In the days I had my business, one of my bodyguards introduced me to a gym he went to. It was about 20 minutes from home and he told me lifting weights would help take out my frustrations. I was not gym material but I loved the atmosphere. I was close my my bodyguard Wade. He stood about 6 foot 3. Built like a machine with a goatee and a half head. He was covered in tattoos making him look very mean and intimidating and he was but not to me. He was a teddy bear to me. He introduced me to all his friends and the owners of the gym. It definitely was an ironaddicts gym. I didn’t know what I was doing and tried to make like I did. He would take me there three days a week to work out and train me best he could. One training session, the owner Bruce, came up to me and told me he saw a lot of strength in me. He asked me to do a few squats. I had never done them before. I did what he said. A half hour later, following all he was telling me, he said “wow you have so much inner strength, would you mind if I trained you? Would you be willing to get powerlifting? I head up the Western Conference and I can take you so far! Your strength is blowing my mind”! I was so flattered at his comment. I decided to give it a try. It wa 1996 and I had to juggle so many things but getting fit was important too. I began going into the gym mire and more, every chance I got. The tension that was always built up inside of me would soon go away. Bruce was my trainer. He was s pro hockey player when he was younger. Believe me, this man stood 6 foot 5, 350 pounds of lean muscle. He was huge! He would tower behind me when we trained. The weight he lifted and pushed was unimaginable. He explained the powerlifting world to me. The do’s and don’ts. He was so supportive and encouraging. When he yelled at you in the middle of a lift, it was so loud and scary! When I told him the weight was too heavy he would tell louder saying “Let’s go! No excuses! I wouldn’t make you do it if I didn’t think you could”! Sure enough, I did it. Getting into the heavier weights, he introduced me to wraps and belts. Squat suits that literally look like they would perfectly fit a 2 year old and I would have to get into it! “Yeah HA, in your wildest dreams”! I laughed. Whatever!! I was pretty top heavy. I tried getting into it but it was impossible. I came up with a great idea the next day. I arrived at the gym with a small bottle of olive oil. Rubbed it all over me and Bruce with 3 other bodybuilders each took one end of the 2 straps and literally shook me into it and it worked! Wow! Women should design those babies for our figures!! Holy did it suck everything in quite well! Only problem is it made my chest stick out a few feet. My buddies at the gym decided to nick name me “slick”. Everyone had a nickname but me but now they found one! I kinda liked it. From that moment on, I would be slick for everything. The suit sure helped when you had so much weight on your back. It would help you bounce back up. That’s when the heavy weights began. I could feel the power within me. I started to warm up with 400 and 500lbs on the squat. I got stronger. My coach decided to sign me up to the powerlifting confederation and have me compete. He told me I would be the worlds strongest woman and to let him get me there. I did! I began training heavily 4 days a week. His motivation would get into my head and I would get stronger everyday. Only problem was, I was a smoker and it showed when I had to lift. I met a lot of friends being on the Canadian team. A big group of us and we were like out own family. Everyone helped and stuck up for each other. We would all be together so much all week. The training was fun. It didn’t feel like work. I became close friends with a girl named Jacquie. She was in the same super heavy weight class as me, 199+. The first competition was drawing near. Everyone gearing up for what was to be an exciting event! The stage full of weights and the stands full of spectators. All the lifters laughing at me trying to get into my squat suit with oil and assistance! Why didn’t they have problems? Some much bigger than me. Three judges watching your every move when it was your turn. Three white flags and three red flags. Each judge could grade the lift red for failure or green for pass. As long as you had at least 2 out of 3 green flags, you passed. You get three attemptes to pass and make your highest weight lift. The lifts consisted of the squat first. If you fail all attempts, you cannot move on to the others. You would become disqualified. Secondly was the chest press then lastly the deadlift. The total weight of the three combined produces the winners of first, second and third place in the various weight classes. In my three lifts, received green flags all the way. My first competition, first place! The adrenaline was there and I loved it! I was hooked. Bruce promised to make me stronger everyday and he did. Jacquie and I would start to come and go to okotoks tofether. We had a lot of fun together. Hanging out, out side of the gym. She had no siblings. We were like sister’s. Dealing with work and gym was hard and sometimes I would be so exhausted, when it was time to compete I would not be able to do my best. I’d fall to second place. Jacquie would take first. We were such good friends it didn’t bother me. Just before meeting Marcus in 1999, the CAN/AM World Cup was being held in Las Vegas. Bruce encouraged all of us to register. He wanted the Canadian Team to go and kick butt! All of us powerhouses were booked to go! I had never been to Vegas before. My whole family decided to come and cheer me and my team on. I was so nervous! I worked so hard to make sure I was at my best. The strongest I could ever be. I had won many first place trophies and medals in previous competitions so mentally, I knew I could do it. We landed in Vegas the night before. Nerves set in but I was at my prime. The crowd as far as the eye could see. It began with the squats. All the lifters from various countries. Turn by turn. For some reason, the judges were red flagging all the Canadian lifters. Not one of us was making it through! As they went up in weights it was getting closer to my turn. I had to life with the men lifters because what I lifted was very heavy. Higher than some of the men competing! I was to open with a 450 lbs squat. My first lift. I waited to be called onto the stage. I was use to crowds, that’s for sure. I was ready.