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Being a mother of twin boys, Monica has found the desire to go farther in the sport of Figure. Monica started competing in 2009 at the NPC Oregon Ironman placing 2nd and has placed top 5 in every show she has entered since then including a top 5 spot at the 2011 Team Universe. Monica's physique has also earned her a spot on the Champion Nutrition team representing their products. We expect to see some great things from this young lady as she is in preparation for the 2012 Emerald Cup!

1. When and why did you decide to start competing?
I began training with my coach, Kristi Tauti, IFBB Pro/Team iPhysique in July 2008. I knew she also trained figure competitors, but I was only interested in losing the famous "5-10 lbs" and getting myself in shape. She would periodically mention competitions to me, but I would only respond with, "No way... you're not getting me up on that stage" and "I don't want all that muscle", also "I'm not willing to diet that hard". Then, bikini was introduced. She dangled the carrot, telling me I wouldn't have to diet too hard and that I wouldn't need to get as lean as the figure gals. I grabbed it. I had so much fun with the training, posing practice and all the beauty workshops. My first show, "Oregon Ironman 2009" was terrifying. I was shaking like a leaf throughout prejudging. But the evening show was a blast! I was hooked! I got 2nd place. Which was great. I was about to turn 43 years and I had beaten ladies in their 20's. After that, Kristi suggested Figure and I haven't looked back. I've competed in 8 figure shows since then. I feel blessed to have placed top 5 in every show, including my first National Show, Team Universe, 2011.  I laugh when I think about how hard it was for me to get on that she can't keep me off!

2. What makes you want to go farther in the sport?
I think what drives me to go further, is the idea of pushing myself... asking more from me. I KNOW I've got more to give. Every year/season I find out something new about who I am and what I can accomplish. I've often been heard saying that I didn't desire/dream of a pro card....but who am I kidding? I want that pro card! I also look at the example I set for my 2 boys (8th grade identical twins). They're going into high school next year and they need to know that if you want something bad enough, you have to really work hard at it. I feel that what I'm doing is a perfect example of working hard for what you want.

3. What type of training do you implement during contest prep and the in the off-season?
Off season, it's about changing my physique as much as possible... growing. That includes extra calories so that I can build. That also goes with lifting heavier weight to increase muscle size as well. During contest prep, the calories come down. The training becomes more about sculpting and defining the muscle... while still trying to keep as much of the size as I can. Cardio becomes a big play during contest season. Although, I try to keep it a regular part of my life in off season too. It makes it easier to keep it going if I don't lessen it too much. I love trail running so cardio for me all year around isn't too hard.

4. What is your favorite type of dieting meals and what is your favorite type of cheat meal?
I think my favorite diet meal is my steal cut oats. I just love them. Fortunately, I don't lose that meal until competition week (salt). I love it so much, I keep it all year long. Salads are another great meal. I just load up on the veggies with my protein of choice and keep it easy. Off season I get to add some fruit.  I would say my favorite type of cheat meal is "Breakfast" with friends/teammates to celebrate a show. It's no fun if it's not a celebration. I love waffles and pancakes....wish I didn't...but I do! Did I mention shortbread cookies too?

5. Who are some of the people that have helped you along the way to get where you are now in life or in the sport?
Of course, first in my life, would be my parents. They always instilled in me that hard work pays off. In this sport, that would be my coach, Kristi. Without her, I never would have even considered this sport. She's been amazing. Not just as a coach, but as a mentor and a great example. I would also have to thank my husband, Thaine for supporting me through the highs and lows. When I win, he's there to jump up and down with me and let me know how proud he is, and when I don't place as high as I would have liked, he's there to say, you'll get it next time and that he's still proud of me. He understands the demands of my training and doesn't try to make me feel guilty. Thaine is a triathlete, he understands that it's necessary to work hard and that diet is important. He doesn't always like my diet, after all, he's taking in 5K calories against my 1600.

6. Who or what inspires you to strive for more in the sport?
I think that my coach and my team inspire me to strive for more. I can't imagine quitting and not being a part of such a fantastic sport. I'm surrounded by fantastic ladies who look amazing. Seeing what they can do makes me want to push harder. I train with 2 great women, Paisley Miller and Tiffany Strader, that don't let me take it easy. And I don't let them take it easy either! We're all there as support and a gentle reminder of what our competition is like. We've learned not to take anything for granted. I also enjoy that other people, not in the sport know who we are and love what we're doing with ourselves. I run into several friends and parents of other children at sporting events that tell me how inspiring I am to them. They've seen my pictures and posts in facebook. That feels great, to know that you can affect people in such a positive way. Also, last year I competed for a sponsorship at the 2011 Emerald Cup from a supplement company called "Champion Nutrition" and won. Since then, Champion Nutrition has joined up with Team iPhysique and I've been helping to promote their products with local vendors. I feel inspired to represent the company as best I can.

7. What is next for you as a competitor?
Currently, I'm training for the Washington Emerald Cup. I'm excited to be a part of it. It's always been my favorite show. From there, it's Nationals. I'm currently looking towards Team Universe and Masters Nationals. After that, I would love to get involved with a company, supplement or clothing line, that celebrates women my age. Most spokesmodels are in their 20's early 30's. I would love to see someone in their 40's show that life's not over. We don't have to resort to the tummy tucks and lipo to keep ourselves looking healthy.

8. What is your favorite memory good or bad while prepping or competing?
My first National show is a great memory. We were fortunate enough to have our coach with us the entire time. It was as though we were holding her hostage. We were driving around New Jersey and Hobokin like a bunch of tourist. We laughed a lot and freaked out a little, especially since we were depleting and coach was 7 months pregnant! We had 2 adjoining rooms that felt like we had our own dorm. It was priceless!

9. Any website you would like to plug, facebook, twitter, personal site, etc...
Please visit my Facebook page for more information and photos.

10. Anything you would like to say to all the visitors to NPC Oregon?

This is a great sport. These athletes work hard to achieve their results and I've never met one who wasn't willing to help out another achieve theirs.




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