When I came to Freak Fitness, I was 20 years old and had only 4 months training under my belt. In my initial consultation, Darren and I set our sights on Figure but I really wanted to compete in Physique. I promised him that I work be fully committed to the process and he told he would everything in his power to help me achieve my goals.
Well, we found out quickly that we worked very well together. Under Darren’s guidance, I worked as hard as humanly possible and set my mind on competing in Physique and over the next year my body blossomed and I won my first show at a shredded 118 lbs at 5’3”. I was beyond proud of myself and thought I was jacked! It was also on that day that I told Darren I wanted to win the coveted IFBB Pro card!
So I did what any ultra-driven Freak would do and competed in every show I could from that point on! I had a mission and no one, not even Darren at that point, was going to stop me from achieving my goal as fast as possible. 4 weeks after my show win, I went on to place 3rd at an IFBB Internationals Events Qualifier and 4 weeks after that I won my class at the Provincial Championships. But it was after the Provincials where I felt defeated. I didn’t win the overall and I was mad at myself!
After a few deep conversations with Darren, he helped me see this as not a sprint but a journey to grow. And grow I sure did! Not only did I grow, but I improved on my already great conditioning and came in even more conditioned at 132 lbs, putting on 14 lbs of lean mass in one year! We surprised everyone, even ourselves! I knew then that with Darren BESIDE me every step of the way I knew I stood a chance on a bigger stage. I knew it was time for me to compete in two of the largest amateur events in the world, the Arnold Amateur and IFBB North Americans. With Arnold's being beginning of March I had some time to grow yet again where I needed to refine and define. I never would have thought that I continued to add yet another 13 lbs of more lean muscle to hit the international stage at 145 lbs.
My mind getting the better of me again, I struggled everyday preparing for the Arnold. I put too much pressure on myself and feel I fell short by placing 6th among 26 amazing women. That moment forward I told myself no matter what show I was going into I will go in with confidence and not worry about anyone else, and bring whatever I could and that was that. I'm sure I can speak for Darren as well when I say that we gave it all we had for my North Americans prep, a show that was just a few short months away.
500 is a number I will never forget. After I got off stage at North Americans, first thing I did was call Darren, and all I said was “I did it”... He knew exactly what had happened. We did it!! That night I not only won my IFBB Pro status and but my win was a special win for Freak Fitness! It is a moment that I relive almost every day because it the day that I not only accomplished my goal of becoming an IFBB Pro, but I helped Darren and his wife Christina accomplish their benchmark goal of 500 top 3 client placings!
From day 1, Darren believed in me, which is something that never changed. It was hisbelieving in me that helped me believe in myself, and only then was I able to achieve what I always dreamed of. Darren is much more than a coach. He is a mentor, a friend, and someone who will always be there!