Angela is a first time competitor loving and living the healthy lifestyle for herself and her children. She has grown into a strong woman who recognizes the beauty in the female form as a reminder that woman are able to do everything men can do and then some! She is a role model to female lifters of how to embrace the good and overcome life challenges. Angela is currently preparing to grace the stage for the first time at the NPC Warrior Classic in August 2015. Angela’s story is one of honesty, bravery, and love. In the following installment, Angela shares her story with you.
The Road to Finding Me
Having read other ladies’ stories, I found myself stuck. My reasons and motivation behind competing didn’t come from a cute quote from Pinterest. My story felt different: sad and not motivating. When I sat down to write there was really no way around describing some of the things that truly fuel me: pain and bravery. The more I was forced to look into my past, however, the more I realized how much my past is a part of my journey and has shaped me to become the woman I am today. I lift to be strong. I have been raped three times in my life and never want a man to be able to overpower me again. My desire for strength first led me to a dojo in Longmont where I was trained in the original martial arts aspects of kickboxing. I always had a hard time hitting other girls, but when in the ring with a male I had no trouble giving it all I had. I felt powerful and in control; however, mixing these skills with alcohol and emotions eventually landed me in anger management classes where I learned a lot about myself.
I never struggled with drugs and alcohol, but had other addictions such as sleeping, shopping, and craving male attention with a longing for real true love. Taking a weekly class for 9 months with the same large group of women was intense. I remember one teasing that we would all be together for the term of a pregnancy. With all of us there under court order, we were all always there so as not to become in contempt of court. I think it helped the healing of each of us. It wasn't a group of prison thugs; rather it was a group of deeply wounded women and for one reason or another there was more fear than anger in my anger management class. I watched as we all struggled through our addictions and I decided that anything that could alter my mind, drugs or alcohol, would be no part of my life. I chose to become truly sober 3 years 2 months and 24 days ago. I have enough to worry about than to not be 100% available for whatever life may bring.
Entering the World of Bodybuilding and the Lady Lifters
I was friends with several local competitors, Laura and Allen Richards, growing up and seeing their transformation inspired me. I knew after watching my first show in spring 2014 that competing was my goal. I believe everything happens for a reason and everyone is placed in your life for a purpose. I met fellow Lady Lifter Kara Dawdy at Better Bodies gym and asked her to give me a training session. On that Saturday I worked out with her in the morning and she invited me to a Lady Lifters meeting that afternoon in Firestone. I went to Sam's club after our training session and was looking for Protein when Ky and Pedro walked up to me to tell me about the protein they use, RXWhey. Their energy was contagious. I thanked them for their information and although we talked for a bit, Lady Lifters was not brought up. A few hours later I walked into this house and the first person I saw was Ky! I walked right up excited that we had just met earlier that day. She looked at me puzzled and I was sad that I hadn't made as much of an impression on her that she had made on me, until I found out Ky is blind and we all had a good laugh.
I can now say this world of competition that God brought me into has been a blessing. Little did I know those building blocks of that day would bring me so much comfort and joy. I have made friendships for which I am so grateful. I was taken to my first show by another Lady lifter, Erin Baer, where she introduced me to everyone she knew and even got us a backstage tour as well as one of my most precious photos, a picture of me flexing with Jeff Taylor on the competition stage. I knew someday I would be up there. I made friends with and trained with Criselia Rendón. She is little, but she is mighty! I meet new amazing women at every meeting. And now I am honored to say that the amazing couple I met in Sam's club the first day this journey began are now my Coaches, Ky and Pedro Lima of Peak Body Prep. My experience with Lady Lifters has been my joy and my rock. Every time I go to a meeting I am uplifted, encouraged and I feel loved and supported. I love this group of women; they are my inspiration and they are my role models.
Overcoming Challenges and Finding Balance
I worry about my training sometimes, because I have come to realize that in living a sober life I find myself using food as a comfort. I know it only hurts me, so somehow that justifies it. But staying focused 24/7 and not compromising with food is harder than I thought, especially when emotions are involved. I don't worry about the time or the actual workouts, but of me being my own worst enemy and sabotaging myself with food.
Despite my challenges with the competition diet, I think I will always live a healthy lifestyle. I am still figuring out if competing will be a long term goal because of my biggest obstacle at this moment, my home life. I worry when I'm not always attentive to my kids when I am training, so I try my hardest to include them when possible. Right now my main gym membership is the Brighton Rec Center so they can play basketball and swim while I train and they can be there with me. I make sure that I support them in their goals and make living an active and healthy lifestyle a priority for all of us.
My daughter wanted to play volleyball this year, but the rec center didn't have enough coaches, so I actually coached her team. My son played basketball and the rec again didn't have enough coaches so I coached his team as well. Now my daughter is training with Eileen Wells and a group called Forever Fitness at Urban Acrobatics Sunday mornings. She is going to perform at the NPC Warrior Classic in the Jr. Fitness category with me this August. In the meantime, my son is playing Lacrosse and my daughter starts soccer Monday. We are always outdoors, camping, hiking, biking, fishing. In the summer I work out in the garage and the kids play Frisbee with the dogs or basketball in the front yard. We don't go in until its dark. I feel like I have to be the best of both worlds. I have to be able to be active in their lives, promote healthy coping skills and keep up with them in order to keep them active. The gym and shaping my body is the one thing that is for me and only me. My selfish time, but it's also my escape. When I'm dealing with a drug addict in recovery as a life mate and trying to decide if I deserve better or if my kids knew how that would influence their lives, the gym is where I go to clear my head. It's the one place I can gather my thoughts, work through them and breathe. I am afraid of the ‘what ifs’: what if I can't get in good enough shape to compete; but, I'm trying to have faith and determined to try. Only thing I know for certain is I won't quit.
Angela’s Inspirational Advice
“Stay connected. Never stay away too long. This is somewhere you can get poured into and make bonds. Be yourself, be true to you, and take care of yourself always.”