About Mercedes



Mercedes' Story

Mercedes has been an athlete her whole life. After developing arthritis in her mid-thirties, she gave up playing softball and took her athleticism to the gym. As a manager of an all-women’s health club, Mercedes knew she wanted to become a bodybuilder. Supporting her vision, in 1997 her employer recommended she meet the legend and founder of Fle, Al Walke. Al acknowledged that Mercedes had what it takes to be a bodybuilder, but told her to come back when she was ready. Months later, Mercedes came back to Flex with a goal and a plan, and ready to train. She was given a diet by Al, followed it precisely, and was on stage within 8 weeks.

In 1998, at 40 years old, she felt like she was 18 again as she won the AAU Old Dominion show. It was that feeling of youth and confidence that hooked Mercedes into the sport of bodybuilding, and that year, Mercedes won all of her classes in the Masters division. Wanting a greater challenge, Mercedes stepped on stage in the Open division in 1999 and continued to win. Seeking even more, in 2000, Mercedes competed in the Team Universe show in New York City. Intimidated by the level of competition, Mercedes nearly missed the 5th call out, but thereafter she regained her confidence and says she could hear Big Al calling out the posing commands in her mind. She placed 2nd in 2002, and continued competing in the Team Universe show until 2003 when she earned overall winner in her division. It was at that show in 2003 that Mercedes earned her IFBB Pro card and became a professional bodybuilder.

Mercedes competed consistently as a pro through 2013, then hung her suit in retirement. After being told by Al to get back on stage, Mercedes rededicated herself to the sport. In May 2018, after her mentor and coach passed away, Mercedes knew she had to get back on stage one more time for Big Al. She focused on her prep and competed in the IFBB Lenda Murray Pro at the age of 60, and may have looked her best ever.

Mercedes continues to focus on her strength training and nutrition.

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