Not Just Another Barbie by Barb Guerra
Not Just Another Barbie by Barb Guerra
My name is Barb Guerra. I am 30 yrs. Young. I live in Az with my 2 boys, who are 10 and 6. I was born in NY and raised in Houston, Tx. I moved to Az in 1994 and have lived here ever since! I have no plans to move back to Tx. I used to be an aerobics instructor. Now I’m a mom and fitness competitor.
For years, I read about fitness competitions and competitors in the magazines. I knew I wanted to do that, but wasn’t sure how to get into it. I also wasn’t sure that I would be allowed to compete being that I have no arms. So, I did some research and found out where to compete locally. I called the man in charge of our local NPC shows. I explained my situation. He was all for it! He said I would inspire so many people. The audience would love it! Then in his next breath said,”but you know, you can never win.” I honestly don’t think he said that to be mean. He is not a mean person. I just think he didn’t want me to have unrealistic expectations. However, his words(you know you can NEVER win) are to this day, my biggest motivation! When someone tells me I “can’t” do something… I will eventually prove him wrong!
So, I competed for my first time in July 2003. That was the only show I did that year. In 2004, I went a little crazy and did five competitions. After that, I decided to do no more than two per year. In 2005, I did two shows. This year, I have done one so far and have one at the end of Sept.
Have I proven him wrong yet? That depends on how you look at it. I have taken home a first place trophy a few times – when I was the one and only fitness girl or the one and only in the tall category. Does that really count? Maybe for some people. I do believe that every athlete who stands on that stage IS a winner. It takes a lot of courage for anyone to compete up there. Everyone who steps on that stage has worked very hard to prepare to be up there. However, it is still my goal to place better every time I compete. As long as I do my best and do better than my last time, I have to be satisfied because I realize that I am truly only competing against myself. On the other hand(or foot,)it would be an awesome feeling to come home from a show with the first place trophy sometime – when there are other fitness girls competing. Will that ever happen? Who knows, but if it does…mark my words, there will be a poster size picture of me- with my winning trophy- personally delivered by me- to the one who said I can never win.
Ok, that’s how I got into competing. Now, what do I do for diet and training?
As most competitors, I eat several meals every day – 6 to be exact.
I eat a lot of the Egg Whites, Int. I eat chicken, fish, oatmeal, brown rice or rice cakes, lots of veggies(broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cucumbers). I also include protein shakes in my diet.
Besides the egg whites, one of my favorite things to eat is 1/2 c. Raw oats with one scoop of protein powder, a tbsp. Peanut butter, Splenda, cinnamon, and about 4-5 oz. Cold water all mixed up together!!! Yummy!
When I’m not dieting, I have to admit I don’t just have a sweet tooth…every tooth is sweet tooth. I have to really work hard -mentally -to control it. I also love pizza and McDonald’s cheeseburgers. I do allow myself to have that stuff once in a while.
As far as training goes… Well arm days don’t exist!!! I do cardio 6 days per week, 45 -60 minutes. I usually do cardio on the dreadmill or elliptical machine. Sometimes I swim laps(yes, I am a great swimmer) and sometimes I run outdoors. On season, I do my cardio twice per day. Off season, I practice routine once per week. I practice routine twice per week on-season. I work legs twice per week. One day is more of a moderate weights, more reps,less rest day. One day is heavier weights, fewer reps. My trainer incorporates: drop-sets, breakdown sets, pre-exhaust, and giant sets. One day per week, I do sprints on the stairs and plyo-metric work. To stay bendy, I stretch on my own about 4 times per week. I also go to a flexibility specialist once every week. You can check them out on-line at www.stretchtowin.com
When I’m not working out,practicing routine, preparing meals or eating meals, I love to go swimming,shopping, dancing, karaoke, read magazines, watch movies. I also love to play with my kids. They are very into skateboarding. I’m going to take lessons so I can go skateboarding with them. It looks like a lot of fun! They are excited that I’m going to do that. My older son wants us to take hip-hop lessons together as well. It’s on my list! I also love going to Vegas!! I go every year w/my best friend! This year, I’ve been 3 times! I’m not a gambler. I like the shopping and night life!!
Growing up was not easy. Not that it’s easy for anyone, but I had an extra challenge. I knew I was different from everyone else. I always felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I didn’t have much confidence in myself. I didn’t like or love myself. I hated being me. I hated not having arms. I hated the fact that I had to use my feet. There were many times when I was mad at God for letting this happen to me. People told me all the time that God has a purpose for me – there’s a reason why he kept me alive here on this earth. Somewhere deep down inside, I knew they were right, but I didn’t want to believe it. I would have rather died than live like this. In fact I remember many times praying that I would just not wake up in the morning. I didn’t want to go to school one more day just to have kids tease me. Believe me, kids can be very cruel. Believe it or not, adults can be just as bad – even now!
I was very self-conscience about how I looked. I knew that people were watching my every move. I was always worried about what everyone else thought when I would use my feet. I was embarrassed , I guess. I was somewhat of a loner. I kept to myself. I had a few friends. Those friends were good friends – they didn’t care that I didn’t have arms. They didn’t care that people starred at us everywhere we went. I am very thankful for the friends I had.
Now, about boys…to keep it brief, there were only a few. I remember a guy I liked in high school who wouldn’t date me because I couldn’t put my arms around him. That hurt. That all seemed to change when I started college. I guess something about graduating from high school made the boys decide it was ok to date An armless chic.
Actually, I believe it had a lot to do with me. I finally decided to quit worrying about everyone else and just do what I’ve gotta do. Besides why did it matter what they thought anyway? I became a much happier person. I actually started to like who I am. I became much more out-going, much more confident. I learned that I had to love myself before anyone else could.
In many ways, my life was not that much different than any other teenage girl’s life. I just thought it was. Thank God I grew out of that!
Yes, I have limitations. Don’t you? Mine are just different than yours. Everyone has their own “handicaps.”
I believe that I can do anything I set my mind to do.