Taylor Redding is a student at Colorado Mesa University, taking classes five days a week. She attended Paonia High School and graduated in December, six months early.
During Redding's senior year at Paonia she drove to Delta Montrose Technical College and received her CNA certification. She will receive her medical assistant certification and associate degree next summer from CMU.
Redding's commit-ment to higher education did not deter her from participating in high school sports. One of her biggest concerns was finding ways to stay healthy and fit as she rigorously strived to complete courses for early graduation.
While keeping schoolwork under control, Redding made time to work out and eat right. She traveled to Delta every day after class to exercise, and then would turn around and drive back to Hotchkiss for dinner, homework and rest.
When positive results from exercising and eating right became evident, Redding became obsessed with fitness. Her routine, for several years, has been to work out before and after school at Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta.
Redding also worked at The Garden Center as a waitress and a garden helper and had a job in a coffee shop as well.
Coming from a family that is very active and healthy helped Redding take the fitness bug a step farther.
In April, Redding saw her first NPC, Nation Physique Committee, competition in Denver and knew she was hooked.
Conversations with different trainers, and personal potentials, encouraged Redding to join Team Elemental where her coach, Sarah Kornhauser, is also a member. That move included more driving to Gold's Gym for team meetings in Montrose. Kornhauser recently earned the title of Mrs. Colorado Physique. In hopes of following in Kornhauser's steps, Redding was given a diet and workout plan to begin her career.
Along the way, Redding's diet and food intake changed as training progressed to insure exact development and outcome. "I usually ate 4 oz. of protein with every meal, usually consisting of fish and a lot of chicken and asparagus," noted Redding.
Training began in earnest after that and Redding soon found out "Training means zero social life, no time for friends, no going out and complete focus on goals."
The hard training began with 16 weeks left before a competition. A decision to do The Warrior Classic in Loveland on Aug. 29 guided Redding in a convenient time frame. Diets became more strict and workouts more intense. "I kept on working toward my goal with tunnel vision. At the same time, I enrolled in college and moved into an apartment where my life slowly became more chaotic." Through it all, Redding remained loyal to the gym and her commitment to an end goal.
"I had to prep my food and carry it in a lunch box larger than my gym bag. I ate every two hours and spent a total of 10 hours per week preparing my food for three days in advance."
After starting school at CMU Redding switched workout sites to the campus facility. Anxiety grew as the competition date approached.
Questions of preparedness and purpose had to be calmed by Kornhauser the closer the competition date loomed. The message was simple. You must believe in yourself and know you will do well. "There's no time to worry about being ready. You must trust the process and your coach," noted Redding.
Redding felt both nervous and excited walking into her first NPC event. The morning preparation included curling hair, makeup and spray tanning.
There were three categories Redding entered: First Time Novice, any age group for those who have never been in competition, Teen Bikini, ages 17-20 and Bikini Open, all contestants between the ages 17-75 whether they have competed or not.
Competition begins with pre-judging. All competitors in each division present themselves on stage to a panel of 13 judges. After all contestants have been on stage, the judges then arrange contestants according to their strengths for final judging later that day.
Redding earned first call-outs in all three categories. First call-outs are those competitors who have caught the judge's eye and usually include the first five names mentioned in each category.
Finals judging was not as nerve-wracking for Redding. "The nerves were gone. The rush from being on stage was nothing like I'd ever felt."
Redding walked away with two medals in her first NPC show. She was fourth in both Teen and Novice categories. In the finals, only the top five are awarded medals or trophies.
Redding says, "I am motivated by a fit lifestyle and I came away knowing myself in a different light. It was the best experience of my life and I met some awesome people backstage."
Plans are already being made for the State Show in July 2016 as sights have been set on becoming Miss Teen Colorado. Redding's goal is to win the Miss Colorado title and then begin training for her first national compeition.
"I know none of this would have been possible without support of many people. I owe everything to my support system that has been there from the beginning, including coach Sarah, mom Kari Williams, co-workers at The Garden Center and Bistro and Bill Heddles Rec Center for the positive energy and staff encouragement. I could not have done it without you!"