Muscle Sport Magazine

Finish What You Started – The Amber Elizabeth Simerly Story

There are not many people who could hang on an entire decade without giving up a dream, one that they have had nearly their entire life. It takes a special person to pick up where they left off, especially when they have had to deal with a number of personal issues that any one could have been used as an excuse.

But then again Amber Elizabeth Simerly is not just anyone.

“I received my first weight set when I was 12 years old and have been hooked ever since,” the 32-year-old mother of one said. “I powerlifted through high school and began bodybuilding in my 20’s. Six weeks out from my first show I dropped out and it drove me nuts for the past 10 years that I didn’t get up on that stage and finish what I started.”


What transpired since then was a whirlwind of negativity in Simerly’s life. “My mother was diagnosed with cancer for the third time, there were several deaths in my family and I was in a bad relationship,” she recalled. “I went through a divorce and had to face life as a single parent.”

Simerly met a woman in her gym, Natlia Zapata, that had competed in the past and won her class in fitness. After a short period of time, Simerly felt that the time was right to make her comeback. She had her sights set on the Elite Muscle Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina just a few short weeks ago.


“Even though I didn’t place, it didn’t discourage me one bit,” Simerly said confidently. “Natalia and I are going back for more in April at Johnny Stewart’s and North Carolina State.”

Because she has experienced such difficult times, Simerly uses her training as an outlet and something positive to focus on. “When I go in there I take every bit of passion, craziness and stress out on those machines,” she said. “I believe that you can literally think yourself hard. I love being able to say, ‘I want my glutes to come up.’


“Think of some crazy workout to do, do it two or three times and physically see and feel the results,” she added. “I believe, bottom line, is that it is all about intensity. In all aspects of life. You get what you put into it.”

And Simerly has put an awful lot into ‘it’ lately.…


Photos courtesy of Tyson Arts

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