Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mari Kudla

My Story

As a child my sport of choice was gymnastics. However i discovered it a bit too late to excel beyond the basics. Being the quiet shy baby of my family (2 sisters) i found that being the center of attention at competitions was terrifying. The thought of "all eyes on me" did not sound appealing to me. I continued however to compete on the private club team until just before high school. I was beginning to miss out on the little things in life that took place outside of gymnastics. This is also when I accepted that I had started this sport at a late age and just did not have some of the abilities of the younger gymnasts. This was a hard fact to face up to because I loved everything about being a gymnast.
My spirits were lifted though, as I competed for my high school team, was named captain of it, and found that I could motivate and help instruct my teammates with less of a gymnastics background than myself.
After graduation, In 1998 I moved to Columbus to attend Ohio State. I began teaching aerobics and lifting weights between classes. I had become accustomed to the grueling strength and conditioning exercise from my years of gymnastics, and missed the physical challenge . Thru the aerobics program i met a friend who would introduce me to Mike Davies-a personal trainer who took interest in fitness competitions. It was April '99 and i had never even seen a fitness competition (figure was not yet created), but decided if I was going to lift, I may as well do it right and get the most out of it.
Working with Mike Davies has been a fantastic, motivating, challenging journey from day one. I never could have guessed how training under him would change my life. With much apprehension, he convinced me to show off my hard work at a small competition. Summing up all my nerve, one year and two days after I had first met Mike, I stepped on stage for my first fitness contest. I couldn't believe it when I won!!! I became hooked with that first taste of achievement.
Under Mike's guidance of proper diet and exercise I went on to compete in 7 shows my first year (2000 season). By the time Christmas rolled around I held one overall title, three 1st, two 2nd, and a 3rd at Nationals--I missed turning pro by just a few points!!!
After an exciting yet exhausting year I unexpectedly started a family with my husband Dennis. Dennis has always supported my goals and is the one who 'shook me from my shy shell in order to start competing. He is a fabulous father and our little Lenna is the best trophy anyone could ask for! After a cesarean, a long recovery and a move back to Cleveland, I was so anxious to get back to the gym!
By now (early 2002) the NPC had started the new Figure Category. With my daughter absorbing more of my time, a house, two dogs and a cat to manage, I decided to cross over and devote all my training time to my physique.
Eight months after delivery, I was stunned when I won my first show back, the Monica Brant-Body Rock 2002. A few weeks later I received my Pro card by taking first place in New York at the Team Universe and Figure Nationals.
I was shocked and almost asked if there had been some mistake ....I just had a baby!
Before it could even soak in, I traveled to Brno, Czech Republic for the World Amateur Body Building, Fitness and Figure Competition. USA took home two medals, silver and I carried the bronze.
From there, it was on to the first ever Pro Figure show at the Arnold Classic 2003. What an incredible experience! To this day it is my favorite pro contest. My first Olympia was fun, exciting, exhausting and memorable. I was so happy to come in fourth place that it took a few days to realize it.
Life after that became a whirlwind.
I got to meet many of my great fans...
make lots of new friends....
and work with some incredible photographers to see some beautiful...
and, ok, some not so beautiful places.....
All while trying to keep this crazy business in perspective...
and not losing track of what's most important!
(just kidding)!
My Little Lenna of course!
I competed in 2004 while growing my personal training business. It proved to be a challenge to juggle both successfully. I returned to the Figure International and the Olympia placing a bit out of my happy zone. :-(

So i spent 2005 and 2006 away from the stage, evaluating life as an "average Jane", continuing the personal training business and adding new dimensions to it, such as posing instruction for amateur competitors. After some soul searching and an amicable divorce, I decided to give the stage another try in 2007. I took on the task of balancing much more than I had previously, but I felt I have learned so much from all my recent experiences. Most recently I am excited to be involved with some new opportunities that will allow me to meet many more of you! I am now actively seeking those who have an extreme interest in maintaining or improving their Wellness - health and financial. I hope to extend my opportunity to you!

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Birthdate: 11-26-1979

Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio

Current Residence:
Cleveland, Ohio

Height: 5 foot 3"

Contest weight: 125lbs

Off season weight: 130-137lbs

Hair: Long Blonde

Eyes: Grey/Blue

Measurements: 36-26-35

•Oxygen Magazine
•Muscle & Fitness
•NPC News
•Flex Magazine
•Ironman Magazine
•Muscle & Fitness Hers
•Oxygen Magazine
•Max Sports and Fitness Magazine

Contest History

Figure Olympia -- Las Vegas - Oct 23-25, 2004 Placed Seventh
California Pro Figure - Culver City, CA- May 28, 2004 Placed Seventh
Pittsburgh Pro Figure - Pittsburgh, PA - April 30, May 1, 2004 Placed Sixth
Arnold Classic Figure International - March 5-7, 2004 Placed Sixth
GNC Show of Strength - Atlanta, GA- Nov 7-9, 2003 Placed Fourth
Figure Olympia -- Las Vegas - Oct 23-25, 2003 Placed 4th-- Qualified for '04 O
Night of Champions Pro Figure - N.Y., N.Y., May 30, 2003 Placed Third
Pittsburgh Pro Figure -Pittsburgh, PA - May 1-2, 2003 Placed 3rd-- Qualified for O!
Arnold Classic Figure International -February 28-March 2, 2002 Placed Fourth


World Amateur Figure Champs, Brno, Czech Republic - October 4-7, 2002 ; 3rd
NPC Team Universe & National Figure Championships Aug 2002 ; 1st (Pro Card!)
Monica Brant Bodyrock Fitness and Figure Championships - July 12,13, 2002, 1st Overall NPC Nationals Body Building and Fitness - Nov 10, 2000; 3rd -Short Class
Governor's Cup Drug Tested Body Building & Fitness - October 14, 2000, 1st Overall Northeastern Classic Body Building and Fitness - September 29, 2000; 1st
USA Body Building and Fitness Class -August 4, 5, 2000; 8th Middle
Michael Francois World Gym Classic Body Building and Fitness May, 2000; 2nd
Pittsburgh Body Building and Fitness Championships - May 6, 2000; 2nd
Cincinnati Body Building Championships and Fitness - April 15, 2000; 1st

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