I was born in 1973 in a small town in New Jersey called Harmony! I had
one older sister at the time soon to be joined by four more, 2 more
sisters and 3 more brothers! I grew up in a very large household you
My father was and still is a minister and my mother was
always there for us, as a stay home mom ...the hardest job in the world
I must say! Of course, over time the family has expanded. I now have
3 nieces, 1 nephew and one on the way.
Many ask how I got started in bodybuilding. Well, you
have to go back to the beginning at the age of 7.At this age, I started
competing in my first sport, and that was swimming. I was a very, very
skinny kid, mind you! I did not do too well as a swimmer, until I was
14 when my body started to develop. I became very good at the breast
stroke! I received many awards as a swimmer after the age of 14. I became
the strongest breast-stroker on my team, eventually. I was also a good
free style swimmer. I continued to compete in swimming all the way until
the age of 18. After the age of 18 and while home for the summer from
college , I coached. I did this for three years.
I went to a small private Christian high school in Pennsylvania.
There I started to play basketball, soccer and track. I tried one year
of volleyball... but it conflicted with soccer. Basketball became my
love! I found it was a sport I was good at. I ended up holding the record
for the most steals (over 500 career steals, and most career points..
825). I was a two time MVP as well.
My plan was to go on and play in college. (by the way
on a side note, I anticipate both of these records to be broken soon
by none other than my super talented younger sister Elizabeth). At this
time, we did not have a women's soccer team in high school, so I played
on the men's team. I am not an advocate of women playing on men’s
teams, but I had to do it in order to be able to play in college.I had
several schools look at me for basketball, but I really wanted to go
to a Christian college and I knew Liberty University had a Division
I women's soccer team as my sister played her freshman year! before
other responsibilities with her major caused her to have to quit.
I walked onto the soccer team and received a scholarship
to play. I played a bit my freshman year, but as you know most freshman
don’t get to play much and I was playing as a wing which was “my position”
as I was fast.
One game my sophmore year early in the season, our fullbacks
were not doing so hot. I begged the coach to put me at full back...I
played my an awesome game that day. The coach came up to me and told
me I found my place on the field. I ended up starting as a full back
my sophomore through senior year. I was tough and fast which made me
good back there. My dad taught me never to cry on the field. NOR was
I ever to stay down no matter how bad it hurt! He taught us kids to
be tough! ( Although he was a gentle father) During my years of soccer,
I endured three knee surgeries, but never missed a game! I received
the award for defensive player of the year my senior year. I played
with a fantastic group of women! It was while I was in college as a
soccer player, that I first began lifting weights.
All growing up I had a muscular build, although very skinny.
In college I found I liked training and started the desire to be a bodybuilder.
I wanted to look like Lenda Murray or Cory Everson. When I graduated
and moved home, in 1997 I decided...time to do it kid! I started training
and in 1999 I did my first NPC show, the WOMEN’s EXTRAVEGANZA as a middleweight
of about 124 pounds. I took second. The next day was the NPC East Coast,
where I again took second to Mona Caravetta who went on to take 6th
the following week at the Nationals. However, I met a wonderful man
that day, STEVE STONE, who to this day remains a friend. He took me
aside and said, the reason you took second was because of this, this
and this. I said “OK, I now know what to do for next year!” He said
“NO, do it all this week and do the Eastern USA next week in NYC.” So,
I did it. I did what he said, and came in to win not only my class,
but also the overall.
I was thrilled. My goal was then to come in the next year,
2000 as a lightweight. I figured I was 124 but could have been tighter
and make 118. So I met with my new trainer at the time, Pat Grieco.
And my goal was to do the 2000 East Coast again and win this time. At
the same time as he was getting me ready, he was getting Mona Caravetta
ready for the Nationals. So we were dieting together, etc. At 6 weeks
out from my show, I thought, “Hey I am qualified for the Nationals,
Why not just do them.” We ran it by my trainer and he said, “WHY NOT!”
I did the East Coast coming in the hardest I ever was and then went
on the following week to the 2000 Nationals in NYC.
WOW! I WAS IN AWE! Here I am on stage with the best in
the nation. I just hope to make top 15!! I was just there to get the
experience. I had no expectation... We walked on stage, did our 60 seconds
and our quarter turns. Imagine my excitement when I was the second call
out. I was sure they called the wrong number. But there I was, standing
there good enough to be in the top 5.
At the night show when they were announcing the winners
...and they called third place, and I was still standing there. Me and
Jen Lupi... I was dying inside, excited, but hoping I didn’t win, as I
was not ready yet to be pro. I took second. A very exciting second place
! I decided to try again in 2001. In 2001, I ran into the problem of
being too big now to be a lightweight and having to suck down too much.
It hurt my conditioning and I took a very deserved third place.
People say I was robbed, but I totally disagree. I was
not the best that day. 2002 I had to go up a class to middleweights.
I went into this show same as 2000. I just wanted to break top 15 as
I was new to the middleweight class. Taking 4th that year was thrilling. I
came back in 2003 to do the USA’s and the Nationals, but by this time,
my body was begging for a rest and it just didn’t come in as it should.
I took a humbling third to 2 great competitors.
One, being my best friend, Heather, but it taught me to
listen to my body. So, I decided to skip the 2003 Nationals and just
concentrate on training, not dieting. It's been during this offseason
that my body is growing the best, and I am mentally the best I have
ever been and I started powerlifting. I have hit some pretty big numbers
for me. My goal for 2004 is the APA Meet in May for powerlifting and
for bodybuilding is the Nationals in November and to hit the stage hard
with the best body I have ever had !
I hope all my offseason training and focus brought it
all together. I hope to be harder and finally have the legs to match
the upper body.So that is where the story ends right now, but does not
mean the end of the story! In the last few years I have learned a lot
about me, and about life! I am not only physically stronger but mentally
stronger! Lets see how that plays out on stage!