PHOENIX -- She can't bench press a single pound, but one Valley bodybuilder is proving that she doesn't need to lift weights to win fitness awards and inspire thousands.
Barbie Thomas lost both her arms in an accident in Texas when she was just two years old. But that didn't stop her from living a full life, and eventually becoming a dancer, model and bodybuilder. In fact, her website is called "Fitness Unarmed."
The Valley resident is 37 years old and has two sons. She has competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions, and has ranked high the North American Bodybuilding Championships. Her story is making national headlines because of her accomplishments, her courage, and her unstoppable energy.
Her workout routine is grueling. "I usually do cardio in the morning, and whatever training I'm going to do," she told Scott Pasmore on a visit to 3TV about a year ago. "I do weights, lunges. I go out to the bleachers and use the track. I do a lot of flexibility some strength stuff; some fancy jumps, back rolls, front rolls, and whatever I can put in there."
Barbie placed sixth at Jr. Nationals and fifth in August at the North American Championships. The National Physique Committee was so impressed with her performance, it granted her the first-ever Inspiration Award.
"She blew our minds," said Arizona Chairman of the NPC, Miles Nuessle. "She was absolutely beautiful. She was on the floor jumping up and doing splits."
Barbie now has a large following of fans, and her story is trending online. WGN in Chicago tweeted that Barbie's was the station's "most inspirational & fascinating interview of the year".