Sunday, October 24, 2010
Meredith Miller Interview
From gymnastics to Fitness, Meredith Miller is a born competitor. Getting into Fitness to feed her competitive desire, she has made a great showing of herself so far. Meredith is the kind of woman you need to get behind because she does it for all the right reasons. 2010 was a great year for her on stage and I expect 2011 to be even better. Meredith falls into that category of the most underrated and deserving of a lot more attention category and as she continues to get even better I am positive she will be getting much more attention.
Q: First, Meredith, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself?
A: I was born in Sandusky, home of Cedar Point, but pretty much grew up in Westerville Ohio. My mom and dad have been married for almost 35 years and are a wonderful example of what a true Godly marriage should be like. I have an older sister, Stephanie, who lives in Delaware with her hubby and 3 wonderful kids and I have a younger brother, Andrew, who is pursuing his dreams in L.A. I am a competitive gymnastics coach and personal trainer
I had moved to Charlotte NC over 4 years ago and just recently moved back to Ohio with my 2 doggies, Pudd and Elvis. They are the loves of my life.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Honestly, I don’t know anything but the gym! My mom was a dance and gymnastics teacher when I was growing up so my sister and I were always flipping all over the place so they finally decided to put us in a competitive gymnastics program and the rest is history. I started competing in gymnastics at 7 and don’t think I took a break until I was 17. I was competing internationally at 13 so I definitely didn’t have much of a life outside of gymnastics.
I have always been naturally athletic but never really got to see if I was good at anything besides gymnastics like soccer or softball because I was in the gym 25 hours a week.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: Lol, well when you go from working out 25 hours a week to 0 you realize what it does to your body. I definitely started to gain some weight after I quit gymnastics so that is what first got me into the gym but all I was doing was cardio. I was hooked to weight training the minute I started.
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: I have never really been out of shape. People used to stop my parents at the pool when I was little and ask them why I had a 6 pack!:) My problem is a lot different from most women. I tend to build muscle so fast that I really had to be careful with what kind of training I did. I would just read magazines and mimic the workouts I saw in there but it wasn’t I met Mike Davies and started following his workouts that I noticed a huge change, especially in my legs
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I’m such a competitive person and I needed an outlet for my competitive energy after I quit gymnastics. There really isn’t all that much out there for retired gymnasts so this was just kind of the next step for me.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: Um, I’m not sure my friends understand what I do to this day. They have kind of accepted it because they love me and support me unconditionally and know that its something that I have wanted for a long time, but I’m not sure if anyone really “gets it.”
Q: Was competing what you expected? Did anything surprise you about it?
A: Going into my first show I was completely naive when it came to what the judges were looking for. I thought it was more of a gymnastics competition rather than a fitness competition. I didn’t pay attention to my posing or my hair or makeup because that is something I never had to do. My first backstage experience was quite the eye-opener for me especially since I grew up a tomboy. There was makeup and curling irons and fake boobs flying everywhere and girls just standing there pretty much naked and I then realized that I was out of my element. That is the one thing that I have had to work on the most. I have to turn off the tomboy and turn on the feminine side when I’m competing. I just recently had my first experience with fake eyelashes, and I hate them!:)
Q: Can you share your contest history
*2007 Ohio State Bodybuilding and Fitness championships: 1st place
*2009 Arnold Classic Amateur: 1st place Class B
*2010 Jr. Nationals: 3rd
*2010 Nationals: 3rd
*2010 North Americans: 2nd
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I’ve always liked my abs, I never really train them but they are by far my most defining feature.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: I love to train legs and shoulders but recently I have been a cardio freak and I have grown to really enjoy running. There are times when I will get on the treadmill and just run until my ipod dies. I kind of feel like Forrest Gump sometimes :-)
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like, and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: I like to stay within 5-8lbs of my competition weight all year so I never stop working out or training. I have some work to do on my legs so I’m going to concentrate on that during the off season but I eat fairly healthy throughout the year but I have a weakness for peanut butter so I have to watch that. I think that Tosca Renos’ book The EAT CLEAN DIET is the best book ever written, besides the Bible. It completely changed my perspective on healthy eating.
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: People ask me if I’m a bodybuilder all the time so I have to explain to them the difference between fitness, figure, and bodybuilding, but the response I get is usually extremely positive.
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing.\?
A: I would be loaded if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I worked out or how much I can bench. The question that gets on my nerves more than anything is when someone asks me to flex. I was walking in the grocery store the other day and some random person just asks me if I would flex for him. Really? Like I'm going to just stop dead in my tracks and bust out with a back double bicep shot. It’s just so odd to me.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: I don’t think anyone who doesn’t compete can truly comprehend the sacrifice that goes into preparing for a show. It’s not just working out twice a day; it’s the diet, the money, the emotional highs and lows. There are days when I don’t want to get up at 5am to do my cardio and wonder if it worth it, but you know that you have to. Or when your friends are going out for the night and you can’t because you have to be up early for your workout. It’s a sacrifice in every aspect of your life.
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing/
A: I’m an all or nothing person so when I train for a show I pretty much give up my social life completely. It can take a toll on a relationship unless the person your with understands it and supports it but it’s still hard. But it’s all worth it to stand up on stage for those few minutes knowing that you have done something that very few people can do. It’s an amazing feeling.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: She no longer competes but she’s a good friend of mine and probably the person I look up to most in this sport. She’s gorgeous and has an amazing physique but that’s not the reason that I have so much respect for her. April Carpenter (Peterson) was the one that pretty much got me into the sport and I remember her sitting me down at her kitchen table after my first show and told me to never let this sport define who I was as a person. She pretty much threatened to kill me if she ever found out that I had compromised my beliefs or standards in order to move up in the sport.
Just recently I have had the opportunity to work with and get to know Julie Palmer a little better and I realized what a strong person and amazing athlete she truly is. She is honestly in the sport because of her love for it and nothing else and has stayed true to who she is despite of everything she has faced.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I would be completely content if I could eat peanut butter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Actually, I’m eating peanut butter out of the jar as I’m typing this!!!. :-)
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: To make sure that your are competing for the right reasons and your heart is in the right place. You need to do it because you love it and have a firm foundation in who you are and not to let a placing define you.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: I’ve done a little modeling but first and foremost, I am a competitor. I guess I just don’t see myself in that way because I always have been such a tomboy and it’s strange to me that people would want to take pictures of me. And not the kind I’m used to taking like ones with my finger up my nose or sticking my tongue out but actual real pictures!
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Since I’ve been dieting since April and I finally get a break I have been enjoying sleeping and eating a lot. I love spending time with my 2 doggies, Pudd and Elvis.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Meredith Miller.
A: I get up around 6am and get my workout in first thing than I take my dogs for a three mile run. They are crazy so if they don’t run in the morning and evening they will eat the house. Next, I get ready to work and get my lesson plans done for work in the evening. I have been coaching competitive gymnastics for years
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Um, I think Elvis and Tupac are still alive!:)
Q: Describe Meredith Miller in five words.
A: Determined, Competitive, Honest, Outspoken, Loyal
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I’m taking a little time off right now but we see about next year!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Meredith Miller the athlete and competitor?
A: I would definitely be interested in finding a sponsor and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with me you will get the competitive, determined, and grateful person you will ever find.
Q: Meredith, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Put God first and never give up on your dreams