The first ten days of the 80’s I spent in the womb, the rest of the decade I enjoyed all the joys and misery of being an only child in Winter Park, Florida. The nineties brought major changes: I was cursed by a baby sister, Lindsey, who became a blessing no words will ever embody, and I moved to a small town in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina were I stayed until 2003. I like to say I grew up in Florida but did my growing up in North Carolina.
Leslie Rae Newton
Off season: 160lbs Contest: 145lbs
Lawyer,Personal Trainer, Fitness Routine Choreographer, Fitness Model
How It All Began:
While a youngster in Florida, I did many of the typical ‘get your child involved’ activities, but the two that stuck were softball and youth road races. After moving to North Carolina, I traded my softball field for a volleyball net and played through high school. I also tried track and found out that I was a pretty good 400m girl all the way through state meets. But in high school, I was the outsider who didn’t grow up there and had a hard time fitting in as a teenager in a town where everyone knew everyone’s parents and had grown up together. After graduation, I attended Western Carolina University, about 30min from home. It is a smaller school nestled deep in the Appalachian Mountains. The small school atmosphere gave me an excellent education and the opportunity to shine as a student and be a part of groundbreaking opportunities. One of those was being one of the founders of WCU’s girls rugby team, a team that went to the final four our first year.
During college, I spent a summer in Orlando, Fl. and worked as a lifeguard at Disney. While there, I met a trainer, Carl at World’s Gym, who changed my life. He began strength training me for rugby, and during that time, I was introduced to the world of true physique training. One of his clients was a fitness competitor who said just the right things to interest me enough to research the sport. I wanted to be a part of the world I was reading about and became determined to do everything I could in order to be a fitness competitor.
Nothing in my previous training fed into the world of fitness. I was training to be stronger, faster, bigger and badder than the girl on the other team staring at me like her next meal. Which, I must say worked out real well. I was picked for the All-stars my first year. But, my interest changed. I wanted to compete. I spent two years preparing for my first show and never looked back.
My entire life I have been blessed with opportunity, like many people, but I think my best blessing is my drive: I want to see opportunity, I believe in myself to follow thru with each dream I have, and above all I trust in God’s plan to use my life to lift others. There is not one achievement in my life that I cannot give full credit to God.
My family and friends have come a long way with me. I have found out what a blessing a true friend is and what a heartache it is to find out how wrong my character judgment can be. My mom has been my biggest ‘blind’ fan. She has never understood why I compete and has always been fearful of its impact on my life, heath, and education. But, through all her hesitation, she has always stood by my dreams and me. Additionally, my sister is amazing. She is so much younger and has claimed that I am her hero, but truth is, she is mine. She stands so strong against the grain for what she believes in, and she gives love to the unlovable. I wish I had been more myself and less what I thought people wanted when I was in high school. I wish I had been more like her.