|Baby SweetCapri with dad|
I have been in the industry for a while now and I've learned that most of us don't just fall into it, but have some sort of deep rooted motivation or reason why we strive to be so dedicated at achieving this specific aesthetic muscular or lean look. I am no different.
I was a very small baby, and to this day I am not quite sure if I was born prematurely. All I know is my mother tells me stories that I was so small they had to use a pillow in order to hold me. Growing up I was also very fragile and not the best eater out. I am not talking about your regular child/vegetable aversion but pretty much a total refusal to eat. I often had to be force fed.
At one point in my young years I developed kidney problems and had to be put on a plethora of painful antibiotic injections regularly. On my butt. Yeah. No fun for a 10 year old. My mother always suspected that I have had undiagnosed thyroid issues also.
Now to think of it, maybe this is why my parents kept me away from playing outside and kept me consumed in academics. I was considered a child prodigy and was reading by the age of 2, and learning how to read and write in Russian (where my mom had spent a few years of medical school) by 4, and at that same age I had begun school, except I wasn't in Kindergarten but immediately skipped to the 2nd grade.
Needless to say I was always the youngest and smallest throughout my entire school years.
|SweetCapri with her first little shrimp in 1996|
I was running track and after every practice we had the choice to hit the weight room. I was familiar with this and often found myself to be the only girl in there really interested in the weights.
Being in the track team with my upbringing and my parents' ideals of being a lawyer or a doctor did not sit well. They tried everything possible to block me from participating in the track team and attend practice. It wasn't until the intervention from my high school principal happened that they backed off. Just a little though.
Even though I was still the youngest and smallest (and still the most fragile) petite person in the track team, I felt strong inside. I felt empowered and that's a feeling that can't be replaced.
And here come the college years! Woohooo! Imagine a 16 year old left to wander a college campus all on her own? Freedom!
The first thing I did was find where my gym was. I was often the ONLY girl in the sweaty-college-dude ridden gym. I didn't care. I was religious about my weight training routine, even though looking back, half the time I had no idea what I was doing. I stayed pretty active with my love for training. Dieting or eating healthy was not a concern of mine at the time. Hello, I was in college! I actually had a pretty large appetite but never put on much weight. I was still tiny. But, I did have a big booty. (Thanks ma!).
|Stephanie & Jamal :)|
Like most women who have children and who gain a little weight there was a point where I wasn't happy with my body. I decided to take charge. I found a local gym that, in addition, had an indoor playground and activities for children. This made working out easier and a family event. As my children grew older and attended school, I eventually found another gym where I could go on my own and do my thing. It was such an amazing experience. To me it was my "me" time. I felt strong, empowered, and by the time I went home I had more energy to deal with the daily challenges of being a mom.
|My daughter and the night before |
my first show in 2003
|My first competition in 2003!|
|My daughter and I during my |
2009 contest prep
|My last competition in 2011 in the Master's division|
So there you have it, the full story of how I got into fitness. I've been competing since 2003 and I have loved every single minute of it (carb depletion included).
|My son and I after my 2011 competition with TWO trophies!|