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NICOLE DARABI
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After allowing her friend to talk her into a show, she was introduced to a well known Oregon IFBB Figure Pro and was on her way to what she calls a "Wild Ride!" Nicole entered her very first show at the 2012 Seven Feathers Championships and was placed into a very large and competitive class. Not only did she make an impact, she won first place. Nicole now has her sights set on the 2013 USA Championships after a second place victory at the 2013 Emerald Cup, again a very tough class. We just may be looking at another IFBB Pro here in Oregon.

1. When and why did you decide to start competing?
I had a curiosity about competing for a few years. A friend finally talked me into attending the Vancouver show with her last year, and it was there that she introduced me to Kristi Tauti and I knew I was in it for the long haul. At our first meeting I mentioned that I had been involved in the modeling industry for over 10 years and we decided this was the perfect way to merge my passion for fitness and my experience in the industry. Before I knew it I was knee deep in a meal plan and stepped up my training to get ready for Seven Feathers in the fall.

2. What makes you want to go farther in the sport?
I am continually striving to learn and grow from my experiences and more that anything I want to push myself to reach the next level in my fitness career. Along the way, representing a level of sophistication and being viewed as a role model is an extremely important part of the puzzle for me.

3. What type of training do you implement during contest prep and the in the off-season?
Since I have a harder time building muscle I focus of lifting weights 5 times per week and throw in HIIT workouts to keep my legs and glutes tight. In the off season I back off on cardio a bit so I can maintain and build as much as possible, as my coach says, "the off season is when the body is made."

4. What is your favorite type of dieting meals and what is your favorite type of cheat meal?
Because I maintain a "clean" diet year round I'm lucky enough to incorporate plenty of carbs in my on and off season meal plans, I love my carbs! Sweet potato protein waffles with fresh berries or applesauce is one of my all time favorites breakfast choices, yummy! As far as cheat foods, anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, it's become a traditional treat after each show.

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?
My parents are pretty amazing folks who have always supported me and given such unconditional love to our family. The most valuable things I have learned from them are to always believe and love myself, to be a strong and self sufficient person, and to always follow through with everything I do. I treasure my relationship with them, they are not only my parents but as I've aged they've become some of my best friends.

My husband Nima is most definitely my biggest cheerleader and supporter. As many competitors know contest prep is not always an easy task... especially for the people that have to live with us. Whenever I'm doubting myself he's right there giving me a boost of confidence and helps me through all aspects of my life. I feel very fortunate to have him by my side. 

And lastly my coach, Kristi Tauti or "Wonder Woman" as I like to call her. She has pushed me beyond what I thought my body could handle and continues to help me improve wherever I can. Kristi is one of the most positive and uplifting people I have ever known and truly leads be example, our team is extremely lucky to have her as a mentor!

6. Who or what inspires you to strive for more in the sport?
There are so many strong and inspirational women in this industry, not only physically but mentally as well. I look to ladies like Amanda Latona and Nathalia Melo as examples of where hard work and determination can get you in this sport. I'm working toward earning my pro card to have a chance to compete on their level someday and hopefully inspire others just as they have inspired me. 

7. What is next for you as a competitor?
I'll be heading to nationals in Vegas this July. I'm anticipating that I will learn a lot from my experience there which will in turn help me continue to grow and keep moving forward in this sport.

8. What is your favorite memory good or bad while prepping or competing?
It was definitely my first competition at Seven Feathers last year. I kept telling my friends and family, "I'll just be happy if I don't trip and fall on my face on stage!" I ended up placing first out of a very large class, I was shocked and from that moment I realized that I was ready to push myself farther in the sport. 

9. Any website you would like to plug, facebook, twitter, personal site, etc...
You can find me on Facebook

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

If you are new to the sport you're in for a wild ride! There will be many ups and downs but you can't let that get the best of you, KEEP GOING, these are the moments you'll learn the most about yourself. You will be challenged like never before and I promise you it will never feel so good to complete what you set out to accomplish. Lastly, don't ever let anyone diminish your goals and dreams. There will be many people who will never understand what you are putting your mind and body through, just remember this is your journey, no one else's. Have fun with it and your experience will be truly worthwhile! 

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