No one would ever guess walking up to this gorgeous dark haired, feminine
woman at this trendy LA café that she was the winner of American
Gladiator’s. I was taken back by how sweet and gracious she was, polite,
well groomed, the anti-thesis of ‘tough’ or gladiator image. But Tough and
strong she is, a 32 year old mom of twin girls, a successful fitness model
by profession and former Portland Trailblazers Dancer, she defied the odds,
muscled her way through the competitions to be crowned the champion of the
I actually happen to catch the finale of AG and saw Monica’s race to the
finish, when I heard she was a mom I instantly routed for her, and found
myself really cheering when she triumphed. She was such an inspiration, I
knew we had to interview her for the website.
Monica loved watching American Gladiators growing up so she jumped at the
chance to audition when her sports agent presented it. She actually at
first tried out to be one of the gladiators..she was quickly shot down. So
she auditioned to be a contestant on the show. It was a 2 1/2 week process,
round after round. She said it was mentally exhausting waiting around all
day and then having to been ready very fast to compete. They only got one
opportunity to try the different obstacles, so often during each event you
were not only physically outmatched but you were also out of your element.
And it was hard was being for her being far from her family as well. Monica’s husband is a former star football player and coach as well as a jujitsu master, so sports and training are very much a part their family life. (Besides that she has raised twins which may have been the greatest preparation of all) But Monica had never played contact sports, and the very first competition she got body-checked and she says, “I got hit so hard I thought my chest was going out the back of my body, I thought, I am fighting for my life here!”
She said it was that fear and adrenalin that carried her through the rest of competition, she admits it is just as much a mental game as a physical game. “You have to cross over the line of fear and intimidation”. The experience was so much more than she ever imagined, and she has this as an example life lesson for her girls, that you can overcome the impossible with determination.
Monica joined the cast as a gladiator this time for the second season, a role in which she showed them she DID belong. She said the show is so much fun, high energy, feels the show helps to bring back family time, as it is great to watch together. And her family couldn’t be more proud of her, He husband has always been in the limelight so this was her time to shine, and her daughters were excited to see her and be on TV.
We had a great chat, it was like talking to one of your girlfriends and catching up. There is a grace and a confidence that exudes Monica and you really feel it in her presence. I asked for her secret to a solid family and happy marriage. She said “you have to be flexible and go with the flow, especially as a mom of twins I have learned patience and perseverance.”…Monica added, “My husband and I have been together for 9 years, we are committed to each other and this marriage, we’ve committed and just as in competition relationships take determination as well as love.”
As we were leaving I asked her about ‘The Hulkster’ and she said it was fun to see and meet him in real life, that he was very gracious and added Laila Ali was nice and encouraging too.
American Gladiators is on Mondays on NBC at 8/7c