I am one of those people who will take advice from those more successful than me or wiser than me. I always tell my clients to stay hungry and humble. If you think you know everything or fell like you have reached the top, then you are selling yourself short. There are always people smarter than you, working harder than you, or learning the latest and greatest. I have a couple mentors that I look up to on the regular, and I feel like I have gained so much from them, whether they be in the industry or not. There are lessons to be learned and information to be absorbed no matter which way you look at it. For me, its mostly training, nutrition, and running my own businesses. With the internet and technology these days, we have so much at our fingertips.
One of my biggest inspirations is Rich Gaspari, one of the hardest training men in the game, ever. Any time Rich posts workouts or blogs, I read them over and over, always trying out new splits or methods. He was the first Arnold Classic Champion and has countless other titles under is belt, including runner up multiple times at the Olympia. Putting all of the accolades aside, Rich's philosophy and way of looking at life are something that no one else has, whether in the industry or not. He recognizes and appreciates HARD WORK. He knows what its like to have to work harder than everyone else around you, but that can be carried over to anything in life. Staying hungry is the name of the game; putting more into it than you ever thought you could, and knowing you put 150% into what you do.
Bethany Wagner is another inspiration in my life that I am proud to call my best friend and teammate. Since I first started competing, this girl was there for me to answer any questions I had and lead me in the right direction. I appreciate her experience and knowledge, and even to this day she yells at me at least twice a week for something I am doing. LOL! In an industry like this, there's a fine line when it comes to your ego. Yes, your ego is part of what drives you and pushes you to the next level, but at the same token, if you don't check your ego at the door then you definitely won't last long. You have to be able to ask for help and guidance; there is always someone out there who has been through what you are currently going through. Don't forget the fact that we are all human......
Another huge mentor for me is Bev Francis, who also helps me with my training. Spending time with Bev really opened my eyes in the bodybuilding industry. She has taught me so much in the gym and pushed me more than anyone ever has in my life. When people ask me if I could go down a division, I just say that I am a chick that loves to train hard, so wherever I fall, I fall. Bev is like the mama for all of us girls who train our asses off. She is a born athlete, someone who excels at anything she does, whether its being a track star in Australia or being the pioneer of female bodybuilding, showing how conditioned and strong a female physique could actually get. This woman has taught me so much through our workouts and just chatting it up; she is one of the coolest women I have ever spoken to.
There are heroes and inspiration all around us. You can pick and choose what and who you look up to, but I challenge you to set that ego aside and really look at what people have accomplished and what kind of battles they have fought. There is always something to pick up or learn from any situation, so open your eyes to take it all in. You never know who you could be motivating, so set a good example....train hard, eat well, enjoy the journey, and HAVE FUN!