Tuesday, July 27, 2010

IFBB Pro Laticia "Action" Jackson Interview

This interview with Laticia Jackson is one of the ones I am truly excited and honored to add. Since winning her Pro card at the 2006 Team universe, Laticia has only gotten better and better. In fact, in 2008 Laticia competed at the Fitness Olympia. Which means she was and is one of the elite. A woman who practices what she preaches, Laticia is a tremendous asset to the industry, and a great person to learn from and be inspired by. Currently out with an injury, do not bet against Laticia, because she WILL be back on that Olympia stage, and she will continue to be one of the best at what she does.

Q: First, Laticia, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You are more than welcome, it is my pleasure.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I am originally from Pensacola, Florida, but I currently reside in Sacramento, California. I am the youngest of three girls. My two older sisters are amazing and totally different from me. They both think I am crazy ( In a good way!!). I have to say, I am the loud one out of the bunch! I am 32 years old, but I still look 19 ( SMILE). If I believed in zodiac signs I would be a Gemini. My older sister tells me I have two personalities but I have to say I don't agree... (Smile). As long as I am not hungry or tired, I am pretty much an outgoing positive person. Currently I am single. At this point in my life, I am taking time out for myself and building my fitness business and learning more about myself. When I meet someone who sparks my interest I will be open to getting to know that person. I want to be with someone who is spiritual, funny, honest, and dedicated. I do not have any children, but one day I want a few little Laticia's running around.

Q: Before the gym, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I get this question all the time. I only played one year of basketball my senior year in high school. I always had athletic abilities, but I didn't enjoy any sports. I didn't start getting into training until I was stationed at my first duty station in Texas. During this time I met someone who was heavily into bodybuilding. He asked if I had ever though about competing as a fitness competitor and I was clueless about the sport. I did some research and thought why not try and compete. He and I trained for 6 months and on May 13, 2000 in Arlington, Texas, I entered my very first fitness competition. I was extremely nervous and did not know what to expect but everything turned out great. Once I stepped on stage, all of my nerves dissipated and I felt right at home. I won my height class and took home the overall fitness title... I have to tell you, I got bite by the fitness bug and I am still in love with competing.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I was a cheerleader my first year of college and we had to weight train as a regular part of our conditioning program. I was always very slender and was curious to see if my body would change. After training for 6 months I could see my body change. I was excited to have muscles!!

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: Yes, I have God given athletics and I am very disciplined. Once I put my mind to something I grasp it very quickly. It took about 6 months and I could see a huge difference in my body.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I have to tell you it was a God thing. I had never competed in any sport before, but I knew I had the natural God given talent. I wanted to see how well I could do. It was a challenge and it has been an amazing journey.

Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: I can distinctly remember my older sister saying, "You have to be crazy to be up at 5am in the morning to go to the gym"... Many of them supported me but thought I was from another planet... Years later they know I am serious!! They are great and I love all of them.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: Great question. In life regardless of where you may go, there is good and bad. There are great things about the sport, like the fans and competitors you get to meet. I have people who have followed my career and whenever they see me they always bring family members up to me and tell me they have told them about me. It is an amazing feeling when this happens. The not so great things about the sport are the inconsistencies. You may think you have brought the winning package to one show and not place as high as you may have thought you should. I have learned as long as I walk on stage and feel great, I am satisfied with where I end up placing. Don't get me wrong, I don't train to lose, but as long as I keep that mentality, I am ok with myself.... I always want to get better and better. Just because you get to this level, it doesn't give you permission to slack!!!

Q: You won your Pro card at the 2006 Team Universe. What did winning the Pro card mean to you?
A: Winning meant all my hard work and dedication paid off. It meant that I earned and not handed the title of IFBB Fitness Pro. It meant I can tell the world to go after their dreams and as long as they are willing to be dedicated, persistent and passionate, all things are possible.. I stand proud when I say I am an IFBB Fitness Pro.

Q: You also competed at the 2008 Olympia, finishing a very respectable 8th against a tough field. What was it like to be on stage with the elite, which of course meant you were one of the elite?
A: I have to tell you, I do not believe any group of words can describe that moment. The most amazing part of competing at the Fitness Olympia was how I got there. I turned Pro in 2006, but did not step on stage until 2008. I made my Pro debut on July 4, 2008 at the Houston Pro show. I walked away placing 11th out of 27. Not a bad placing, but it wasn't the best I could do. I was determined to make it to the Fitness O in 2008. Four weeks later, I competed at the Atlantic City Pro Show and placed 3rd which qualified me to compete at the Fitness O.... I told everyone that I was going to make it and I did!!! I placed 8th my first year as a rookie... Having my name called was a moment I will treasure forever.... I will be back on the O stage... Action will be back in 2011.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: I have only competed 5 times as a Pro and I have made the top 5 twice and the top 3 once. God is amazing, the world hasn't seen the best of me yet!!!!
*2008 Houston Pro Show- 11th
*2008 Atlantic City Pro Show- 3rd
*2008 Fitness Olympia- 8th
*2009 Europa- 5th
*2009 Atlantic City Pro Show- 5th

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Shoulders and legs.

