Bad News…. :(

So I have some bad news….

Looks like the 2009 fitness season is over for me  😦

I’ve been dealing with shoulder pain for several months now, and it just didn’t seem to get any better, no matter what I tried.  I was getting ready to start my prep for the summer shows, but the pain just got to the point that I was having trouble making it through workouts, and routine practice was becoming out of the question.  So I finally decided to go to the DR….
and the verdict…

I have a torn labrum.  I have tried conservative treatments and rest, but nothing seemed to help.  I trained through the pain to get ready for the Arnold, NY Pro Fitness and Europa Show of Champions, but continuing to train on it as is at this point is going to cause further damage. 
So….
Surgery is scheduled for july 13th.  The game plan is to repair the tear, and the full recovery time looks to be about 4-6 months…no upper body training besides rehab/PT for 3 months!! 😦

I’m pretty bummed and disappointed because I really felt that the Europa Show of Champions in arpil was my best physique to date, and I was really excited to make even more improvements to my physique for the summer shows.  I even had new music picked out for both of my routines (don’t worry, I will be saving them for next year!).  But unfortunately, this injury has to be taken care of, before it becomes a much bigger problem.  The good news is, based on exam and MRI, my rotator cuff is in great shape and there doesn’t seem to be any other damage (the Dr will see for sure once he gets in there)

My goal is to come back for the 2010 spring shows.  I’ve had some experience with injuries as a gymnast, so I know what it takes to rehab after surgery and get back to the sport, and I have faith that I will come back from this and be better than ever 🙂 
My biggest issue is patience, LOL……but I have a great support system and will be taking this one step at a time.  The exercise bike and I are going to become great friends 😉

On a better note, I did finally complete my dietetics internship, and got hired to a full-time clinical dietitian position in the hospital where I was interning. So that will keep me plenty busy for now.  And I will be doing some work for Gaspari throughout the summer, so I will be around 🙂  speaking of, I’d like ot thank everyone at Gaspari Nutrition for all of their help and support.  It’s a great company made up of a great group of people, and I’m so happy to be a part of it all!!

I’m also going to Aruba with my boyfriend and my whole family (and i mean everyone, lol…mom, dad, brother, brother’s fiance, aunts,uncles, cousins, etc-).  I haven’t been on a vacation in years, so its going to be a blast!

And lastly, I just wanted to say how proud I am of my boyfriend!!  He competed at the Jr Nationals this past weekend.  It was his first national show, and he worked his ass off to get there.  He is by far the most disciplined contest dieter I have ever seen (way better than me at dieting, LOL) and he looked awesome.  He is still young and pretty new to the sport, so he has plenty of time to grow and make his mark.  Just to get on stage at the national level is a huge accomplishment (especially for the guys), and I am just so proud of him!  He’s got a great future ahead of him.

Ok, well I guess that’s all for now.  I hope everyone has a great summer, and I will try to update this blog here and there to let everyone know how things are progressing.  I’m already planning my comeback for 2010!!

New Videos!

These were almost all filmed during the 4-weeks mark, but its taken me this long to get them up because of my crazy schedule.  Most of the training is done at a facility called Body Goals in Fairfield, NJ.  Videos include:
box squat 185 x 15 and 265 x 2
bench press 135+ chains x 6-7reps
push press 135 x 8
dead lift 265 x 3 and 300 x 1
SNEAK PEAK of some routine training 🙂
and a 500 lb truck tire flip

Enjoy!

See everyone at the arnold in 2 weeks 🙂

Finally….an update!

Hi everyone!  I finally have a few free minutes, so I wanted to write a quick update about how things have been going for me lately.  A lot has happened in the past few months, and I have been SUPER busy! So here’s a quick rundown…..

Back in October I was lucky enough to sign with Gaspari Nutrition and so I am officially a Gaspari Nutrition Sponsored Athlete…woohooo!!

In November, my boyfriend Jeff competed for the first time in 3 years (this was his second time competing).  In 3 shows he had a first place, second place and third place finish, and earned a national qualification in the middle weight division.  He also recently signed with MuscleTech as part of their up and coming athlete program.  I couldn’t be more proud!!

Back in September I began a Dietetics internship program through a company called ARAMARK that has me working in a hospital setting 8-9 hours per day.  It’s actually pretty interesting, but a LOT of work.  The only bad part is its UNPAID….so I am essentially working 40 hours per week for free!! And this goes until MAY!!! 

I debated whether or not I should put in for the Arnold, because I knew how busy I would be with my internship, and my opinion was, if I was going to compete at such a HUGE show as the Arnold, I wanted to be sure I could be at my best and give it my all.  Well, at the last minute I decided to send in an application, and just a few days before Christmas I found out that I got the Invite!!!  I can’t even describe how excited I am to have this opportunity to compete.  Despite being so busy, I’ve made a commitment to myself to be the absolute best I can be at this show.

