An iron pumping educator is using her hobby of body building to inspire others.
Dr. Maria Tello is a South Texas College English professor who teaches the importance of dedication and organization to succeed.
“I think that students have in mind that an instructor doesn’t have a life outside of the classroom.” Says Dr. Tello.
She’s a professor, wife and mother, and thanks to her good friend and personal trainer, Dr. Tello can now add body builder to the many titles she holds.
“He was the one who asked me, “Do you see yourself competing one day?” and I said “no, no I never see myself doing that. That’s crazy, that’s just for professionals.”
But after reconsidering, she got to work.
“I started off just three days out of the week, and I loved it so much that I moved that up to five days out of the week.”
Fast forward four years to this past April. Tello took first place at the Dropzone Physique Showdown Competition. She also placed third in two other bikini competitions. While the journey was long and at times very trying, it’s her nine-year-old son Evan, who keeps her going.
“I had Evan when I was 38. I promised myself that I was never going to let age play a factor, that I was going to make sure that I always stayed healthy and strong, so that I could teach him also how to be active.”
Dr. Tello now uses her story to inspire her students to push themselves to the limit.
“I tell them, never settle for just a mediocre life. Always try to strive for more. If you’re going to have a job, be the best that you can be at that job. If you’re going to be a student try your hardest.”
Dr. Maria Tello is currently training for her second competition in November.