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The way my mother tells the story, from the moment I was born in Los Angeles, she knew I was going to be a fierce little competitor. Put me on the floor with other babies and I could crawl faster, stand up longer and cry louder, alas her dainty little girl was destined to be a “Jock! By age 4 I was ice skating and skiing; at 7, I was at the YMCA taking gymnastics, my “tomboy years”, included football and soccer with my brother. It didn’t matter what the sport was – you would always find me in the middle of it, heading for the lead. At 15, we moved to Orange County where I was on the USA Jr. Elite National Gymnastics Team, training 4 to 6 hours a day for the ultimate goal of competing at the 1980 Olympics. Unfortunately, President Jimmy Carter boycotted the USA team from participating in the Olympics that year. Disappointed but undaunted, I moved forward and that very same year, I was thrilled to receive athletic scholarships to numerous colleges around the country. I opted to attend UCLA for their great gymnastics team and coaches. Nicknamed “Tiger Geiger” by my teammates, I was enjoying gymnastics and everything associated with college life. By my senior year, I had grown 7 inches and blew my knee out while competing. (Exit to Plan B) I transferred to SDSU in San Diego to pursue a Business Degree in Marketing where, at age 19, I fell madly in love with my boyfriend, KR, and we’ve been together ever since!
After graduating college I started my career in the Mortgage Banking Industry while KR headed back East to attend Aviation Officers and Naval Jet Flight Training Schools. After KR graduated he was assigned to fly jets in San Diego. He looked so great in that uniform, I wasn’t about to let him get away! We were married in July 1988 and over the next 3 ½ years I gave birth to our 3 sons. (We just celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary – still madly in love and going strong!)
In the early 90’s pursuing my version of the American Dream, I decided to stop working for others and started my own company in the Mortgage Industry. Then, in 1994, at age 32, I attended a gymnastics reunion where my old teammates dared “Tiger Geiger” to compete in an upcoming fitness show. Would I do it? Could I do it? Here I was in my 30’s with 3 small babies at home (when most people set aside the dreams of their youth to follow more traditional roles). I have to admit, after giving birth to 3 babies, virtually one right after the other; I was a little out of shape. This challenge would give me the opportunity to get back in shape and compete again, which I greatly missed. So, parroting a great line from an old war movie I said, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!” I knew I would have to rely on the talent and knowledge I had gained from my previous 14 years of intense gymnastics training and nutritional practices if I was going to be ready to compete in a fitness show. I thought, it really couldn’t be that different from all the other competitions I participated in – Oh Boy was I wrong! I will never forget that first show – What a humbling experience! The Galaxy Fitness Show was held in Florida, January 1995. I arrived at the show thinking I was prepared and ready to win. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew I was in trouble. Although it was the middle of winter, beautiful women with impeccable make-up and great tans, were wearing custom bathing suits that highlighted every curve of their body and extremely high heals that accentuated and elongated their legs providing each woman with a leaner, toned on-stage presentation. I stood beside them, white as a ghost (Tanning products – Never heard of them!) At 5’6 in flat shoes with my hair in a ponytail and absolutely no make-up on, I must have looked like a little girl. Adding insult to injury, I was wearing my favorite bathing suit, one that made me look really HOT – or so I thought! Yikes, I just had a crash course in “Preparation PLUS Presentation make a Lasting Impression on Stage” A Lesson WELL Learned!
Fast forward 15 years. As of today I have competed in 84 fitness and figure shows worldwide under 14 different affiliations and the majority of my National and International Titles were won in my 40’s! In November 2005, at age 43, I was the oldest woman to ever win the Fitness America Pageant. Another fitness affiliation I participate in, Ms Fitness recommended me to the producers of an ABC reality TV show called “Wife Swap” I found this experience to be extremely rewarding. Through the implementation of health, fitness and nutritional programs, combined with positive attitude and mental toughness I was able to help transform an entire family’s lifestyle. Since the show first aired and even today as it is seen in reruns around the world, I continue to receive letters from viewers asking for advice and assistance in creating a healthier lifestyle for their families.
Throughout my experiences I’ve learned that “you’re never too old AND it’s never too late to achieve the Ultimate Fit Life!
Education Level/Academic achievements: Graduated from Mission Viejo High
School top 10 in my class. GPA 3.76. I was awarded an athletic scholarship
to UCLA for gymnastics. I then transferred to SDSU to pursue my Business
Marketing degree. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree, Business
I have owned my own Mortgage Banking Corporation since 1991. I hold a California Real Estate License. I am a Loan officer and processing consultant. Dena Anne Weiner Website