Being active has always been a part of my life. I started competitive gymnastics at the age of six and went to practice four days a week. Saturday mornings were not about watching cartoons, instead I was pointing my toes on the balance beam. I transitioned from gymnastics to cheerleading once I entered middle school. I loved cheering and supporting my middle and high school teams and was selected All-American Cheerleader every year that I was eligible. This allowed me to perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. Both of my parents were always very supportive and attended every meet, game and competition.
I was honored to cheer for the UNC Tar Heels my freshman year of college, but then decided to focus on my studies for the rest of my college years. After graduation I missed performing and being athletic so I tried out for the Louisville Wildfire, the dance team for the Arena 2 Louisville Fire football team. I danced with them for two years, in addition to a year with the ABA Louisville Colonel’s basketball team.
I have always loved to work out and people in the gym would often encourage me to enter a figure competition. I had watched several of them, but just didn’t think I had the time to do it. On May 23,2006, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer. (My father passed away my senior year in high school). My parents were very involved with the community, setting goals and striving to be the best. After settling her estate and cleaning out my parents’ house, I decided it was time to do something for myself.
With seven weeks to train, I entered my first figure competition in January 2008. I didn’t tell any of my friends where it would be because I feared I would walk away with the ‘certificate of appreciation’. To my surprise, I won my class. And I was hooked. I went on to do seven competitions that year, and ended up with four first place awards. Mid-way through the year I watched the fitness category at a national show. The people sitting around me were amazed at the skills of the competitors. I thought to myself – “I can do that. I can do that also!” As soon as I got home, I emailed my coach and said that I wanted to be a fitness competitor.
I remember the first time I tried to do a back-handspring. I hadn’t done one in years. I placed my cell phone at my heels so that if I fell on my head I could easily call 9-1-1. I said a prayer to God for my safety. I threw it and it looked good. My first fitness competition was in June 2008 and I have loved every minute of it. Being a fitness competitor has allowed me to set goals for myself and accomplish things I never imagined could have happened. I am amazed at the skills I still am able to perform and have been blessed to meet some amazing people on my journey. Others have taken notice, have been inspired to see my changes and have sought advice to create their own healthy lifestyle. This is one of the main reasons that I became both a certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach.
I competed for three years on the local and national level. While I loved being on the stage, I found that in order for me to be successful, I had to dedicate 100% of my time to preparation. In 2010, on Valentine's Day, I went on a date with a guy named Milton. Seven months later we became engaged. Six months later we were married. And five months later we (well I) became pregnant with our first child. I am now proud to be a mother to Maximus and he is my pride and joy. I've exerienced the frustrations of losing that pre-pregnancy weight and wanting to get back to my old self. I've found a new purpose of helping mothers and working women still make fitness a priority in their lives.
I look forward to seeing what else God has in store for me and look forward to being a role model and advocate for health and wellness in our community. I strive to improve my fitness skills, gain exposure in the fitness modeling arena, train clients through personal training, improve lifestyles through wellness coaching, be a community spokeswoman for healthy living and motivate any and everyone that crosses my path!