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My name is Ciara Houston an NPC Bikini competitor from North Carolina, but I reside in the DMV area. I’ve always been an athlete since the age of 5. Therefore, competing is nothing new to me whether it was on the basketball court, on the track or running thru the woods.  Fire and determination has always been in me.

I ran collegiate Track and Field.  The 400 was my specialty as well as all the relays. After graduating, I moved to the Maryland where I was introduced to the sport and have fallen in love with bodybuilding. Bodybuilding for me is more than just working out and eating my meals on time, but it’s a peace of mind and place where I can be myself. Many people don’t know that I struggled with my body and self-image growing up. I was always overly muscular than the other females that played sports as well. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable with my muscles.  That’s why when I’m on stage I come alive!   I work so hard every day putting in countless days and nights that when those lights hit me I can let the real me shine bright and let my personality come through.

This past year I took some time off to really work on my overall physique. Bodybuilding is so different from any sport that I’ve ever participated in . Before with other sports, I would train hard and win! Now I train harder and smarter.  Being critiqued by judges and they pick the winner was new to me.  It can be very hard to take in that you weren’t good enough to win. The feedback I got from the judges last year after nationals lit a fire up under me that has driven me to see this beast in me that I haven’t seen in a while.  I thank them for that. My muscle maturity and the size of my legs were pushing me into figure but that’s not me. I love bikini and I want to keep pushing for that so I knew I had to switch things up. Back scaling on the weights, higher reps with low weights. Endless running and walking. I began with isolation work on each and every muscle. Really taking the time to know and re-shape my body to an appropriate size.

I have a rehabilitation therapist I call him my “ muscle god” that dedicates him to helping me keep my muscles healthy and breaking them down to keep everything flowing. He truly knows the function of the body . My coach also knows how to fuel my body and knows exactly what to do when it comes to my nutrition because that played a big factor as well. She has helped guide me. We work as a team when planning out my future in this sport. This sport can become so humbling. It has helped me build a better me from the inside and out. The sport has helped me find my way again and believing in myself when life gets hard. I never gave up, stayed focus, determined, and dedicated.

Most of all, I stayed true to myself.