Rachelle Cannon - THE "QUEEN OF QUADS"
Also known as "Wonder Woman," I adopted the nickname because of my fascination with a super hero that truly represents strength and beauty - which is what female bodybuilders represent, too!
I was born and raised in Bristol, CT - the home of ESPN for all y'all who don't know. During my time in the military, however, is when I met a co-worker who told me I should try being a bodybuilder. HA! Never in a million years did I imagine that I would become one, but this is my story - and I'm sticking to it.
First and foremost, I changed my mental self body image. One day in 1998, I woke up and realized that with my stature (short and muscular) I would never have the body and the look of a model on the cover of all the glam magazines (Cosmo, Elle, Glamour, etc.) no matter how hard I tried with exercise and diet. That same day, I mentioned my "revelation" to a co-worker and he asked me, "Why don't you get into bodybuilding? You have a great physique for it." I laughed extremely hard at him and said, "Yeah right!" I had so many misperceptions about women who bodybuild, and it was bad enough that I already felt as though I looked too "masculine" with the size I did have. All the girls I grew up with, even through college, were thin or simply out of shape so I felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb. I had been active in sports my whole life (swimming, track, tap, jazz, and ballet) and coupled with genetics, I just always carried a lot of muscle mass...and the older I got, the more I wanted to start hiding my muscles. Nonetheless, that very afternoon, my co-worker introduced me to Mike, another co-worker who just earned his pro card. He lent me a tape of a show he did in the past so I could see what bodybuilding is really about, then offered to train me for a couple months for a novice show.
Rather than list my entire contest history, I will tell you that my very first show in 1998 in Hampton, VA was a great, positive experience as a novice. I competed in 3 more shows, was featured in the Military issue of Muscle & Fitness (May 2000), then took a 3.5 year hiatus to attend graduate school, move, and change careers. In 2004, my two most rewarding shows were the Musclemania Nation's Capitol Classic and the INBF Monster Mash in Putnam, CT. I was also blessed that year with some wonderful opportunities: (1) I had my own website created (2) I was the female Guest Poser at the fall Musclemania show in Bowie, MD, (3) I appeared in the "Shape Up" section of the December Issue of Today's Black Woman magazine, and (4) I served as the World Gym model for several of its advertisements, which include grand opening flyers for two of its gyms in Maryland, guest appearance with new IFBB Pro Victor Martinez at one of the gyms, and on the big screen (movie ad) at the new Magic Johnson Theaters in Largo, MD. (special thanks to my photographer, Mr. Reg Bradford, for all photos!)
Most importantly, I have met some wonderful people in the fitness and bodybuilding industry and I look forward to continually meeting new people and learning new things - both in the sport and in life in general.
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