So that brings me to my training…..  Right now I am about 6 weeks out.  My training for the past 6 weeks has been quite different than typical fitness training.  I’ve actually been doing a lot of power training, supplemented with some hardcore conditioning circuits and routine practice of course.  I’ve found that I REALLY enjoy this style of training, and I can’t believe how strong I”ve gotten!  As of this week, my one-rep maxes are:
push-press: 170
bench press: 195
Squat– not sure of this one– I got 295 as a box squat but it was with a spotter.  Free squatting I believe my max so far is 255
Deadlift: 285
Again, these are just 1-reps!!  But this style of training has actually really helped my routine and also helped to get my body a little more proportionate…..and its really a lot of fun/challenging.  Its funny, my legs are actually quite behind in strength compared to my upper body.  Must be from all of those long hours spent training as an uneven bars specialist 😉  I’m working on the legs though, and they are defintiely getting stronger.  And these numbers are all while DIETING!  So I’m interested to see what I can do with some carbs in me, LOL.  After this week, my training will probably shift more towards a conditioning focus until after the spring shows, but we’ll see, b/c my body seems to be responding well to this training, so I may try to stick with it a few more weeks….

  I have a new 2-minute routine this year and I am sooooo excited about it.  It’s a bit different than what I’ve done in the past, but don’t worry, it still has that “Tiger-Eyes” style 😉  Its so much fun and I can’t wait to perform it at the Arnold!!

One last thing…. Gaspari Nutrition and Rich Gaspari himself will be hosting the Dragon’s Den Seminar at Apollon Gym on Saturday 1/31/09 beginning at 12noon.  This is going to be a really cool event, and I would like to invite anyone in the area to please attend…..its FREE!!!  Definitely a great opportunity to learn a lot from one of the icons of this sport!  For more info, check out this thread on MD: http://forums.musculardevelopment.com/showthread.php?t=50657

So thats the short version of what I’ve been up to these past few months.  I’m going to try to get my website page updated with some new stuff over the next few weeks, but I can’t make any promises 🙂 

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season, and good luck to everyone getting ready for the Arnold and the 2009 season!

2008 Olympia, season wrap-up, and other tidbits….

Hey Everyone!

Sorry it has been quite awhile since my last update, but WOW, what a summer it has been.  I ended up placing 2nd at the Europa (which I was super excited about), and then it was on to the Olympia.  I knew going into the Olympia that I had to bring my absolute best, because I would be going up against the best women in this sport.  My goal was not a specific placing, but to go in looking the best I’ve ever looked, and to perform my best routine of the year.  And in all honesty, I feel I achieved that goal.  I really put my all into this show, which wasn’t easy those last 2 weeks, as I was working in the hospital at 6am everyday, and it was a one-hour commute (and if you do the math, that means waking up at 3:45am to get cardio done 😉  Those last few weeks really tested me, and showed me that I am stronger than I had ever realized.

But overall, I truly believe I was the best I could have been for this show, so I am really, really happy and proud of the results and even my 10th place finish…..that means 10th in the whole world!!  Who would have thought, 2 years ago, when I placed 7th at the NPC NJ Gold’s Classic, that in 2 years I would be standing on stage at the Olympia!

The Olympia was truly an amazing experience, and I feel very honored to have had the opportunity to compete.  2008 was an exciting season, to say the least, and I can only hope to continue to improve as I have in the past 2 years. 

I would also just like to mention how saddened I am by the passing of Steve Stone.  I did not know him as well as many of the other competitors backstage, but he has expedited a few of my shows and always seemed to go out of his way to make sure the athletes had everything they needed.  He was truly a great person, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all those who were close to him.

So what’s next?
Right now I will be focusing on staying in shape and keeping my conditioning up for my guest posing at the NJ State Chmpionships on November 8th.  My boyfriend Jeff will be competing at this show, so I will be trying to support him as much as possible in these last few weeks.  Jeff has been my rock and biggest supporter for the past 2 years, coming to all my shows and keeping me sane, and just being there for whatever I need, so now its my turn to do the same for him.
In the beginning of September I started a clinical dietetics internship, which has me working in a hospital 8 hours per day.  It’s a lot of work, but a great experience, and once the internship is complete in May, I will be able to take the exam for my RD.
I have not yet decided what my competition plans will be for 2009, but I do know that I plan on making some changes to my physique, and I will definitely come back with new (and even better!!) routines.  I have enjoyed some time off from training and lots of good food this week, but as of Monday it’s back to business.  I’m determined to make 2009 even better than 2008, which will not be easy.  But I’m definitely up for the challenge!
I also just wanted to let everyone know that I am featured in the November issue of Oxygen magazine (for Houston Pro coverage); I am also being featured in the November issue of Muscular Development magazine (however I can’t seem to find a copy of this in stores anywhere, so if anyone can help….??).  And there will be a short little blurb in the Gymbag section of the December Issue of Flex Magazine about my strongman style training (the video i posted earlier this summer).

