My Story
I was born in the city of Stuttgart in Southern Germany on 3 June 1965, and I grew up in a nearby town called Böblingen. Our house was right next to a forest, and during my childhood, I conducted a lot of outdoor activities. This probably explains my fascination for nature, which still exists today. At a very young age, I also discovered that my talents and strengths were in physical activities. My first passion was for gymnastics.
At the age of eight, I became an active member of the gymnastics association and participated successfully in several competitions. As my family owned two horses, riding horses was a natural choice for me. I belonged to a horseback-riding club and compteted in several horse shows. However, my need for variety also became apparent at that time.
During my teenage years, other sports captured my curiosity. I tried springboard and platform diving when I was 14, and within a year I was able to dive from the 10-meter platform. With my curiosity for diving being satisfied, I next took up jazz dance.
I was filled with enthusiasm for jazz dance, for I loved the music, the motion, the expression, and especially performing. My affiliation to jazz dance would later be of great benefit to my bodybuilding career, especially when I had to do a posing routine on stage; I always treated my routines as dance performances.
It was 1980 and I was 15 years old when I started training with weights. I was the only girl in the gym, but this did not bother me. I actually enjoyed it, especially since the guys were all amazed at how strong I was.

Slowly but surely, I got into a regular work-out schedule. For the first six months, I trained twice a week. Gradually, I increased my training to three times a week, then four times a week, and so on. Then in 1981, I decided to enter my first competition, the Baden Wurttenberg championship. I placed second, that is second to last, but rather than letting it discourage me, it fueled my ambition and I trained even harder. I also learned about dieting, as well as how to get the most out of my workouts, and I applied that knowledge to my pre-competition training. A year later, at the same local competition, I won second place.

At that point, bodybuilding was still only a hobby, and my parents tried to make sure it stayed that way. After finishing secondary school in 1983, I was ready to take on the world of bodybuilding. However, I wasn't 18 yet, and because my parents were against me bodybuilding, I was forced to secretly prepare myself for competitions; a situation that only fueled my determination. It wasn't until much later that my parents finally recognized that bodybuilding was part of my personal philosophy on life, and that my positive outlook has, and still is, a direct result of my participation in that sport.
From 1983 to 1986, I studied graphic arts. I found these studies quite fulfilling, as I had enjoyed painting and drawing ever since my childhood (I still paint as a hobby and plan on posting some of my work on this site in the near future). Anyway, while in school, I continued to train and compete. In 1984, I placed fourth in the German championship. The same year, a bodybuilding partner and I became the runner-ups in the couple posing category at the amateur world championship in Madrid, Spain. In 1985, I won the Junior World championship in Australia, and then I captured the titles for both the the European championship and then the German championship in 1986.

When I finished my education, I decided to turn my hobby into a profession, but 1987 was a difficult year as my father passed away that year. Still, I managed to win second place at the IFBB Pro World Championship in Toronto and then fourth place at that year's Ms. Olympia competition. In 1988, I won runner-up at the Ms. Olympia in New York City.

At that time, I was only 23 years old, and I needed a break to recompose myself. Thus, I decided to put competiting on hold for a year, with the goal to come back and win the Ms. Olympia title in 1990.... and I was ready to dedicate all my efforts to achieve that goal; however, fate had other plans in mind for me. Instead of training for the Ms. O. in 1990, I was preparing myself for a different, though no less exciting event: Childbirth! Throughout my pregnancy, I trained and followed a special diet, and then in January of 1991, I gave birth to my first son, Elija.

In the later part of 1991, together with the late Bill Reynolds, I co-authored a book on bodybuilding, exercise and nutrition. In 1992, it was published it in the United States as 'Body Flex & Body Magic'. During that year, I also returned to the stage of bodybuilding, but only as a guest poser mainly at major competitions. Although, I was not as muscular as during my competitive days, my audience was enthusiastic and it was the most fun I ever had on stage.In 93 and 94, I also participated in a few theatrical performances that were held in Stuttgart, Germany, in which the plays were acted out through a combination of dance and movement and involved a variety of athletic and muscular performers. What an exciting and creative experience this was for me.

Then in 1995, I bought a gym located in Stuttgart. Although it was an exciting and very educational experience, it was one that I generally did not enjoy very much, as I had to spend most of my time and energy dealing with the stresses of running a business. Then in 1998, I sold the gym and focused myself on personal training, fitness consulting, modeling and the challenges of being a single working parent.

In 2000, I joined the ranks of the US military as an Army wife. The man I married was at that time an officer in the US Army Special Forces, and through him a whole new world of adventures and experiences were opened up to me. Roy also helped and motivated me to return to the muscle and fitness scene as a professional fitness model and spokesperson for female bodybuilding. Today, I am convinced that if Roy had been at my side during my competitive years, then I would have won the Ms. Olympia crown. He is one of the few men that I have met in my life who does not feel threatened by a 'strong woman', and he would have provided me with the important moral and emotional support that I often lacked from those close to me during my years as a competitive bodybuilder.

As a result of my husband's support, I had several photoshoots in 2000, and I soon started to reappear in magazines and calendars. I even considered returning to the competitive stage, but once again motherhood jumped in. In 2001, I gave birth to my second son. Since that time, I have periodically appeared in numerous magazines to include FLEX, Muscle & Fitness, MuscleMag International and Oxygen.

To this date, I am still Germany's most successful female bodybuilder, and in 2009, I was inducted as the first female into the German Bodybuilder Hall of Fame. That same year, you could also find me in a full-length article in the November issue of Oxygen with Marjo Selin, a good friend of mine and former worldclass female bodybuilder. Then in 2010, I appeared in the February issue of the German Muscle & Fitness, in a photoshoot with Carla Marquardt, a very attractive and talented German female bodybuilder, who was the overall winner at the 2009 German championship.

In 2011, I was inducted into Joe Weider's Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. An honor for which I am truly grateful.

My experiences in life have shown me the importance of having a strong foundation, and through physical activity, especially bodybuilding, I was able to obtain my personal strength in both body and mind. Since I believe that there is a correlation between the 'strength of body' and the 'strength of mind', it is my goal to pass that information on as a positive spokeswoman for both bodybuilding and fitness...and not only by talking or writing about it, but also by example. Thus, the most likely place you may run into me will either be in the gym, on the track, in a pool or on a mountain-bike. I am looking forward to seeing you there, too!

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