Little girls’ usually daydream about future husbands, weddings and fairytale endings, but not Brandon resident Melissa Trinidad, 30, who as a child was dreaming of being on the television show American Gladiators. Well, her dream came true!
After joking around with a client about potential gladiator names, trainers at her workplace Lifestyle Family Fitness should title themselves with, personal fitness instructor Trinidad was informed that American Gladiators, which originally ran from 1989-1996, was making a comeback. “I was so surprised and happy. I told her on the spot, ‘I’m going to be on American Gladiators.’ After that I periodically checked the Website for the next casting call. Next thing I know, I’m in Orlando auditioning for the first round of casting!” exclaimed the 5 ft. 1 Trinidad who mentioned that she has always had some form of involvement with athletics and competitions. “My reaction to being on the show was one of pure elation. I had loved American Gladiators since I was 11 years old and to have been selected to be a contender was a childhood dream come true! I was ecstatic.”
American Gladiators allows everyday athletes the chance to battle it out with fellow contestants as well as gladiators through various competitions. Winning these competitions, the average Joe could obtain a grand prize of $100,000. The 14 gladiators aren’t minute either, with some appearing to be in the realm of those wrestlers featured in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Trinidad was able to win her match against these foes this time. Tune in to NBC at 8 p.m. on Mondays to see first-hand the trials these athletes have to face to win and whether she goes onto the semi-finals.
Returning to normalcy, Trinidad plans to continue to feel the burn, entering herself in a triathlon and continuing her training while also trying her hand at something a bit less physically intensive – writing. She mentioned that she wants to get her “hand into whatever doors open next.” This certified black belt, who teaches martial arts in her spare time as well as cooks, reads, runs, bikes, swims, kickboxes and lift weights, concluded saying, “The only important thing that I want from this experience is for my daughter [Malaya, 6,] to learn that you can achieve anything you want. I told her how I wanted to be on the show when I was little like her. And to have her by my side through watching the first season, being there for my audition callbacks, to filming in LA, to watching the both of us on the season two premiere episode of American Gladiators. That to me is priceless. I want her to follow her dreams.”
To learn more about American Gladiators as well as its broadcasting times, check out www.nbc.com.