a way to deal with the stress I was feeling with him trying to get healthy again.  So, I poured myself into training and set my sights on the Mid Atlantic show, scheduled for September.  I was determined that no matter what, I would end my prep with this show.  By now, I had been in "prep" for about 9 months, and my body, and my mind, was just totally spent.  Looking back, I probably should've just not competed, but with so much work done in prep, it seemed a waste not to compete.  But my conditioning was not good at all.  Still, I finished, and that was really my only goal that year. I placed second in the open and the masters divisions.

2009 Mid Atlantic Regionals

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Every show, like a race to a marathon runner, has a personal goal. For me, my goal has never been to win. It has always been to finish, and to show up and be competitive. My first show, the MD NPC in 2007, it was all about getting there, and fulfilling a life long dream. This year, my goal was to get back into contest shape and show up in better shape than I did in my last show. Well... that didn't happen. Truth is, I wasn't going to be in as good shape as before. But there was something more important this time. It was about finishing something ALONE that I had started with someone else. To keep going, no matter what. And to prove that I was capable of finishing this out on my own. It was an emotional time for me. I was missing my partner, and I was so lonely. But I kept going.

I took second place in both the Master's and the Heavyweight divisions. I looked at my trophies with a combination of pride, relief, and shame. Yes, shame. I was ashamed that I was not in the best shape I could have been, or in the shape I had planned to be in.... But, I remembered something a former trainer of mine once said.... Zoa Linsey, a pro bodybuilder out of Canada, told me once, "Everyday, give 100%... but realize that every day, that 100% is going to be different." And that is what helped me accept my second place trophies with dignity. No, I was NOT in the best shape... but I gave 100% of what I could under very trying circumstances. Bodybuilding shows are a competition, but not necessarily a competition against others on stage with you. It is a battle within yourself, your mind. Was there anyone on stage with me that had lost over 100 pounds, waited 24 years to start living the dream, and had their training partner nearly die a few weeks out from contest?? Definitely not. I GOT to the stage.... THAT was my winning.

And now, I am fueled to BE better next time... I don't just want to get there, don't just want to be competitive... I want to see great changes this year! I have a very structured off season that I am planning on following, and I am learning to think of myself as an athlete all year round, and not just 24 weeks out from a show. I'm going to give my 100%, and hope that this time, it is more than the last time!