Inside the Mind of CJ Dunning
BAC : How about your upbringing what were some of your favorite family activities as a child?
CJ: Well, I’m the youngest of 3 girls and we are all 3 years apart. As far as activities, I remember camping in Las Vegas, camping and fishing out here in Colorado. My dad and I have a love for the outdoors and mountains, I started skiing at 2 years old, which progressed into snowboarding with my middle school team.
BAC :Wow, when average toddlers were playing with tumbler cups, you were tumbling and topping slopes! Definitely the adventurous type we may be speaking to the new Lara Croft!
BAC :Now that we know some of your younger years, when did you start with weight lifting and modeling?
CJ: I started lifting weights at 13 and started with modeling shoots at 16.
BAC : That was along the time of your high school years, with that, can you tell us a bit about your high school years?
CJ: I was actually bullied a bit in High School, bullied for being a bit of a geek. I had all AP classes and honors, I had a semester and a half worth of college credit before graduating. I read all the time and still do. Knowledge and growth was firmly rooted in my growing up and it has stayed with me. I also played tennis and I was a cheerleader.
BAC : That worked out beautifully for you, as you have a Bachelor’s Degree in pre-law, Criminology & Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. And that’s not even mentioning your athletic endeavors…
CJ: Yes, I attended Northern Arizona University from 2010-2014. I did a year of AFROTC . During my college years, I continued to lift and that was one way I channeled negative energy into positive energy. I’m a firm believer of the greatest revenge is with large amounts of success.
BAC : We touched on this earlier, but can you tell us about your competitions more in depth?
CJ: My first bodybuilding competition was in March 2014, I was sponsored before the competition and placed 15th. In August of 2014, I placed in the top ten of USA’s, then a year (August 2015) later at my 3rd show, I placed 9th.
BAC : Quite the accomplishments for being in competition for less than 24 months!
BAC : Let’s start off some fun facts about yourself, what are your favorite colors?
CJ: Pink and Turquoise.
BAC :Together, mixed like a Koolaid drink, or separate like war paint?
CJ: Always separate, never used the colors as war paint, but you just gave me an idea…
BAC : What’s an interesting fact(s) about you, that you can tell us?
CJ: I’m a curve-ball tomboy, who loves to listen to heavy metal while reading books.
BAC : We did a bit of research on you, and discovered you have a hidden talent for writing, what genres do you like to write?
CJ: Documentaries and inspirational stories.
BAC : Have you ever worked any odd jobs?
CJ: I wouldn’t call this odd, I’d call it soulful if anything. I worked on a ranch during college.
BAC : What do you do for times of downtime and relaxation?
CJ: I’m a huge movie buff, with a concentration of scary movies based on faith, paranormal, unexplained events.
BAC : How do you combat fear?
CJ: I’d like to start off with, fear is controlling and toxic and it’s something that is innate to us as a human race. What I do to combat and place reins on fear is, I challenge myself, take risks on opportunities and erasing “what if” out of my vocabulary.
BAC : On days that you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall, what process do you practice to stay focused?
CJ: Self-reflection and visualization of what I strive for and the grounding of my beliefs. I write notes in my a noted journal, I place thoughts and goals into it. I always revisit my note journal and that is one source that assists me when brick-walls pop up.
BAC: With those thoughts in mind, what’s your definition of a champion?
CJ: A person who is purposeful, doesn’t settle for mediocrity. Doesn’t want to win, but lives to win. A person who is in love with accomplishing what no one else around is willing to do. Putting proven goals into action.
BAC: CJ can you give us insight into your daily diet and workouts?
CJ: Sure, as far as my diet, I keep it simple. During competition I consume macronutrients. Outside of competition, I maintain what my body needs, I don’t count calories, I eat more lean meat than red meat, dark colored carbs over light/white based carbs. Greener the better when it comes to veggies and no dairy, dairy is hard to process in the human body, so I stay away from it.
BAC: CJ, can you give us a little insight into the culture of bodybuilding?
CJ: I’ll tell you, it is completely opposite for men and women. Perhaps this is from our social conditioning but 9/10 men are found attractive, I’ve known male competitors in bodybuilding that were just in it for the magnetism of women. For the women’s side of things, 2/10 women appear attractive to men. It seems women bodybuilding is not “ mainstream attractive” in our culture.
BAC : Can you tell us your source(s) for your inspiration?
CJ: Yes, I’ll start with my faith in God first. Recently, I tattooed “I Am Second” on my foot to permanently commit myself and my recognition to Christ. “I Am Second” means to me, regardless of what I want to “win” or accomplish, regardless of the “trophies” I strive to retain, regardless of my surroundings and public presence I may ever have, I will always put myself second to God. My family. Bethany Hamilton Soul Surfer, I couldn’t even imagine what to do if I lost a limb and my soul told me to continue my sport.
Another would have to be Ronda Rousey. I like her perspective of “Don’t be a D.N.B” Don’t be a do-nothing bitch! Do something of value with your life and don’t sit around looking pretty, resting your existence on someone else’s gratification, desire or will for you.
BAC: CJ, thank you again for your time. And thank you for letting us share you with the world of Become A Champion!
As we can see, CJ has stayed true to her principles of life. With her motivation, willpower, family and support system, we only expect to hear greater and bigger things from CJ’s story-line. CJ’s willpower is far from a whisper.
Her willpower and faith have been speaking at a normal tone through a megaphone and the volume is only getting louder…
Become A Champion!
Written by: Adrian DeBarros