Angela Yeo is planning to spend a few days in San Diego next month.
Flexing her muscles.
"I'm Team USA," said the 29-year-old bodybuilder.
Yeo (pronounced Yo) recently qualified to compete in the "figure competition" at the 2013 Natural Olympia taking place Nov. 8-10 in the southern California city. The petite, yet, muscular 5-foot-2, 110-pounder has come a surprisingly long way in her physical fitness endeavors to get to this point of planning a trip west to participate in the international bodybuilding event.
Despite having competed in fitness competitions only twice, Yeo earned a berth to the Natural Olympia, an event involving steroid-free bodybuilders and fitness competitors from across the globe.
Yeo claimed victories both times out, placing first in a local event, the 2013 Toledo Glass Scepter, back in April, followed by another surprising win at the 2013 Natural Universe held in Chicago back in August. Competing in her first two events as an amateur, her open overall title in the figure competition at the Natural Universe earned her professional competitor status and the invite to participate in the Natural Olympia.
"This is such a huge thing for me because I'm more shy than people realize," Yeo said.
The 2002 Bedford graduate didn't get involved with working out — primarily lifting weights in her home gym — in order to build a well-proportioned physique to compete in bodybuilding and figure competitions. She picked up some barbells and other weightlifting equipment and began seriously training approximately five years ago after being involved in a motorcyle accident with her husband, James, on the Anthony Wayne Trail in 2008.
Both suffered injuries and were hospitalized but don't remember much from the accident. Angela suffered a broken foot, hip injury, and had her mouth wired shut for several weeks as a result of suffering a dislocated jaw. Forced to sip her meals through a straw, her weight decreased from 120 pounds to 93 pounds by the time her injury had been healed.
Picking up an article to read in a fitness magazine led her to begin training with weights. She quickly took a liking to a workout regimen that basically has consisted of working out in her home gym. Her body responded well to the training.
More significantly, weight training became part of her daily routine and she began to notice her body changing for the better.
"I never played sports as a kid," she said. " But I kind of found this a little later in my life."
Yeo, who works at ther Toledo Zoo in the horticulture department, is having fund-raising events at noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday at Total Nutrition (located on Airport Highway next to Chuck E. Cheese) in order to help offset the estimated cost ($4,000) of the trip. Money raised from two workout classes ($5 per class) scheduled with Yeo will help her find her way to San Diego next month.
"I know if I don't do this, I'd be letting myself down," she said.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.