It's one thing for professional athletes to have to make an ethical decision about using steroids, but college cheerleaders?
Anna Watson has to be America's strongest female cheerleader; the University of Georgia student loves spending time in the weight room, and it certainly shows. But she has more important things in her life: Watson passed up a big money fitness modeling contract because she refused to use a legal steroid.
"It's an elite position to be a cheerleader at UGA," Watson told Red and Black, her school's award-winning student newspaper. "They have hundreds of girls try out, and to be selected out of all of those people to be on the team, it’s kind of a big deal. So those girls were very humble and gracious and patient to help me just learn the basic stuff."
Watson has been cheering since age 5. She can bench press 155 pounds, squat 255 pounds and dead lift 230 pounds. According to the school newspaper, she added an impressive four inches of muscles on her arms in just 10 months.
A deeply religious junior exercise and sports science major, Watson was on the brink of a $75,000 fitness-modeling contract that could have set her up for a lifetime career in modeling -- but she turned it down.
A modeling agent wanted her to use Anavar, a legal anabolic steroid to help her gain up to 50 pounds of muscle. Worried about the effects on her body when she decides to have kids, Watson passed.
"I don't serve a modeling agent. I serve the Lord," Watson said. "I'm not going to compromise my morals and my beliefs just to take pictures. I believe that my body is a temple and a beautiful creation, so I don't want to put anything into it that can harm it."
Despite being somewhat of a cult hero for her large muscles, Watson says that's not really who she is.
"I know that my identity is not in working out," Watson said. "It’s not who I am. It’s not what I want people to see me as. Yes, on the outside, I’m a very fit individual, but when you get to know me, my life is not all about exercise and working out."
After cheering at three home Georgia football games, Watson is on the disabled list right now after rupturing her Achilles tendon.
Facts On Georgia's Ridiculously Strong Cheerleader, Anna Watson:
• Has over 30 pairs of jeans, only two fit.
• Competed as a gymnast for 10 years.
• Became a cheerleader her sophomore year of high school.
• Doesn't wear headphones in the gym; she likes to socialize in the weight room.
• Credits her Christian faith with helping her find balance in life.
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