I finally broke through in competing in my first Ms. Olympia last September, I
took the stage aware and proud of the long journey I took to get there. Much of
that resolve can be attributed to my family, and, in particular, my father, mother
As the daughter of a military dad, I had the privilege
to see and experience different cultures in distant regions of the world while
growing up. As a child of an amateur bodybuilding mother, I learned the basic
principles of conditioning that made me the professional bodybuilder I am today.
As the sister of an athletic brother, I gained the will to compete by always following
By the time I was in high school, I was already
running cross-country and track and field, where I excelled as an all-around athlete
competing in the 100 and 200 yard, 4 x 4 and one-mile relay, and earned a track
scholarship to Eastern Oklahoma State College.
In 1992, I moved
to Oklahoma City and started to lift weights while working as a model for John
Casablancas and other local modeling agencies. Safe to say, my modeling career
at 115 pounds was soon over once my body mass had increased and I had put on 25
pounds of muscle. This transformation I underwent made me realize my calling in
life and my love for lifting weights soon became self-evident.
gym became my home away from home. In 1994, I joined the American Amateur Power
Lifting Federation (AAPF) and gained exposure as a power lifter. In fact, I not
only won my first meet, but I ended up going to both the State and World meets,
where I broke the State and World power lifting records benching 195 lbs. and
215 lbs., respectively. The notoriety I gained at these meets allowed me to make
friends in the bodybuilding community and, by 2002, I followed their encouragement
in competing in my first bodybuilding pageant.
Granted, I had
naysayers. But the doubt expressed by those closest only motivated me more. I
was determined to master my diet and elevate my physique like never before. By
the time I ended up debuting physique at the NPC Oklahoma, where I placed first
in the novice division, I knew I was on my way in pursuing my goal, which was
to be a professional female bodybuilder. My first win, later that year, in the
heavyweight class at the NPC Red River Bodybuilding Classic, only reaffirmed that
I can still remember the reaction of my parents and the
pep talk my dad gave me afterwards in where he said, "You go all the way.
Don't stop here!" I didn't stop. In 2004, I met a gentleman, named Jeremy
Minihan, who saw my potential and helped take me further in my bodybuilding career.
That year I competed in the Junior Nationals, where I placed 2nd, and the Nationals,
where I placed 3rd. In 2005, I gained my IFBB Pro Card by winning the North American
heavyweight class and overall.
Over the years, I've been blessed
to have a great group of workout partners who have inspired and motivated me;
not just as contemporaries, but as friends. I owe all of my hard work and dedication
to them. After taking sometime off, I came back this last year better than ever.
The support I received from my fans could not be more appreciated. I was especially
overwhelmed by the warm reception I received from them when I returned to the
stage at the Europa Battle of Champions in Harford last August, and this enthusiasm
carried itself to the Olympia. If nothing else, I felt like I owed them something,
and this (message) is my way of expressing my most heartfelt thanks to them and
to you. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!