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An Inner Drive

There are many different ways to define talent. Some can sing exceptionally well, others are born with an innate ability to dance or paint or write. While for others, the means to define talent is a little more obscure – a little less common.

For years, I struggled with thoughts that I wasn’t “good enough”. I wanted to be talented; to be able to sing or paint … to discover whatever it was that made me special. I ran track and cross country through Junior High and High School because I was told that I was talented as a distance runner but I never advanced further than state-wide competitions. No matter what though, I was driven. I pushed myself everyday and tried my best to become the runner that I thought I should be. 

When I was fifteen, I saw a fitness book by Kiana Tom that proved to be a turning point in my life. I was so impressed with her figure; she had a beautifully toned womanly shape. And I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to have a figure like that one day. I was always a tiny, skinny girl and was teased by my sisters that I had no butt. I was determined to work hard so I could develop a curvy, athletic, womanly body. From that day on I did.

A coach once told me, “Rosanna, you are an extremely determined, hard working individual. Whatever you set your mind to you can and will achieve. That’s not easy to come by, you have to be born with that drive.” It wasn’t until recently that I actually appreciated those words. Who wants to hear that your born with an incredible drive when that drive wasn’t making you the fastest runner in the world? 

When I got to college, I gave up on competing in track and cross country - It just wasn’t fun for me anymore - and I focused on weight training. My senior year, a trainer at my gym approached me and told me that I had the perfect body for figure competing and he thought I should give it a shot. I have to admit, although I was flattered, I was terrified of the thought of standing up on a stage in a bikini. I was overcome with thoughts that I wasn’t good enough, and could never be good enough. Years of pushing myself to improve in running and weight training only served to leave me feeling inadequate. However, after being contacted by Brian Cannone about the Fitness / Bikini Atlantic pageant, and some intense persuading by my sister, I decided to compete in my first show last April. 

It was the best decision I could’ve made. I finally had put my fear aside and took the plunge to enter the sport and be competitive with women whose physiques I’ve admired since I was fifteen. Although I didn’t do well at all in my first show (had no stage tan, no competition suit, hadn’t dieted down properly, walked across the stage so fast the judges had no chance to judge me) I still walked away feeling like a million dollars. Since April, I’ve gotten hold of a couple competition suits (even had one made) and started working with Linda McLaughlin as my nutritionist. I’ve also begun putting together a modelling portfolio and would love to be featured in Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers or Oxygen. All in good time. Most recently, I competed in Fitness America’s Fitness / Bikini New England pageant and I will also compete in the Fitness / Bikini Atlantic pageant in Connecticut in April as well as FAME Nationals in Toronto in May.

If nothing else, I hope that I can motivate and inspire other women to pursue their dreams. You really can do anything if you truly want to. It all comes from within. I might be a small person, but I have an iron heart and it’s because of my strong will and intense drive that I know I can do anything if I really want to. 
-Rosanna LoMonte



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