CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- You might not think it to look at her today... but Tricia Floyd of Chesterfield was once a dedicated track athlete.
Through high school at Thomas Jefferson and in college at Virginia State, her goal was always to be faster...not necessarily bigger.
But her priorities and goals have changed...and she now has her sights set on bodybuilding and powerlifting with an eye on a world record.
"I want to have a body where I can compete with it and it will cause me to keep the lifestyle up where I wouldn't be on that yo yo of gaining and losing weight" Floyd said.
That yo yo to which Floyd refers is a struggle many of us have every day. Losing 10 or 15 pounds only to gain it back again, or maybe a little more.
Floyd knows that struggle well...but in her case it was much more drastic.
After getting married, Floyd and her husband wanted to start a family, but had trouble conceiving. When they finally had their daughter Tia, their joy was short lived. Soon after birth, Tia began having breathing trouble, and subsequent tests revealed she had cardio myopathy, an enlarged heart which threatened her life.
"Because we had so many attempts and couldn't conceive her, once I did have her and a few months later, she's diagnosed with this rare heart issue, it was devastating for me."
Tia needed to be pulled from daycare and stay at home because of a weakened immune system. Months of testing at UVA's medical center took the family away from home for weeks at a time. Tricia's maternal instinct to fix the situation and protect her daughter wasn't working. While she spent all her waking hours focused on her daughter's health...she neglected her own.
"I let my health go. I would literally sit in a hospital chair all day. We stayed there, it would be fast food, hospital food. I didn't have the healthy lifestyle that I know I should be keeping up."
Tricia gained 40 pounds which wasn't the worst news. Doctors told her that if Tia's condition didn't improve rapidly, she would need a heart transplant.
"At that point, I told them, you give me 24 hours and tell me what goals she needs to achieve to get out of the NICU. If she doesn't do that in 24 hours, then I'll list her."
"I said listen Tia, I need you to fight for me because if you don't fight for me, we're going to be here for a very long time. Because she was able to fight for me to get stronger and healthier, I will fight for her every single day."
Miraculously, Tia achieved every goal set for her inside that 24 hours. That was the spark Tricia needed to turn her own lifestyle around in a very drastic way.
Floyd now works out nearly every day and has changed her entire diet with the help of her trainer Tina Johnson. She recently competed in her first bodybuilding event and won all four classifications for which she was eligible. She plans to turn professional and has a training partner who reminds her every day of just why she's putting herself through this transformation.
"She loves to watch me work out. We have a home gym. I bought her little baby weights. She'll do her little reps with me at home, so she's doing great."
"I'm going to keep creating goals, keep challenging myself, and try to stay strong. As I stay strong, my daughter stays strong."
Floyd's next challenge is to set a new world record in the deadlift for her weight class. She currently holds the Virginia state mark, and will attempt 410 pounds at her next meet, well over double her body weight.