WALLINGFORD — Kristina Marzik may be only 5-foot-1 and 120 pounds, but she has has pumped iron with the best of them in the last five years.
On Sunday, the nation will see attempt her biggest challenge yet. The Wallingford resident will make her television debut on “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge,” a reality show aired weekly on CMT.
Marzik, 33, contended against seven other female athletes in a test of strength, stamina and endurance. The events: trench warfare, high and dry, and hard labor.
One of the eight earns the right to compete in the “Skullbuster” obstacle course with the hopes of winning a $10,000 prize.
Marzik was a part of a multi-day taping in California last August. Sunday’s broadcast is at 9 p.m.
The 2001 Sheehan grad couldn’t divulge the results, but did say the show challenged her in ways she hasn’t been tested before.
“It was an awesome experience,” Marzik said Tuesday. “My event was something I have never done before. It was great trying something new and it pushed me to work even harder.”
Marzik said she was a fan of Steve Austin, a retired WWE Hall of Famer and the inspiration for the show.
“He talked to us and was motivating and inspiring and it made me want to do more,” Marzik said. “That’s my big thing. I wanted to go out there to motivate others to capture their dreams and goals.”
Marzik has been bodybuilding for five years. She won the first competition she entered. In her most recent competition, she placed third. That show was her first after giving birth to her son Eryx, now 3-years old.
“I did that show to lose my baby weight,” Marzik said. “I love fitness, mud runs. It’s my passion to push myself.”
The third-place finish qualified Marzik for the 2015 Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Due to personal hardships, Marzik was unable to attend the second highest bodybuilding competition in the world. First prize was a hefty $130,000, a Hummer and an Audemars Piguet watch.
With one opportunity gone, another presented itself. Shortly after canceling her trip to Ohio, Marzik got word that “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” wanted her as a contestant.
“I watch the show on TV and I’m always looking for new things to try,” Marzik said. “It was perfect timing.”
Marzik’s training mainly consists of obstacle course racing and Olympic weightlifting. She also likes kickboxing and has tried MMA.
In addition to being a mother, she has worked for the last 11 years as an office manager at SAF-T Auto Centers in Wallingford.
“I still find time to work out,” Marzik said. “I work part-time now because of my son and I still train five days a week.”
She added that bodybuilding is a big commitment, particularly when training for competition.
“The difficulty is people sticking with it,” Marzik said. “It’s a lot. When you are training for a show, you are traveling with meals and eating at certain times. When you are peaking ,you don’t eat as much. It’s really keeping the focus and drive. If you can do it, it’s unbelievable. For me, the main thing isn’t being on stage. It’s the journey.”
Marzik said viewers will be entertained on Sunday.
“Anyone who wants to challenge themselves and do something different and step outside the box should tune in,” she said. “I recommend it. People from all over the country with different backgrounds push themselves to do something special.”
Marzik will watch Sunday’s show with her parents, Mike and Tammy of Middletown, her son and close friends. She is hoping to motivate others as a personal trainer and is actively seeking clients.