Tiffany Mentenko

Tiffany Mentenko

TIFFANY MENTENKO

Being born with genetic organ diseases and a connective tissue disorder - Ehlos Danlos (Hypermobility), I was not thought of as the athlete in the family. But from a young age I was super active and wanted to do everything I could and be involved in sports. In elementary school, I was in a terrible theme park ride accident and I lost my ability to talk due to a brain injury, so I had to relearn. I was in speech therapy and physical rehab for 5 years and that is when my mother put me into acting to help my confidence in speaking again. I started performing as an actor and as an athlete in Junior High. I excelled. I was the top female on the Junior Wrestling Team, and I was on the volleyball and dance team. I picked up my first weight lifting intro class in grade 7 and I was on the only female in it and did not care. I knew I was meant to be something, do great things and succeed at all I wanted to.

In High School, I continued to play volleyball and then joined kickboxing as well, and was always in the weight room between classes. After being in a car accident, I was bed ridden for most of grade 11. After I was rehabbed, I did not give up and I basically did every gym class to rehab myself and get strong again. I stayed true to my rehab programs and personal training programs as much as possible and knew this is where I was happiest. This was my thing. In 2011, I lost my mom to cancer within 7 weeks and my whole world shifted. I went down to 104 lbs, and began my journey with failing health due to stress and autoimmune disease being triggered.

Doctors only wanted to prescribe me medication. I knew my body and mind were stronger than whatever was trying to take over and I got support through a family friend and began moving and gaining strength and ability to walk. I finally got back into the gym and through yoga and training with light weights, I started getting healthier and I was the miracle patient. My doctors were in shock. Then I got into bodybuilding and never stopped, I was in love and getting healthy again. This ended up leaving me bed ridden and being told to go onto disability as I was going to be stuck this way for good. I was unable to even sit on a chair without collapsing at this point, and needed help moving.

In 2014, my thyroid shut down due to a brain tumor suppressing my pituitary gland and an autoimmune disease Hashimotos and again, I was in the hole. Unable to move out of bed from exhaustion, pain and abdominal distention, I knew it was going to be yet another road of rehabilitation. This is what introduced me to heavy lifting though, as I was unable to do any sort of high intensity cardio to protect my thyroid and adrenals, so it was almost a blessing in disguise. I had weight on me to build muscle mass and I had the training partners to help me through the workouts. I was progressing and losing the thyroid weight and started balancing out through medication. In 2015, I almost died of a septic infection and was hospitalized. Here we go again. Luckily I recovered within a few months and I was back at it and stronger even, in more ways than one.

In 2017, I was getting bored of the same routine and tried out Crossfit, which injured me pretty bad. Then Olympic lifting, but that wasn’t cutting it either. Earlier this year, I was introduced to StrongMan/StrongWoman and my goodness, I FELL IN LOVE! I am constantly proving doctors wrong and proving myself right, all while surprising myself. I am so strong inside and out, and I cannot express my gratitude for this sport of lifting in all its variations. I also can’t emphasize the importance of having positive mental focus, perseverance and drive. No matter what happens, I will continue to develop my skills, strength and overall wellbeing. Weightlifting has helped me overcome so much and heal from so much. Listen to your body, trust yourself and control your mind. The gym is my happy place and when I compete at competitions, I feel euphoric. It’s unreal and so inspiring. I will lift weights till the day I die.

MOTIVATION

It is so easy to fall victim to your circumstance, and I am motivated by the fact that I never did. I was raised strong and to never give up and always fight for myself. Looking back at all I have experienced and smiled through, I know what it takes and I hope I can help others be resilient and not fall victim to their diagnosis, injury, illness, state of mind or circumstance. I hope to inspire, educate and empower others. The power is in your mind and soul. The power of thought and not allowing yourself to say no and to never give up or give into anything less than you desire or are capable of.

Birthdate: Sept 15, 1988
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 134 lbs

Residence:  
Victoria BC, Canada