Visalia woman training for American Ninja Warrior
A Visalia woman is competing to be on the next season of 'American Ninja Warrior' - that's the television show where contestants try to make it through a ridiculous obstacle course. Zhanique Lovett may now be on the path to stardom, but not before the Central Valley mom turned her life around years ago.
Zhanique Lovett is a beast. She doesn't love that nickname, but it's what everyone calls her when they see this 30-year-old mother of three with 6% body fat and an appetite for a challenge.
"I'm a person that, I believe I can do anything," says Lovett.
Most recently, Lovett scored an invite to an American Ninja Warrior qualifier in Los Angeles. Tens of thousands of men and women around the country submitted a three minute video, and Lovett was one of only a few picked to try out.
You can hear the confidence in her voice when Lovett says, "ever since I seen the show about seven of eight years ago, it was just always something in the back of my mind, where I'm like, I feel like I can do that. I feel like anything I put my mind to and train hard, I can achieve."
But Lovett didn't always possess this kind of self esteem and self worth. Raised by a single mom in an unstable home, Lovett was already going down a bad road at age 12.
"I was fighting, I was drinking, I was partying," says Lovett.
Anorexia and depression soon followed. Then at age 17, Lovett found out she was pregnant. Her soon-to-be daughter became the ultimate motivator. Lovett quit the drinking and the smoking, cold turkey.
"Despite how low I was...change is possible," says Lovett. "And you just have to find an excuse why to change. Find a reason to change and why to better your life."
Now, Lovett is the matriarch of a beautiful family of five. She's a personal trainer and boot camp instructor in Visalia, and often works out twice a day herself.
Marveling at how far she's come, Lovett explains, "Now I'm confident. I feel strong, I feel healthy. I feel like I have a whole life to live and I have a lot to learn. And back then I didn't."
If things keep going well on the obstacle course, Lovett could be sharing her story with a national audience. Legally, Lovett can't talk about how well the qualifier in L.A. went, but there's reason to believe she could be appearing on ANW sometime in June.