Why I Started

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Why did I start body building?

Why I started

Hi I’m Briana Sokoloski & the one behind the scenes of Muscle BAE. I want to start off by thanking you. I truly feel honored by your support of simply taking the time to read a little bit about me & how the company came to life. To cut to the chase, I was raised in the Pacific NorthWest, Washington State to be exact & now living in southern California. I work full time for “the man” in the insurance industry for 8 states but am lucky enough to work from the comfort of my home & manage Muscle BAE & Co- Manage Project Palms in my/our spare time. 

A little glimpse into how my life revolved around fitness ever since the beginning. One of the first things I can remember is our parents enrolling us both into community sports, literally everything! Ever since I can imagine my parents enrolled both my older brother and I in community sports. T-ball, baseball, dance, soccer, karate, ballet, cheer, & to be honest I know I’m forgetting a few. It also helped that my mom had a degree in exercise science and taught aerobics at our local community college & she frequently took me along to “help” teach the class. You know, in the 90’s where people weren't so up tight and assholes. But back to the point. 

Cheer was the sport that stuck to me like glue, love at first site if you will. I feel extremely lucky to this day for getting the opportunity to grow within the sport of cheer. From the first season I started cheer at the age of seven, there wasn't a season/ game I missed. Cheer was my life in highschool. I was completely blessed & surrounded by so much love & opportunity. 

My senior year at NCA (National Cheer Association) cheer camp I earned Top All-American & was offered an application to join the National Cheer Association. This is one of my favorite & least expected surprises of my life. However due to my living situation in high school & graduating at the age of 17, I was unable to accept the offer when it came down to it. Regardless, such an awesome experience with the best of people. Some of whom I still keep in contact with, here and there & continue to look forward to catching up the next chance we get.

After highschool I went to community college, got involved in community service but not too much into sports. Besides the occasional yoga course because it was free and I also got some credits out of it. However I did pick up running outside my curriculum & even ended up running a half marathon with 7 bridges after training for months. I ran it without walking which was my ultimate goal. 

In college I was extremely cheap, I mean I still know how to bargain, but I was really cheap. There was no way in hell you would catch my cheap ass paying to workout somewhere. I had running & I knew the fundamentals of exercise & fitness. I would often bodyweight/ circuit  train on the patio of my apartment if I wanted to mix things up from just running to the beach and back while living in San Diego.

However, I did have a colleague that I worked with who begged me to get a gym membership at Gold’s Gym in Point Loma CA and from what I hear is not there anymore… Which is unfortunate because I loved that gym & is still probably my favorite to this day. Spoiler alert, I ended up caving & getting a membership there… But it's not what you think, it took YEARS of convincing. 

Not to mention, Gold’s Gym had a free week of gym access so I obviously took full advantage of that before making my decision to join. After just a couple days I asked the front desk attendant if I could get an application to sign up once the free sessions are over. Keep in mind at this point I already had plans to move to LA county in 3 months so there was no way I would sign the gym contract they made me sign something saying “There's a one time startup fee & you have to pay first and last and then give a month's notice… blah..blahh.. Blahhhh”. So like I said, my cheap ass asked to speak to the person in charge in regards to maybe not having to pay 3 months all at once & waive the 25 start up fee, since I knew I’d be leaving in just a couple months. 

This head honcho, fucking hooked it up! I truly wish I knew his name because this opportunity right here changed my life. He gave me the family discount for employees which was like $15.99 and access to EVERYTHING! Classes, tanning & of course the full gym! 

There is no shame in my game ladies and gents, sometimes when you ask you will receive & its worth it every time. Seriously, there are nice people out there & it doesn't hurt to ask.

Anywho I fell in love with the routine of working out & I started taking in consideration what I put in my body as I started to eat more and more due to how many calories I would burn. People at the gym started to ask me if I completed and I would always say “... I did competitive cheerleading in high school…”. Most of the time I’d get a nod or a weird look, until someone explained/ showed me a picture of a girl who competed in the bikini division of bodybuilding. This just opened up a can of worms & originally my competitive self thought I could definitely win something like this. Secondly I thought I’d be getting into the best shape/health of my life & knew I strive off of self declared structure.  

Don’t get me wrong I got in pretty great shape and then realized the dangers of trying to sustain that kind of physique, especially as a woman. Having such low body fat and constant high protein diet plus any supplements that are encouraged all takes a toll on one's body. But after winning my first show I was hooked & wanted to know what was next. I was ready to take it up a notch but always vowed to stay away from steroid use & managed to do so. The next level was going pro because I was pre qualified for competing for my pro card now that I won first place. 

I did one more show in between my first and my last, just to keep me in check and practice/ exposure is always encouraged. At this show I also placed first and was ready to relax and enjoy myself a little before I start to prepare for my national show. 

This was by far the hardest out of all the preps because not only did my life feel like it was falling apart but my body was no longer responding how it previously had in the past. However I persevered because I’m the type of person that is all in once I commit to something. I placed somewhere in the teens out of 20 some ladies & honestly I was extremely soft & honestly surprised I wasn't last. My hormones, metabolism and mental state/ stress levels were all compromised because of the constant strain I held my body in. Not to mention I was completely uncomfortable in my own skin.

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