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Wyckoff Mother Battles Grief, Ladders On Stallone's 'Strong' Wednesday

Giovanna Cicerchia will debut on NBC's "Strong" on Wednesday, April 13.
Giovanna Cicerchia will debut on NBC's "Strong" on Wednesday, April 13. Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC
Cicerchia scales a wall.
Cicerchia scales a wall. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

WYCKOFF, N.J. — Being skinny wasn't what Giovanna Cicerchia had in mind when she set out to compete on NBC's "Strong."

The Wyckoff mother wanted to be able to carry loads of laundry around her house without losing her breath.

To be the one to take the stairs instead of the elevator. To go for a trail run because she feels like it.

Most of all, Cicerchia wanted to be fit.

It will be mission accomplished when the show, co-produced by Sylvester Stallone, premiers with back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

“Pushing myself to be the trainee I was supposed to be with my trainer was hard,” Cicerchia said. “But it’s amazing what your mind can do when you have a challenge put in front of you and you decide to conquer it.”

While at a “crossroads” in her life, the mother of three saw “Strong” as the perfect opportunity to push her body, mind and attitude. She wanted to show herself and others what she’s made of.

“It changed my thinking,” Cicerchia said, “It used to be ‘I think I can, I think I can.’ But now it’s, ‘I know I can, I know I can.’”

Using her upper body strength on a pull-up ladder challenge was the most difficult obstacle.

Proving that she can overcome almost anything physically is what the Wyckoff mother said helps her battle real-life situations, including an emotional one she faced on the show.

“I left my family and a very sick mother-in-law who is dear to my heart,” she said. “She passed away while I was out there filming. The hardest part of it all was losing a loved one.”

Cicerchia had no choice but to stay strong and she hopes other homemakers watching will draw from that.

“We tend to put ourselves on the bottom of the lives [of our families] when we really should be putting ourselves on the top,” she said. “Yes, I love my family and I’d do anything for them. I’ll cut out paper and make homemade Valentine’s Day cards and be that amazing 'Pinterest mom.'

"But sometimes, you have to make the sacrifice by putting yourself on top knowing you’re worth it."

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