Lydia Haskell IFBB Pro

Competitive Fitness and Figure

I started out in bodybuilding, which then led to Figure and Fitness. My first amateur bodybuilding show was was in November of 2002. I loved being on that stage. After performing my posing routine and earning the Best Poser Award, my competitors told me I was in the wrong place and encouraged me to look into competitive Fitness. They were right!

My first event was the 2002 D.C. Muscle Mania and Miss Fitness America/Bikini America. Not yet confident enough to do Fitness because I lacked gymnastic skills (which I thought were necessary), I competed in the Figure Category or Miss Bikini America and won 1st Place. However, after watching the Fitness women perform their routines at this D.C. show, I knew Fitness had to be next.

I entered the BodyRock/Monica Brant Fitness Classic and I won 1st Place in Fitness. The BodyRock was an incredible event. Monica Brant was so supportive and stayed by her fitness competitors throughout the day. I was so impressed by her kindness and professionalism. She truly inspired me and I knew I wanted to become a Fitness Pro.

Now, qualified for the NPC (National Physique Committee) National level, I entered the 2002 NPC Nationals in Dallas. I placed 10th. According to my nutrition coach and 20 year veteran National NPC judge, Todd Swinney, achieving a top ten ranking in my first National event was quite an achievement.

One of the most important things that occurred at the Nationals was being invited to do a photo shoot by J.M. Manion, Official photographer of the NPC. What a great experience that was! J.M. encouraged me to stick with it and made great recommendations as to which particular shows I should compete in. The more shows I did the more the judges saw my improvements and how committed I was to the sport.

From that point on, Of all 2003 NPC National level shows I entered, I placed top five in either Fitness, Figure or both. My first big win was the Overall Title and National Championship at the 2003 NPC Masters National Figure Championships.

I earned my Pro Card with a 1st place win at 2003 National Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in Miami, just one year after placing 10th in the same show. Still working with Todd Swinney on my nutrition program, I also began training with Mike Davies, founder of the Fitness Factory in Columbus Ohio. Together, we were able to achieve my first perfect score in the two-piece physique round.

Now as an IFBB Pro (International Federation of Bodybuilding), it's a whole new ball game with major challenges ahead. I'm going to approach these challenges just the same way I did when I began competing- with a POSITIVE ATTITUDE and a willingness to have a really GREAT TIME!

I wonder what the doctors at the Children's Hospital would say now. Perhaps: "Not bad for a girl who was supposed to be confined to a wheel chair" I know all I can say is "THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE!"

And remember "BE A CHAMPION"