Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Melanie Redington Interview

From skating at a young age, till now, Melanie Redington has always been athletic. At the age of 40 she decided to do something "outrageous" and compete in bodybuilding. May have been outrageous, but was also a wise choice as you can see by her placings. Not bad for someone "just getting started lifting weights". She has plans to start competing in national shows, and I am excited to see her compete at that level.

Q: First, Melanie, 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 am a mother, wife and teacher living in Wasilla Alaska. I grew up in Minnesota and traveled here after graduating college to work as a Naturalist at Denali National Park. Since then I have earned my Masters Degree in Teaching and have been in the classroom for over 10 years. 8 years of teaching included Physical Education, one of my favorite subjects! For the last 3 years I have been dabbling in the running circuit and over the last year have focused on competitive bodybuilding.

Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: Yes I would say I have always been athletic. I grew up in Minnesota as a self described 'rink rat'/ competitive figure skater of 8 years. Additionally I dabbled in various other sports; track, softball, gymnastics and cheerleading. I have always been on the move. I spent my early 20's traveling around the United States hiking and backpacking, taught Physical Education for 8 and have been a competitive runner for 3 years and now compete in Bodybuilding.

Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: What led me to my gym, which is in my home, is family. Workout plans that fit into my family schedule work best for me. I like to head out the front door and run on the Joe Redington Sr. trail (a bike path with my family name The late Joe Redington Sr. is the Father of the Iditarod) when conditions safely allow, which is about 8 months of the year in Alaska. I figure I run at least a full Iditarod (1, 049 miles) every year on that bike path. Additionally, half of our living room is a weight room, which, works for us. I also have a stationary bike for when the weather is terrible and the Alaskan darkness dominates and the garage is filled with more weights. In the summer we camp and fish around the state toting running shoes, bikes and chasing the race circuit to keep the competitive edge.

Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: 5 years ago I was a smoker that quit. Since that time I have completed a marathon and competed on stage in Bodybuilding. I have been lifting weights for a year. To think back 5 years, I could not run a mile without great difficulty. I have always been athletic and active but my lifestyle choice to smoke was making a heavy impact on my overall health. I am amazed at the bodies ability to repair and competition pictures speak louder than any words.

Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I turned 40 in August and wanted to celebrate this decade by committing to an complete something outrageous. I had thought that goal would be a marathon, but I ended up doing that at 39. My husband had encouraged me to compete in bodybuilding for a few years so I guess that's where the seed was planted to try a bodybuilding competition, which has developed into a new habit!

Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: I definitely have family support and that is crucial. My husband is very supportive and helps me tremendously by cooking and eating clean.I am lucky too because he hunts moose and fishes for salmon, both very healthy and hormone free sources of proteins. My family is behind my diet 100% and as a family we have all changed the way we eat for the better. My son is a wonderful support too. He makes sure I don't eat from the junk food cupboard! We attend competitions as a family and look forward to traveling to shows.

Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A; I was surprised at how much fun I had! It was like being a kid again waiting to take the ice for your couple minutes of fame. Judging panels are a part of competitive skating too, although I had forgotten about the subjective nature of judging. When you finish a race - that's the place you get period. For me, with bodybuilding you have to make peace with doing your best and let the dice fall where they may.

Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: Accomplishments
*2011 - Featured Amateur of the Week BodyBuilding.com
*ABFF State Championships 2nd Place Woman's Open Class -2011
*ABFF Anchorage Pro-Am. Overall and Woman's Open Class Champion
*Crystal Cup 2nd Place Woman's Open Class - 2010
*2009 -Community Leadership Award For exemplary service and dedication to improving the lives of others by promoting and fostering opportunities for participation in sports, fitness, or physical activities
*Flint Hills Race Series 3rd Place Overall Woman -2009
*Model Fitness School, in recognition for a commitment to enhancing student physical
activity. GDS was the first school in Alaska to attain this award. - 2008

Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I have a really strong core and my arms and back are well defined.

Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: By far running is my favorite activity. I love to be outside running I feel so free, although completing lifting cycles are a close second. The rush of blood and flooded muscles are quite a rush.

Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for
contest prep?
A: I am really just getting started with weight lifting

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: Dang girl! and - Definitely positive.I am pretty small so it is surprising to a lot of people at first. Lean bodybuilders look pretty normal - like they are in really good shape. When it gets down to the suit and stage though - I'll just say I think I am a positive asset to women's bodybuilding.

Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: I love to talk about health because it has transformed my life so I don't mind questions and I am free with sharing what I have learned.I still take it as a compliment that people ask. There seems to be so much mystery behind being healthy - I think it is so easy its difficult if that makes any sense. You have to eat real, healthy food and you have to exercise and yes there is time in life to do both and hold a job and have a family.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Women athletes, whether they are endurance runners, triathletes, bikers, mountain runners, bodybuilders etc. are a fierce breed, especially in Alaska. I have meet some of the toughest women here and am proud to know them all. I think a person tends to gravitate towards others like them - so I have always felt understood, appreciated and even admired.

Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The best and worst part is the endless routines. Routines for me are the framework to success all I have to do is follow the plan. On the flip side all I can do is follow the plan.

Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Shawn Wolfe is an outstanding, award winning bodybuilder that I am honored to call a friend. He has been a great mentor.

Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: I love chocolate and fried foods in very small doses - after your body gets used to eating clean it becomes very sensitive to processed crap.

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: Go for it! Make a plan that you can really stick to because consistency is the real key.

Q: Do you think its becoming more common to see women using the weights in the gym as opposed to just doing cardio and things?
A: I don't work out in gyms but I do think that it has become acceptable in our society to see women give it their all physically, which isn't always feminine - but I think grit and displays of deep metal toughness is downright sexy. I have never really fit into the norm so I have never given 'normal' a lot of consideration- LOL!

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Our family loves to go camping during the summer. We all enjoy being outdoors and have built great memories traveling around this spectacular state. During the school year we enjoy attending community events, enjoy theater and spending time with friends and family.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Melanie Redington.
A: During the school year I get up at 5am and lift weights and do 30 minutes of light cardio everyday. My family has breakfast and we all get off on our work day. At work I have a group that goes lunch walking daily for 2 miles. I started doing this alone 3 years ago and now have 3 diligent partners. I come home after work and we have family time - eat dinner and clean up. After dinner we either head out and play some light tennis or I bike in the living room. I go to bed every evening by 9:00. I am very routine oriented.

Q: Describe Melanie Redington in five words.
A: Loyal, Committed, Loving, Tenacious, Headstrong =)

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Probably that I used to be a smoker.

Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I plan to continue exploring various realms of fitness for the rest of my life. I enjoy exploring and testing my physical limits. Through competitive figure skating, back country hiking, biking, swimming competitive running and bodybuilding I have met a myriad of fantastic athletes and expanded my ideas about life in general through sports. Specific to bodybuilding, I plan to continue competing in state level events and this summer I will compete on the National in Las Vegas with shot at a Pro-card. That is the ultimate goal in bodybuilding. Beyond that I would also like to complete an Ironman triathlon in my lifetime.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Believe in yourself! Life your life with great purpose.

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Melanie Redington the athlete and competitor?
A: Yes I am always looking for sponsors. I am preparing for National competition at the end of July in Las Vegas and feel confident that I will represent Alaska well. The cost of competing is expensive, of course, and I am presently requesting sponsorship support. Sponsors will be recognized live during all competitive shows as well as on my website, Facebook and BodySpace profiles. Redi-Tees also lists sponsors on the back of the HEADSTONG t-shirt line created for competitions Further opportunities for product/business endorsement through photo advertisement, and/or promotional appearances are available.
I con be contacted through my website
and Bodybuilding.com
and email

Melanie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this.


  1. What an inspiring interview with Melanie! Hardcore Alaskan girl...what's my excuse?! Adding you to my BB.com's friends list, Melanie. :)

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