As a kid, I was very active and liked to walk and run everywhere. I was very sociable and liked to be around family and friends. I tried ballet, afigure skating, baseball and soccer but they weren’t really the sports for me. As a teenager, I began to swim. I was more solitary at that time and found it very mind-freeing to get in the pool and swim. I was doing long distance swimming, freestyle. I tried to compete in other strokes but I wasn’t as comfortable as I was in freestyle. When I was stressed at school, I went to swim (more than 100 laps each session) and felt so good afterwards, a free mind with no stress. At the age of 19, I had a shoulder surgery because my shoulder had dislocated often. I had done part of my physical rehabilitation by myself, because at that time, I was studying as a physical therapist’s assistant, so I knew what I should do to recover from my surgery. I also went to physical therapy and began to lift some really light weights to rebalance the muscles and the structure on my shoulder. I had lifted some weights previously when I was a swimmer, but I didn’t really enjoy it.
After the surgery, I wasn’t able to swim anymore. I didn’t have the flexibility and strength to pull my body in the water. So I continued to lift at the gym and graduated to some heavier weights and longer sets. I also began to gain weight (both muscle and fat because since I wasn’t swimming, I wasn’t burning the same number of calories). So I began to do spinning classes, and that I really enjoyed. It was very different from being alone in your head with your thoughts while swimming. The energy from the spinning classes gave me a new motivation to train. I did a lot of cardio and lost the few pounds I gained after the surgery.
At the same time, I decided to get more serious about lifting weights. My body was changing pretty quickly - getting more muscular. Many people at the gym were asking me: “When is your show??” I didn’t understand what they were telling me….What show? I’m not doing any show! They were sure that I was competing. After many years, a trainer at the gym told me that I needed to compete in bodybuilding. He said that my genetics need to be “exploited” because I could be one of the best in the country.
So I needed a challenge in my life and decided to give a try. The first year was so hard, and I wasn’t ready for all sacrifices this sport requires and I quit 2 months before the show. The year after, I decided to give it another try because all the conditions in my life were there to get me to my goal. This time I made it until the end. I wasn’t in very good condition, but I accomplished my goal and I was so proud of myself. My parents didn’t really understand the sport and the sacrifices when I competed that first year, but after that, they understood the daily challenges of getting ready for a show. It’s not only a question of training and diet, but it’s the daily sacrifices and mental strength to achieve the best shape and condition the day of the show, even if the show is 1 year away.
Since my first show, my health always has been very important to me. I’ve researched to learn what I can do to improve myself and to make better choices in my nutrition. I keep training hard at the gym to get those muscles pumped 6 days per week.
I feel cherished to have people who supported me through the journeys that could’ve been a nightmare at times. Friends and family that always understand my crazy lifestyle and are there for me….I feel very lucky to be around supportive people. It means so much to me.
I also want to thank all my fans that send me positive messages and appreciate the athlete that I’ve become.
Thanks to all of you….I love you all!