Michaela Rosenthal is easy to spot as she walks down the halls at Freeman High School. She’s the one carrying a cooler and a gallon jug of water everywhere she goes.
By the end of the day, each and every day, she will have consumed 2 gallons of water and eaten her carefully prepared foods, including egg whites, asparagus, rice, oatmeal, carrots, two tablespoons of peanut butter and other select items. And she will have gone through a very vigorous physical training regimen as well.
Rosenthal has been preparing like this since February for the National Physique Committee’s body building competition taking place June 3 in Boise and July 15 in Puyallup. She is entering the bikini competition, doing a routine which shows off the physique she is working hard to sculpt.
She loves the commitment and hard work it requires to improve herself physically. These goals run in the family, though she has only come to the activity recently. Rosenthal’s father, Jack, a Spokane County Sheriff’s Department sergeant, and her mother, Marie, a Spokane Police Department detective, are both body builders, and her mother may also be entering the Puyallup competition. Daughter will be in the 18-35 age division, grouped by height, and Mom will be in the masters division, for those age 35-plus.
This is a turnaround in her life. She had attended school in Nine Mile until the family moved to Freeman just before her sophomore year. It was precisely the night before the family moved that an experience occurred “that changed my life, changed my perspective,” she said. “I knew I had to become a better person because the consequences could have been so different, could have gone so bad. I was definitely headed down a path that was detrimental to me if I didn’t change, and so I did.”
At Freeman she maintains a 3.715 GPA and is spirit commissioner for the Associated Student Body, creating assemblies and, as she said, “working at spirit central.” She recently helped put on a distracted driving assembly that the entire student body attended. Her father was the keynote speaker, sharing stories about the anguish that distracted driving can bring to families.
“It just doesn’t affect the person who gets into an accident, but it also hurts whole families, the paramedics, law enforcement, bystanders, everyone,” Rosenthal said.
She also works as a teacher’s assistant at Freeman, “making millions and millions of photocopies,” delivering them where needed and doing assorted errands to help the teachers. She’s worked as a lifeguard and will be a parks worker this summer at Liberty Lake.
This fall she will move to California where she has gotten a job as a server at an upscale retirement center. After working and saving for a year she intends to enroll at San Diego State University to study nutrition and exercise science.
And she is now sporting a tattoo on her wrist with words that she said “mean so much to me.” It reads, “Rust to Gold,” taken from the song by the band Council.
“I went from rust to gold,” she added. “I’m a different person than I was. It shows that people can change.”
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