A woman left without both arms as a child has managed to take control of her fate, becoming a bodybuilder and raising two children.
37-year-old Barbie Thomas of Phoenix competes in fitness championships. Even though she has only won once, the armless bodybuilder is motivated.
"After I lost my arms, my mom was frantic about what was going to happen to me. [...] But I put my legs out to hug her like I had already decided what I was going to do," Barbie tells The Huffington Post.
Her upper limbs had to be amputated due to an electrical shock at the age of two. She placed her hands on the unobstructed wiring in a transformer near her home.
She has played sports since she was a kid, competing on the swim team, dancing and playing soccer. She only took up bodybuilding in 2000, when she was 24 years old.
"When I first decided I wanted to compete, I talked with an organizer who told me I'd never win. [...] When someone says I can't do something, it lights a fire under me," she says.
She is training for her upcoming competitions by perfecting a complete flip, but she is worried about her routine.
"I want to add that, but I haven't done that in competition because I freak out when I'm on new surfaces," she adds.
Barbie is also a stay-at-home mom who is raising her two sons on her own. She has been separated from her husband since October of last year. Her kids are 13 and 17 years old and they can get messy, so every day is a struggle.
She plans to give acting a try, and she has dabbled with Hollywood before.
"I was actually up for an acting job when Steven Spielberg was making the film, 'A.I.' They wanted me to be a robot but I was pregnant with my second child and I don't think they wanted a pregnant robot," she recalls.