Katrina Freds never thought she'd find herself on stage.
"I was always outside, playing in the woods or pond and getting yelled at for being muddy," she says, laughing.
Katrina was a sprinter in high school, but tore one hamstring her sophomore year and the other one during her senior year. Sixteen weeks later, she found herself on stage at her first show where she won bikini overall. From there, things just progressed.
Eventually, her tenacious spirit not only earner her a spot on stage at the Arnold, but got her a second-place win.
Competitions helped Katrina gain back a sense of control. "After I injured my legs, I watched myself become more and more unhealthy," she says. "I remembered how active I was and how good that felt, so I started following people in the fitness industry. Competitions became a way to get more fit, look good for my husband, and challenge myself."
It wasn't always an easy path, and ample support wasn't readily available. "I had people telling me I was setting myself up for failure," Katrina says. "It's hard to hear people say you're not going to amount to anything. It makes you feel awful, but I had to remember that I wasn't doing this for them—I was doing this for me."
The glamour of the stage was a far cry from her day-to-day life. "When I first graduated high school, I went straight into working three jobs," she says. "I had a crazy schedule until I landed my job as a high school custodian. I cleaned all the bathrooms and hallways.
"I didn't have any gym equipment at my house and couldn't afford a gym membership, but the high school had a gym. I worked out after second shift, so I'd be doing like midnight to 3 a.m. just to get my gym session in. I had to eat my meals in between cleaning bathrooms."
Katrina's humble roots make her relatable, approachable, and an inspiration to "regular" girls everywhere.