Vernetta Porter Gorham
Vernetta has never been as challenged nor had as much fun as when she competed in two figure competitions this past October, 2008. Whomever said that life after 40 was all downhill did not know the women of today would start conquering that stereotype!! Her trainer had mentioned several times over the past few years that she could be a figure competitor. Her first thought was she liked food way too much, and how could she look like those ladies. Vernetta turned a deaf ear to it.
In 2008 Vernetta was asked to be a bridesmaid in a friends wedding in late June. She was looking pretty good, but she wanted to look a little better; especially in the midsection which has always been a thorn in her side, or should I say belly. She relayed this to her trainer (Markus Forrester) and he put her in contact with a nutritionist/trainer (Josh Beach) he knows. Vermetta met with the nutritionist who gave her a healthier outlook on eating to compliment her training regiment. She was looking at him shocked because she couldn't believe that she would be able to eat so much food and loose body fat. Vernetta followed his recommendations from April to June. After a few months of eating cleaner, she was feeling and looking better. She couldn't believe the changes. After the wedding, Vernetta sort of fell off the wagon somewhat for about a month. She decided that she liked feeling and looking this way so she decided to go back to the nutritionist. Again, her trainer mentioned the possibility of a figure competition and after speaking with the nutritionist again, Vernetta began to think COULD I? She thinks the little bird whispering in her ear finally connected with the competitor in her. Vernetta started thinking, "you love a challenge". She would have never imagined the dedication, art and joy that would be involved in something like this. She now has a new love thanks to her trainer (Markus Forrester) for suggesting that she could very well compete in this arena.
During this journey, she often told her trainer that training for a marathon was a breeze compared to training for a figure competition. The complexity of training, nutrition (Thanks to Josh Beach, Master Parillo Trainer, you ROCK), posing and walking (Thanks to Stephanie Miller, IFPA PRO) and just selecting music was more than she had ever imagined. Vernetta kept thinking, what has she gotten herself into? There is so much to think about and do, and it was great to have some direction from someone (Thanks to Nancy Accetta, IFPA Pro) who had traveled this road already.
Before Vernetta even hit the stage at her first USB show (October 2008) , she was hooked. The camaraderie and joy she had with the other competitors was priceless. Vernetta loved the one minute of fame. It was so much fun and she felt glamorous. Vernetta knew once she hit that stage that the shyness had faded into the background. This was were she belonged.
Vernetta has always had a competitive spirit, but the dream of competing in different ways (track and basketball) in her younger years was always deferred because of circumstances beyond her control. After a while, she just forgot about how much she had loved being physical and competitive. Vernetta spent years on and off the work out train. About 6 or so years ago, she got serious about working out. She wanted it to be more about being healthy and fit and less about what size she was. Vernetta was mainly into taking and eventually teaching aerobic classes (kickboxing, taebo, step). At one point, she was feeling a little burnt out and cut back on some of her classes, she then began to gain weight. Vernetta decide what the fitness instructor needed was a trainer to hold her accountable. It was not until she incorporated weight training a few years ago that she realized that this is were you can really change the shape of your body. Vernetta has been strength training for the past 3 years with Markus Forrester at Fitness First Gym in Washington, DC. She loves his enthusiasm, creativity and motivation. Vernetta gets bored easy, and he has kept her motivated and excited about training and just being healthier and fit. She trained for about 4 months for the Figure Competitions which included split training with weights, cardio and nutrition.
Vernetta is married with a 13 year old son. Her son is so in awe of his mom's muscles. She loves the looks, squeezes and admiration he gives her. He is by far her biggest fan. Vernetta has a BS in Computer Science and works as an IT Specialist at an international company in D.C. She is also a certified fitness instructor. Vernetta enjoys teaching kickboxing, boot camp and weight training classes at Fitness First Gym in Washington, DC. She grew to love running and has participated in several 5ks,10ks, 10 milers and the 2007 Marine Marathon. Funny, when her trainer asked her if she ran, her reply was "run for what, someone chasing me, is there a sale"?
Vernetta tries to instill in people to love the challenge, there are no quick fixes, and to be consistent. You have to incorporate healthy eating habits, cardio vascular training, weight training and flexibility training. DO NOT be afraid to ask for assistance. Why spin your wheels going no where when you could be going somewhere. She is often asked "why do you need a trainer when you are an instructor"? Her reply is "I don't know as much as my trainer does about weight lifting and I now have someone to push/motivate me out of my comfort zone".
Charm City Classic
Ã¢â‚¬â€œ October 25, 2008
Battlefield Classic - October 18, 2008