 I also managed to squeeze in a few photo shoots while in Vegas, so I will be sharing a few samples as I receive the photos.  Here is one sample from my shoot with Weiferd Watts:

pretty cool, huh?  And I’m sure he got a ton of shots that are just as cool!

Ok, well thats all for now.  I hope to have an exciting announcement to make soon, but you will all have to wait for that one! 
Thanks to everyone for all of the kind words and support, and I will try to update again soon!
Take care everyone!
Erin

Photo Shoot…

I had the opportunity to get a shoot in with Dan Ray while out in Houston.  I had a lot of fun (despite the crazy humidity that completely frizzed out my hair, LOL), and he got some really great shots.  Here are a few samples……

Houston Pro

Hi everyone,

Soooooo, I’m back home after a fabulous weekend in Houston!  I have to say, things went better than I could have ever imagined.  I knew going into the show that my physique would be the best I’ve presented thus far, but I didn’t know how it would fair against some of the big names that were going to be in Houston.  During pre-judging, I was in the first call-outs for both the one and two-piece rounds, which was incredible!  In the past, it had been my routines that carried me through, so to be recognized for my physique was just amazing.  So, after pre-judging (based on the callouts), I knew I was in the top 6, but I also knew I had to nail my routines if I wanted to stay there.  I thought both of my routines went really well, but there were 25 amazing women competing, and some really fantastic routines, so I really had no idea how things would turn out.
But when everything was said and done……
I placed 3rd and qualified to the OLYMPIA!!!
I can honestly say I was surprised, but super excited….and was literally on cloud 9 all weekend.
I had so much fun in Houston, and it was an awesome feeling to get back up on stage again.  It was a great show.  The promoters and expediters were very supportive, and everything was run very smoothly.  I really had a blast!

I was able to take the past 2 days off to relax, recover, and get some good food in (ahem, Ben&Jerry’s fudge brownie ice cream and some good old fashioned Jersey pizza)…..but now its back to work for the Europa.  I really feel that this was the best package I’ve been able to present, to date.  But I also know that I still need to make some improvements.  I’d like to continue to tweak my physique to make it more competitive with the top pro’s, and I have a few more tricks up my sleeve that I would like to add to my routines.  I’m really psyched and ready to work even harder to be even better at the Europa in 6 weeks.

I’d like to thank everyone for all the support and kind words on the boards…you guys have no idea how helpful and encouraging it is to read, and how much i really apprciate it.

I’d also like to give a special thanks to my boyfriend Jeff.  He was AMAZING this weekend.  He is my rock and my best friend, and I could never do all this without him.  He starts his contest prep this week, and so I only hope that I can be as much help to him as he has been for me.  I love you Jeff!
I also have to thank my trainer and friend Robert Samborsky (owner of Apolloin Gym) for his genius in getting me ready for this show.  He really is the best, and I would not be where I am without all of his help, guidance and support.
There have been a lot of people that have helped me along the way, and I really appreciate every ounce of support that i’ve gotten….. Jon Chipko of Body Goals (I wouldn’t have made it through my prep without his help with a back injury…..not to mention the amazing conditioning workouts he’s put me through)……Irina Veselova for helping to take my physique to the next level…….Maggie Haney for the routine choreography and music…..and to everyone else– Thank you soooo much!

So that’s all for now.  Look for me in 6 weeks at the Europa!!

Off to Houston

Hi everyone,
It’s Thursday morning and I am getting ready to be on my way to Houston for the Houston Pro this Saturday.  I’m really excited, and I feel that I am going to be bringing my best “total package” thus far.  AND, I already have my jumbo bag of peanut butter M&M’s all set to go for after the show 😉 
So that’s really it, I’m ready to go and really psyched to be getting back up on stage……wish me luck!

Hardbody Interview

Hi everyone,

I recently did a short interview with Isaac Hinds (Lift Studios) that is now up on his site, www.hardbody.com, that talks briefly about what you can expect from me this weekend at the Houston Pro.  Of course, I fell right into his “rant” category of fitness competitors that keep their routines a secret.  Sorry Isaac 😉  But seriously, go over and check it out, he’s got a great and informative site over there, with lots of interesting articles and interviews.

We leave for Houston on Thursday, so I will try to give you guys a quick update about how things are all coming together this final week……..tomorrow, LOL
Have a great day, I’m off to my last routine practice 🙂

Conditioning Training

This has been posted on the message boards, but here is a short video compilation of a conditioning workout that I had last weekend….

1 Week Out- Houston Pro

Hi everyone!
Welcome to my new website!  
Here I am, one week out from the Houston Pro.  This prep has really gone by very fast, and I’m super excited to get back on stage.  My training has been going extremely well for the past month or so, and I feel that my physique and routines will be right where I want them to be when I step on stage.  To kick off the launch of the new site, I decided to post some one-week out photos.  Just a couple though.  You will have to wait til next week to see the final package 🙂
Enjoy!