Ruff competed in all-natural competitions which were 100 percent drug-free and drug-tested for 12 years before leaving the sport in 2012, she said.
“At the age of 48, I am a coach and ready to give back to the industry and put people on stage and let them live the dream I had,” she said.
A 1983 graduate of Paulding County High, Ruff ran track and cross country during her time as a Patriot.
In an effort to get away from what she said was a rough childhood, Ruff got married at the age of 16. At 21 she had her first child and her third at age 29. Divorced at 34, Ruff recalled she fell into depression.
To help address her condition, Ruff joined the now-closed Great American Fitness gym in Dallas in October 1999.
A year later, after hiring a trainer, Ruff stepped on stage at 110 pounds in her first show and won. Ruff said she cried as she walked off stage and told her trainer, “I finally found where I belong.”
Since her first show in 2000, Ruff has won 20 first, second, third, and overall awards including first place in the 2001 International Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation women’s masters for bodybuilding, first place in the 2001 and 2002 Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness Organization masters for female body building; and first in the 2007 National Physique Committee Gold’s Gym Classic Open in female bodybuilding.
Ruff’s last show was the 2012 committee’s coastal women’s physique, in which she took first place.
“I was glad to be ending my career with one more first place win on top of four pro cards,” she said.
Through her first place and overall finishes, Ruff earned pro cards for female bodybuilding with the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation and Supernatural and two with International, as well as an International pro card for figure, allowing her to compete in professional competitions.
While Ruff said she misses being on stage, she stays involved as a coach, a judge and a promoter. Ruff is currently promoting an International federation show set for Oct. 19 at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta.
Outside of bodybuilding, Ruff also gives nutrition seminars across the state and speaks at women’s shelters.
Through Ruff Results — located at 4000 Fambrough Drive in Powder Springs — Ruff trains for weight loss as well. She works with all ages and teaches them how to tone and build their bodies properly.
“I want your best because I’m going to give you my best,” said Ruff.