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5% Nutrition Sponsored Athlete Little Beast Nina
- Updated: October 11, 2016
By Nina “Little Beast” Medina – After 10 years, here I am… I became sponsored! I have been training hard for years as lifestyle and as I mentioned before, my love for the gym started as a teenager. The reason I stepped in a gym was mostly because I was heavier than the rest of the people my age. Also I had a very bad childhood, suffering from mental and physical abuse and was bullied in my school. I was not the prettiest girl around, either. I didn’t stand out from the crowd other than in sports. I had no idea about nutrition or training, but going to run or cycling for hours was a great feeling of achievement. I kept flirting with sports, not knowing much but at the end, I was always going back for more.
I was only 15 at the time but I was living by myself and trying to get away from all the negative things that my life was surrounded with. The only thing making me feel in control was the gym. Years later, I developed more knowledge about training and nutrition but my life wasn’t getting any easier. I moved from Barcelona, Spain to the United States in 2008 but it was not by choice. I decided to go New Orleans for a vacation and Hurricane Gustav hit the area. I lost everything… all of my documentation included. “Now what?” I asked myself.
I ended up doing nothing but move forward. Eight years later, I’m still here. I developed more passion for the bodybuilding/fitness industry, starting out competing in bikini and then figure. But eventually, I ended up doing women’s physique.
I met wonderful people along the way who helped me out to move forward and made me grow as a person. The obstacles, challenges and type of people I was around before made for an unfavorable situation and I had to learn to forgive. Those types of experiences also made me the person I am today.
One of the good and important people in my life during my journey was Keith Lawrence, who I met him after I was divorced. Mine was a case of domestic abuse and the situation left me with nothing since I was an illegal alien at the time. I couldn’t find a decent job or a place to stay so I ended up working 12 hours a day in a gas station for less than $1,000 a month and sleeping on the floor.
I was working on my documentation to become legal and trying hard to not fall into a state of desperation. One of the things that kept me going was the gym. I was hoping and wishing every day that it was 8 o’clock and I could hit the gym. That was heaven! One of those days, I met Keith running down the stairs. We exchanged phone numbers and from that day on, we became inseparable. He became my best friend, my coach and the person who lifted me up. I owe most of my success to him, as he encouraged me to step forward and never look back. We competed together in physique, placing top-three several time in NPC competitions. Since then, I never stopped training and now it has been 14 years of my life dedicated to this lifestyle. That how I became a 5%er.
I always posted my progress and videos on social media to inspire other people – women, men, kids… any type of person. I wanted to share my passion and drive, how amazing it is to take care of yourself and find a comfort zone, but also putting aside some ‘me time.’
I had always wished to become an sponsored athlete and wondered what was needed. But deep down, I didn’t care at all and that never stopped me from doing what I love.
One day, I received an unexpected message on Instagram from Caleb Green (@Big_c_green on Instagram). He told me that my Instagram bio caught his attention and even though I was proud of not being sponsored, was I seeking one. I told him that but I had inquired about being sponsored by 5% approximately two years ago. But it was more recently that someone told him to give my bio a look.
At that moment, Caleb became my mentor. He told me that they were looking for some new people to sponsor, but they also had a few other candidates in mind at the time. He gave me props and complimented me because my lifestyle and effort day-by-day was matching the 5% percent mentality. 5% represents the percentage of people that are out there actually doing whatever it takes to fulfill their dreams, to accomplish their goals and to live the type of life they want to live.
I wasn’t expecting to be sponsored and was happy just to been considered. Caleb told me that he had to speak to Miss Jane (5% director from the company and athlete coordinator) but he could not promise anything. I was fine with that.
A few weeks later, Keith surprised me with tickets for the Olympia. I could not be more excited. In my mind I was like, “I am going to meet Rich Piana and CT Fletcher.” I notified Caleb and he told me to pass by the 5% booth air the expo to meet Rich and Jane. I didn’t know If I was more excited to be at the Olympia for first time or get to meet my potential sponsors. I was super motivated and my drive and passion were multiplied by 10 with anticipation.
Once at the Olympia, I ran to the packed booth to see Caleb. I gave him a big hug because he is a fuckin’ awesome person and I was so blessed to meet him! I wanted to wait for the end of the day to meet Rich and Jane, but after meeting a few of the athletes from the company, such as Damiyah Smith, the youngest 5%percenter at 10 years of age who is rocking it as athlete of the year! (@powerhouseprincressok IG), Pedro Barron Pro-Bodybuilder (@Pedrobarron_iffbpro), Rasheed English Pro-bodybuilder (@rawtalent126), Melanie Mcmara(@lil.monsta.melanie ), @Bigmarc978, Christina @Cbshbfit, @dc4litlife, @marcy_5_marc, @dahitman561, Paul James Heredia @bigamepauljames, @gymbeast, Paul paradis@paulparadis62, Shelly Nichols @shellyfitmama, Kristi Ferro @trauman25_ifbbpro, etc, I decided to wait in line with the fans who wanted to have pictures with Rich and when It was my turn, I just introduced myself to him by saying:
“Hey, Rich. I’m so pleased to meet you. You don’t know me yet, but my name is Nina. I came all the way from New Orleans to tell you I should be a part of your team!”
And he replied, “With those damn legs, like it or not, you need to be on the team! Let me introduce you to our athlete director.”
That day, I was named Quads!
After that brief conversation, I met Miss Jane, who is a wonderful hardworking woman. She took down all of my information and said that she wanted to meet me a long time ago but she never had the chance to communicate to me. But now that I was there, she was so happy I made it and welcomed me to the team.
The reasons why I was sponsored by Jane is because she felt that I was photogenic and fit, but also because she read the last article from MuscleSport Magazine about my story and that it was a big inspiration to women who have experienced people in their lives who tell them that ‘they cannot’ do something.
Jane continued, “You inspire women with children, women of abuse, women who are single moms. There is so much more than just a pretty face and fit body. You have a lifetime of experiences that make you a great role model and someone that can be motivating.” After all that conversation and love shown by the team, directors and coordinators, I was certainly sure my place was with 5% team!
We spent the entire weekend together – breakfast the next morning, their booth at the expo and plenty of pictures. By the end of the day, we had been at a local gym, trained and recorded videos with the Boss. I have to say as a new member of the team that we are blessed with the opportunity by promoting our names, careers, supplements and gear and the only thing that we have to do is keep enjoying what we like the most – train hard as usual, inspire people and keep being ourselves with our branded clothing and posting our training sessions. Piana is so down to earth, he keeps it real and is a very smart person as a business man and bodybuilder. He’s a passionate person about what he loves the most.
Everyone judges over an image or a very superficial concept about a person. Did you ever have the chance to meet that individual personally to be able to have a preconceived opinion?