A little about me
I was born in Cabrera, Dominican Republic and raised in San Juan Puerto Rico along with my two older brothers. I was a tomboy, always playing with the boys and getting beat on by them. My brothers and I had some fun putting forks in electrical outlets to see if we could see our skeletons (we were crazy like that).
I was an active child while I was living in the Dominican Republic. I remember wanting to take gymnastics classes, but our financial situation would not allow it and the gymnastics studio was a road trip in itself. So I would try cartwheels and back-walkovers at home and kept myself busy playing games with my two brothers. I have broken my forehead, nose and the list goes on. We had fun!!!
Once we moved to Puerto Rico, I started to play volleyball, a little softball and basketball. At the age of 17, I was introduced to weight training. I remember walking around school with my weight-training belt hanging on my shoulder just so people would see that I worked out. I did not work my upper body that much but I lifted with my legs a lot which increased my quad size dramatically. After moving, my workouts became more sporadic but I kept working out. In college I joined the Army’s ROTC program, which in turn added running to my training. After being in the ROTC for a couple of years, I decided to take a trip throughout the states to learn English. I traveled to New York from California. While I was in California, I remember a couple of people suggesting that I try to compete in a fitness show. I was very skeptical since I did not have any type of dance background to compete. I did not have the mind-set to even think that I could compete in a fitness show. I remember looking at Mia Finnegan's abs in a magazine and I wanted my abs to look like hers.
I moved back to Puerto Rico and in 1995 I started teaching aerobics classes and doing personal training at the gym on a military base. It was there where I saw a poster for the NPC Armed Forces Fitness Championships in North Carolina. I put a routine together and went to North Carolina to compete in my first fitness show. It was an awesome experience! I remember looking at all the girls and I was so amazed by them. I ended up placing second and after that I was hooked.
I decided to try the 1995 Nationals in Chicago. I made the top 35 out of 75 girls. This was the first national show and the IFBB was giving 10 pro cards. Dale Tomita won the show and she was amazing. Once in Illinois, I registered for college and continued my fitness career as well. I did two shows in 1996 and then decided to take 1997 off to work on my physique and routine. I came back in 1998 and realized that the competition was stronger. In search of a pro card, I decided to do all the national shows. I transformed my
body to a point that I knew I could compete with the other girls, but I knew that my routine had to be stronger in order to win a pro card.