Birthdate: Feb. 26, 1975 (Pisces)
Ht: 5' 5 1/2"
Wt: 146-147 lbs. (competition)
165-168 lbs. (off-season)
A bit about me, from the beginning. I was born in Chicago, IL and after just 18 months moved to Newbury Park, CA with my parents. We lived in the sunshine state for 9 years where my sister and brother were both born. We moved back to Illinois when I was 11 and entering the 5th grade.
(Where one boy used to tease and call me muscles)-
What a foreshadowing that was!
I still live in Illinois not far from my where I grew up, and where my parents still live. There was a time in my life when I was traveling around the U.S. that I would have moved back to California (Venice Beach was the most intising), but once my husband and I became parents I never thought twice about leaving my family. Some things are more important!
Today I am a self employed Personal Trainer and Full-Time mother of two. I have been married for 7 1/2 years and know the meanings of compromise and multitasking! I have a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education (Corporate Fitness emphasis), with a Nutrition minor from Western Illinois University. I have worked in various corporate fitness facilities in the Chicago-land area including managing a top 10 law firm's fitness center for 2 years.
Which brings me to how I found the sport of bodybuilding. I have always been athletically built with wide shoulders and muscular legs. I was a sprinter on the track team in Jr. High (usually anchoring all my relay races), and I was heavily involved in the art of dance. From the age of 8 years old I have been performing in front of an audience under those bright stage lights. I have always felt so alive and exillerated performing and creating...it is my artistic gift. I even had the opportunity to audition for the Chicago Academy for the Arts High School at 14 and was accepted. I declined the scholarship inorder to attend my local high school and dance at numerous studios in the suburbs and the city of Chicago (including a scholarship for Joal Hall and a Winter Solstice scholarship while performing at Western's University Dance Company). In the end, I feel I made the best decision. My life may have been very different had I chose to attend high school in the city.
While performing with the dance company in college, rehearsals several nights a week, and completing 22 credit hours, I was approached by a male graduate student (5' 11", 260 lbs.), who was looking for a mixed pairs partner to compete with. That individual along with all my "North Quad" buddies are the reason I competed in my first competition, and my hunger for bodybuilding began.
Their passion and committment to their goals and dreams lives inside me today! Smitty, Ron, Angry, Tony, Big Dave, Justin and Gabe, what can I say except...I will never forget any of you!
How I actually got involved with lifting was with my husband. I lifted in high school, and was nominated "Most likely to Flex in front of the mirror"apon graduation. Boy they really hit the nail on that one! Yet I didn't incorporate it into my daily life until my husband and I met and started working out together my sophmore year in college. I was then a phycology major, realizing that I wanted to help people in a more preventitive way by teaching them how to cope with stress and problems through exercise and creating natural endorphens. My maiden name is Reilly (Yes, I am Irish) and the alcohalism in my family runs deep. Finding a possitive way to deal with difficulties was something I had to learn at a young age.
My husband and I lifted together 4 days a week and he introduced me to the magnificent great outdoors! WOW! What adventures we have had all over the United States. Rock climbing, river rafting, cave splunking, back country backpacking, living on the road for up to two weeks. There is nothing in the world like waking up under the stars or on the beach...when it's all so simple you realize what life is all about....you become a part of the beauty and feel connected and balenced.
When life gets hard, I visit those places in my mind...
We even pumped our own drinking water in the back country and hung our packs in the trees so the bears would stay clear. I will never forget my travel days and the stories that still make me smile. My husband and I had some fantastic times with some incredible people. It is not where you are in life but who you are with that make it memorable and unforgettable!
My life is very busy and filled with love these days. Married with two children ages 7 years old and 2 years old keeps me busy at home not to mention my personal training clients and my own work outs. But I am extreemly creative with the way I manage to get things done. I have been there for everything my children have done and have enjoyed every stage and achievement.
My husband is very involved with our kids as well. I am so fortunate to have that. There are so many fathers who miss out and mom's who never get there time away. I am blessed! But noone's life is perfect and sometimes it is a very difficult struggle to find time away from all the craziness.
My goal in body building is to be a possitive role model to others. To examplify that natural female muscle is beautiful and that being a mommy doesn't mean you have to loose yourself. I want to stand for what is possible and attainable with hard work, multitasking and a lot of love and support of family and friends!
Anything is possible... the only limits are those we place apon ourselves. Bodybuilding is an art to me. I am sculpting my own masterpiece and embracing the athletic, strong, femine, creative women that I am.
My competitions to date include;
1996 Ottawa, IL
4th Mixed Pairs & 4th Heavy wt.
2000 Palos Hts., IL
1st Heavy wt. & 1st Novice Open /Overall
2000 Rockford Natural, IL
1st Place Heavy wt.
2002 Jr. Nationals, IL
9th place heavy wt.
2002 Rockford Natural, IL
2nd place Heavy wt. & Best Posing award
2002 Nationals Dallas, TX
2005 Ottawa, IL
1st place & overall win
2005 Rockford Natural, IL
1st place heavy weight, overall, best poser and team trophy winner!
2005 Jr. Nationals, IL
4th place heavy weight
2005 Belvedere Natural, IL- Guest Posing
My training schedule is modified and changed on a weekly basis to achomidate my family. Nothing can be set in stone. When you have young children the unexpected has to be expected. I get my workouts in around everything else. I usually get 4 weight training days in and cardio anytime I can fit it in for the off-season.
When I am training for a competition I am in the gym 6 days a week 5 days lifting and 7 days doing cardio. My workouts take priority in my day when it's contest prep time. Early morning running or biking at 5 a.m. before my husband leaves for work is a way to get it all in and still keep up with the house, kids and clients. Life gets tough when I train for a competition and I become extreemly focused on my goal. A lot understanding is expected of my husband and I don't think I can express enough just how much it means to me that he has supported my dreams and ambitions and picked up the pieces where they have fallen over the years. I am truely blessed to have such an incredibly devoted and supportive partner and friend.
I am not a power lifter and actually do heavier training in my upper body to keep my muscle balence and symetry and higher 15 reps for my lower body. Tricep training has become my least favorite workout since I started lifting heavy. My pet peve in the gym...I hate seeing people use improper form.
If I were a judge for the NPC I would change the fact that there is no reliable drug testing at most of the competitions. I feel the female form is ment to be that, female and feminine. If not than there is no female body building just a smaller men's division. I do see the shift in the natural direction with women but we are still a LONG ways away. There are all levels of steroid and other drug use in the sport of body building and I would like to see that change.
When I'm not working out I am kissing my baby boy and big girl! I am changing diapers, giving baths, driving my daughter to outings for Brownies, taking her to gymnastics, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, feeding our German Shepard (all 110 lbs of him), cooking dinner, grocery shopping, the dreaded chore (laundry), training clients, e-mailing and calling family and friends, mailing bills, scapbooking, watching a movie or decorating the house.
I am a busy women, wife, mother, athlete and professional but I wouldn't trade my life with anyone. I have everything I want and all the tools to make my dreams a reality. My plans for 2006... Enjoy every moment and milestone of my son's 2nd year and my daughter's 7th!
As for me, I will return to the stage... yet again..stronger and better than before, as I will have those little voices in my cheering section and my friend of a lifetime to pick me up when I stumble! And that, my friends, is what life's all about!!!
I will be competing this year at the Team Universe July 14-15th I plan to take your breath away once again! :)
I am available for Personal Training, Coaching & Contest prep.
Jennifer does not do sessions or wrestling of any kind. Please don't ask!!