As a former member of the Junior National Team, I was able to compete at National and International Events with our main focus being to qualify for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Due to an injury, my hopes and dreams of reaching the Olympic Games diminished. When I fully recovered from my injury, my competitive spirit could not rest anymore and I searched for an outlet. This was when I found Competitive Sports Aerobics. Within the first two years of competing, using my elite gymnastics background, I became State and National Champion and won a spot on the Junior Australian National Team to compete at Junior World Championships in Hungary.
At the age of nineteen I decided I needed to take a break from the competitive world of sports and pursue my love of acting. This freedom from competitive sports allowed me to travel the world, meet new people, and learn the craft of acting. I attended the T.A.I. Theater Program in Madrid, Spain. It was in Spain where I finally decided that it was time to go back to my beginnings and explore the country I held so dear to my heart, the United States! With just a backpack and dream, I signed up to train and learn acting at the New York Film Academy in New York City. Once in New York City, I realized that this was the place for me. Shortly after moving, I was accepted into a two year conservatory program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Once finished with my acting studies, I entered back into the world of gymnastics. As a gymnastics administrator and team head coach in New York City, I began to feel that familiar urge to compete again. Through a very close friend, Lena Squarciafico-Mishin, a fitness competitor herself, I was introduced to the world of fitness. Through fitness, I am able to use each and every skill I have learned in gymnastics, aerobics, and theater to perform on stage each and every competition. Within my first year in fitness, training out of Bev Francis Power House Gym in Syosset, NY, I was fortunate to have received my IFBB Pro Card, win my first professional show, make it to the great stage at Olympia, and meet new friends and opportunities. I thank fitness for allowing me to travel the world, share my love of fitness, and most of all, feed the competitive beast inside of me.
Although fitness came to me later on in my life, I look back and realize it was with me the whole time. My name is Natalie Planes and I am an IFBB Fitness Pro. I started my journey towards fitness when I was first born in Miami, Florida. My parents, both born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, were travelers to say the least. My stay in Miami was not long lived. When I was two years old my parents decided that my journey in life was taking me to the "Land Down Under", to Sydney, Australia. Here is where my life's work was introduced to me, gymnastics. I began gymnastics when I was two years old and by the time I reached the age of seven I was scouted and selected to the NSWIS Elite Gymnastics Program. This program works in conjunction with the A.I.S. to form national and international level gymnasts.