Kimberly Cao uses tragedy to become bodybuilding success.
Kimberly Cao was just one of thousands of Texas residents blindsided by Tropical Storm Harvey. The 29-year-old was forced to relocate, and says the ordeal gave her fueled her bodybuilding spirit to the next level.
The initial storm was extremely traumatic. She told 12 News:
“We lost everything, had to evacuate in the middle of the night in flood waters. My dog, I was literally pushing him in a plastic bin until we were able to get to a boat to safety.”
But bad weather was just the beginning of her struggle. Cao’s father was injured involved in a car accident and required emergency surgery. On top of that, Cao’s boyfriend broke up with her. All three events occurred within one week.
“All of these independent situations happening at once is extremely overwhelming, I wasn’t prepared to handle them. I just didn’t know the correct way or the type of emotions I’m supposed to be feeling and I didn’t want to be susceptible to negative thoughts.”
This series of unfortunate events inspired Cao to push harder than ever at her home Powerhouse Gym in Port Neches.
Through the next eight months she dropped a stunning 34 pounds, and finished first in the Open Bikini division in the Southeast Texas Bodybuilding Championships. She also took silver in the Novice Bikini division.
She said the victory was highly cathartic after her struggles.
“It was very overwhelming, I feel like my family was more excited for me because they’ve been on this journey this entire time with me, it was very rewarding.”
“I feel super empowered, I feel that I cannot be defeated by the situations or tribulations that come across, but I can control how I react to them, and bodybuilding has been a very positive outlet for me.”
The victories qualified Cao for national competition, and she looks forward to greater success on her bodybuilding journey.