@; Do you have a part you most like to train?
A: I enjoy all of it.

Q: What is your normal training routine like and how do you alter for contest prep?
A: As a professional athlete and a fitness expert with an educational background in Exercise Physiology I believe the body should be healthy in and out of season. Right now I am about 146lbs and I compete around 139lbs. I do not allow my body to get out of shape. I live the lifestyle that I teach. I train 5-6 days per week. My training includes resistance training, plyometrics and interval cardio sessions. I eat a variety of healthy foods. Once a week I try to make sure I try a new fruit or veggies.... Being healthy is about moderation not deprivation.

Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: I would have to say more positive than negative. I do get negative comments but I am to secure within myself to feed into them. I have many people approach me and tell me I am their inspiration. I am humbled and very grateful to hear that.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "Do you workout?" Sometimes I will joke and say no!!!

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train or compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I often hear people say men are intimidated because a woman has muscles. Having a strong body does not mean that we do not respect men or want to have authority over them. It is important for people to see the dedication and commitment that goes into attaining a healthy and strong body. I am strong but I am still a woman.

W: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: Worst: The difference in prize money between Pro men and women.
Best: Meeting great people and being in AWESOME SHAPE!!!!

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I admire all of them. It takes a lot to do what we do. Many of the women I compete with have children and taking care of a family is hard work. We all should congratulate one another for being able to make it to the stage. Life has many challenges, but we overcome them through challenging ourselves. Competing teaches you so much about yourself!!!

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I really don't have a favorite... I really like cereal... That really isn't a cheat huh?

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Make sure you are doing it for all the right reasons. There is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way. If you want to train do it in order to be healthy and have a sense of self-worth. Don't allow vanity to be your primary motivator. When you choose vanity, you give yup when you don't see quick results.

Q: You are also a personal trainer. What do you enjoy about that?
A: Seeing lives changed. To see people get off medication, less knee and back pain and just overall healthier and happier people. I thank God for my clients. They inspire me to want to continue learning so I can better their lives.

Q: You have a great website. Can you give out the address and tell people what they can find there?
A: Thanks, I am doing some updating to the site. I am in the process of making the site more functional. They will find contest updates, bio information, training and nutrition tips... Stay posted, the updates are going to be great. www.laticiajackson.com.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I enjoy spending time with family and listening to live Jazz and R&B Music. I love going to the zoo and art museums.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Laticia Jackson.
A: I wake up around 6:30 or 7am. I try to make sure I start off every day with prayer. I believe as long as I ask God to guide me in all of my decisions for the day, everything will go great. My first meal is around 8am. Depending on whether or not I am working or studying, I will head off to the gym to train. I like to train in the mornings when the gym isn't as crowded. The rest of my day, I train clients. I have a wonderful life. How many people wake up excited about their job?

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: My mom is a fraternal twin and my father is an identical twin. Although I am not a twin, my middles sister and I are the same age for 2 months out of the year!!!

Q: Describe Laticia Jackson in five words.
A: Passionate, Loving, Energetic, Determined, and Honest.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: Unfortunately while preparing for this year for the NY Pro Show I dislocated my left shoulder. The dislocation was a result of a torn ligament in my shoulder. I am scheduled for surgery in September. Due to the lack of stability I have not been able to train my upper body for 4 months. I was upset for a few days then I told myself to get over it. I am not big on complaining and I do not believe in pity parties. I still train around my injury 5-6 days per week.... Nothing stops me!!

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: My wellness and fitness training company... I am the owner of FNL Wellness and Fitness Training in Sacramento, California. If anyone is interested in learning about proper nutrition, contest prep or just general wellness contact me at (916)677-1890. I am excited about helping people reach their goals.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so what are they getting in Laticia Jackson the athlete and competitor?
A: Most definitely I am looking for sponsors. Without any doubt, they will get an honest, dedicated athlete who believes in integrity and hard work. I am dedicated to bringing a positive face to the sport of fitness. I don't believe in telling someone to apply principles you are not applying yourself. I have an educational background in Exercise Science (BS) Human Performance (AA), Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Lifestyle and Weight management Specialist. My hands on experience and education gives me the ability to understand how supplements work with the body. I am outgoing and people friendly!!!

Q: Laticia, again I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last word before you go?
A: The only limitations are the ones we create in our minds. Our lives are a combination of choices. Choose to believe God has an awesome plan for your life and refuse to believe anything else. Only surround yourself with people who will encourage you but also love you enough to tell you when you are wrong. If you are going to do something, give it all you have. In the end, if you choose to go half way, you are the only one to blame!!!! Dream Big!!!!

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