Part 1


Let's start from the beginning.

I grew up on a lake, Harvey's Lake around 20 miles from Wilkes Barre in Pennsylvania.  You wouldn't have recognized me in high school. I was so, so skinny! I was, though, on the Home Coming Queen court and was the Prom Queen in 1982.

I graduated at 107 pounds dripping wet. I was in almost every sport that you could possibly think of; field hockey, basketball, softball, volleyball (we won States), but I really excelled in track and field (winning the State Championship for the Javelin). I even tried cheerleading and band. They didn't take.

I excelled in sports, because my parents were musicians. I wanted nothing to do with music (unfortunate I guess).
I joined every sport our school had to offer.
It was rough growing up in a toxic situation where every evening the band would show up in the living room and rehearse.

This was from the beginning days of getting into a gym (for the first time). My first bodybuilding show, I won, the Ms. Anthracite! After I graduated in 1982, I worked in a nightclub called "The Station" in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. We had to wear a french maid's uniform with 6" heels and a pushup bra with that tiny little black and white outfit. I met and fell for one of the bouncers at the club (this is how I ended up becoming a serious bodybuilder). I was always an athlete and always very competitive. Bodybuilding was right up my alley. I was suppose to enter my first contest with my bouncer beau, but due to an injury, he backed out, and I pushed forward. Lo and behold, I won my first bodybuilding title, the "Ms. Anthracite Overall".

At some point, I knew I needed to put on more muscle. I started powerlifting and doing strength shows. I was strong as hell and had endurance to boot. I started doing covers of magazines, winning prize money, and feeling extremly powerful as a women.

I did well. I won the Women's Extravaganza Strength Show in 1987 and placed third in the physique and won the strength show in 1989 and tried again after having my daughter in 1990 - placing 2nd.

After those contests, I trained with the world-renowned powerlifter, John Kuc to put on some more muscle mass. I looked really stringy on stage in that first contest and definitely knew I needed to put on size! My idol at the time was Rachel McLish. I was trying to emulate her physique. Three months later, I entered the Ms. Pennsylvania. I was hot now.... on a roll (ego so big I had to leave PA and head to the mecca of bodybuilding).

These photos below were when I finished competing and won the Ms. Los Angeles, Ms. Reno, Ms. California. Below, I was getting ready for the Nationals.

Best of luck to those of you giving competition a try!