Let's start from the beginning.
You wouldn't have recognized me in high school. I graduated at 107 pounds dripping wet. I was in almost every sport that you could possibly think of; field hockey, basketball, softball, volleyball (won States), but I really excelled in track and field (winning the State Championship for the Javelin . 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).
For a moment there, I thought it was cool to be a powerlifter. I started doing covers of magazines, winning prize money, and feeling extremly powerful as a women. I did well. I won the 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.
I was always an athlete and always very competitive. I was suppose to enter my first contest with my beau, but due to an injury, he backed out, and I pushed forward. Low and behold, I won my first bodybuilding title,the "Ms. Anthracite Overall". Yippee
After that contest, 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).
My best show ever was when I won the "Ms. Los Angeles" in 1988. That was big for me! I was in the best shape ever, and I had tons of support. It was a local show and a big one to win at that time.
Once again, my ego got in the way, and I didn't take the dieting and training too seriously for the Ms.California contest in '89..
I think I was actually burned out and needed time off to tell you the truth. You have to give 100%, 100% of the time or you losel!
I tried to go the easy route this time and didn't win that show. I came in 2nd. This placing qualified me for the Nationals.
Preparing for the Nationals... Who Knew?
At that time, they were drug testing, and I got busted... Yes, me busted!?! What? I didn't get caught for anything serious except for clenbuteral. No. No testosterone, anavar, injectables just a cutting drug from someone who didn't have a clue that this would show up if I were drug tested.
If you were to ask me at the time, I much rather look lean at that weight rather than going in another 25 pounds heavier and losing the femininity. I'm glad I stopped competing. The sport went in a direction I wasn't willing to go to. I probably would have done much better in the fitness competitions nowadays.
There I was, unable to compete in New York City.
I was so humiliated and embarrassed. To tell you the truth, I am actually glad that happened. That was the last time I stepped on stage, and that was the last year that the girls were drug tested. The judging went in the direction of the really huge and hard women. I started heading down that path myself and didn't like the way it was taking away my femininity. I think I made the right decision at the right time. What do you think?
Bodybuilding and weight lifting were a definite stepping stone. I did so many magazine covers and articles. I even ended up hosting (which I loved) dozens of competitions. Now, that was a blast - didn't have to get into competition shape and actually got paid to be on stage.
Radiant Pro - a Woman's Strength Show by Raye Hollitt
I had a passion for strength shows back in the early 80s & 90s. I decided to put on my own production in a Hollywood theatre. The show was all women with 10 girls and 7 events.
The events were 1.) dumbbell walk 2.) rope climb 3.) Ez curls 4.) Chins 5.) Dips 6.) Benchpress 7.) Rings I even rigged rings (like the Gladiators across the stage).
You can find more videos on the video page!
When I lived in Los Angeles (Malibu, the Palisades and Marina del Rey), I always stayed active besides weight-training. I played tennis, swam (alot), took up Eskrima (martial arts) and mostly volleyball.
Since those bodybuilding days, which led into the American Gladiators, I stopped competing and have and will be going for a much more healthy look. I now like being 127 pounds and very toned due to meditation, yoga, hits and ball workouts, spinning and especially snowboarding! You stay pretty lean when you live and work over 6,000 feet of elevation.