Tag Archives: female bodybuilders

Fitness Unarmed: The story of amputee and bodybuilder Barbie Guerra

One look at a female bodybuilder and anyone can see that she’s different. With muscle tone like an exotic Amazonian and a dark spray tan, a body builder is a walking representation of extreme fitness.

Barbie Guerra lines up along other sculpted bodies during competitions. Together the bodybuilders don’t seem so different.BarbT_Comp_16

But Guerra still stands out.

She doesn’t have any arms.

The mother of two read about fitness competitors like Kelly Ryan in magazines for years. She became fascinated by the sport.

“I wanted to be in the magazines – just like them!” Guerra wrote on her website. “I just wasn’t sure at the time if I believed in myself enough to do it. I had to ask myself if I’m going to sit around wanting to do that or if I’m going to get up and do it? I decided that if I did not at least try, I would definitely regret it later.”

So Guerra called local competitions around her Arizona town to see if she could enter.

“I was concerned that I was going to bust my butt preparing for a competition and then not qualify to compete because of not having arms,” Guerra wrote. “I decided to make a phone call to the promoter to make sure it was alright for me to enter.”

The promoter was excited to have her compete. He said the audience would love her and she would  be a symbol of inspiration.

But he also told her something that would knock most people down.

He told her she could never win.

It only fueled her fire of motivation.

Since then, Guerra has entered 15 competitions from Chicago to Houston. Her last competition was the 2012 NPC Jr. Nationals where she placed fifth.

barbie-guerra-15

Not too shabby for a woman who wasn’t supposed to survive the accident that caused her to lose her arms at just two years old.

“I was outside playing with several other children, and being a typical 2yr old, I was in and out of the apartment a thousand times,” Guerra wrote. “While I was outside, I did something that would change my life in an instant.”

She climbed onto a transformer, grabbing wires to help her up.

Guerra was instantly electrocuted.

Electricity entered through both her hands, shot up her arms, traveled through her little body and exited through her feet.

Her arms were burned to the bone, “like charcoal.” Both were amputated at the shoulder. She still has scars on her legs.

Doctors said she would be in a vegetative state if she survived. But Guerra did survive and is physically and mentally capable. Her medical team speculated that the rubber soles in her tennis shoes might have been the reason her life was saved.

But Guerra believes it was an act of God.

“My mom prayed that if I had to live as a vegetable, that God would just take me,” Guerra wrote. “She also made a promise to God that day-if he let me live, she would make sure that I became ‘somebody.'”

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