By STACY MILLBERG - firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Health Magazine is searching for its Next Fitness Star and a former Ashtabula resident could be the one.
Jamie (JAM) Murphy, a graduate of St. John High School, is one of five finalists chosen for the competition, out of more than 1,000 that auditioned.
The magazine announced the search in January and contestants had until Feb. 1 to audition. Candidates were required to answer a survey, submit a headshot and upload a sample YouTube workout video, all as a way to help discover the next big thing in the fitness world. The winner of the contest will get to star in a fitness DVD launched by the magazine.
Murphy said her friend’s mom was adamant about her filling out an application; however, she never thought she would get this close to winning.
“I thought it was pretty farfetched,” she said.
Murphy, 26, said she was in shock when she was notified she was one of the finalists.
“It was like it wasn’t even real life,” she said.
Murphy, along with the other four finalists then went through a series of interviews and were part of a photo and video shoot.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of love and support.”
Born to two fitness professionals, Lou Murphy and Kathy Serif, Murphy grew up with health and fitness. She was involved in competitive gymnastics at a young age and eventually made fitness her career.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” she said.
Murphy was working in Los Angeles at Equinox as a personal trainer in 2005, but didn’t really like the corporate style so she decided to venture out on her own.
She started her own brand Body by JAM in 2006 with just two clients. Since that time, the network is working with trainers and clients of more than 100 people, she said.
Murphy lives in Manhattan and represents her brand, which she describes as a lifestyle.
“It’s personal training, nutrition, motivation and it’s my baby,” she said.
As part of the contest, each finalist’s fitness video is on the contest’s website, where readers and fans can vote for their favorite. A panel of celebrity judges also will review each video before selecting their top choice.
Fans can watch Murphy’s video and vote for her at www.thenextfitnessstar.com.