Interview with Traci Redding
1) How do you handle such variety on judging criteria from show to show?
I think that is definitely the most difficult and hard to swallow issue in this sport. I have such great respect for the judges and I cannot imagine what it must be like to have to judge and critique over 200 woman's physiques all within 3-4 hours!!
It is difficult to mold and change your physique from show to show based upon what the judges told you they wanted!! For example. last year I went into the Jr. Nationals weighing 126 pounds at 5’6’’, the judges suggested that I bring out my lats and my upper body and come in more conditioned. So from the time I stepped off the plane last year until the time I got back on the plane this year I have worked so very hard to make the changes that were requested of me. So, this year I came in weighing about 134-136 pounds and it was all in my upper body and lats, maybe a tiny bit in my legs, and what I thought was more conditioned, but not “too hard”. I do know that I can and will make some changes for the betterment of my physique, but my approach this time is to find a physique that I am happy with and proud of and put it on the stage and hope that the judges are also happy and pleased with it!
2) What is your opinion upon muscularity in figure vs. femininity?
I believe that just because a woman has muscle does not mean she is not feminine. To me being feminine is to have qualities and characteristics of a female. I strongly believe that a woman can have muscle and also have feminine qualities. I believe that I am very feminine; I love ALL the things about being a woman! From the hair, to nails, to the toes, to the make-up, facials, clothes all of it! Yes, I have muscle, but that does not change me as a WOMAN! It should be an example of my dedication and hard work!
2) What encompasses an overall package?
This is just my opinion, but I think that it is not an exact formula! And I think that is why you will see woman in 1 class look a certain way and then another class look another way! I believe that it is not just about overall symmetry, but it is about having an aesthetically pleasing physique and unique beauty. So that means that one show the girl that wins might have more muscle than the girl that won at the previous show, or the girl that won at one National show was very lean and conditioned and then the next national show the winner was softer and less conditioned!! BUT, from the audience did they look pleasing? Did it all flow? Where they attractive? Do they have it together from the time they get off that plane to the time they leave the show?
4) What is it about this sport that draws you?
I love a challenge and this is a very challenging sport! I have been blessed with many passions and this is the only passion that I feel that I have complete control over. I am the one that decided to get up at 4:00am and do cardio and then work 12 hours at the Hospital as a Nurse in the ER/ICU and then go back to the gym to train or do more cardio!! I am the one that while everyone else is eating the pizza or donuts I am eating Chicken and Veggies. I am the one in control and that is very empowering to me!! I also love the feeling of victory and I am hoping to taste it very soon!!
5) Where do you derive your determination and dedication?
I drive my determination and dedication from Christ! He is a daily reminder of how thankful I am to be alive and be able to live out my passions and desires! He is my strength, my rock!! Without a doubt he is my number one fan, supporting me and cheering me on at every cardio session, at every training session, and when I step on stage. This sport tends to cause you to feel isolated from the world, but with God by my side I am never alone!! Also, I know deep down inside of me that it is not about getting that Pro card or that trophy, or that endorsement, or that cover on the Magazine, it is about living out what God has designed me to do and being an example and motivation for others!!
6) It's been said the you were the most underrated competitor what are your comments about that?
I will say that in some way that makes me feel good, but also sad. I appreciate all the support from the audience and my peers regarding my placing, but like I stated earlier I have great respect for those judges and all I can hope is that the next time if that truly did happen that it will not happen again and I will be pulled up and be judged with the top girls!
7) How did you feel you compared to your competition?
That is a very difficult question to answer. Every woman there was absolutely beautiful and I was honored to be on stage with such amazing physiques. Anyway, it is not about what I thought about my competition or how I compared, it is about how I feel about me and my competition with myself and I was happy with my physique, yet I know that I can and will improve.
8) How do you think Jr. Nationals was run?
I was so impressed with the way the show was presented and I truly do appreciate everything that all the people backstage did to accommodate the competitors and I expressed that to Pam when I returned home! Very impressed!!
9) What changes are you going to make from Jr. Nationals to USA's Vegas? and Team U? Given such a small time frame.
Your right, the time frame is small, but everyday in the life of a competitor that is dieting and training is a day to make changes. Obviously, I do not need to put on any muscle so I guess that is a blessing, because if that were the case I would not be competing. I am just going to tighten up my entire package, maybe my glut area! But to be quite honest with you I am going to focus on bringing in a very similar package and try presenting it a little differently!! I guess that you will have to wait and see! Hahaha! As far as changing for TEAM, just keeping what I brought to the USA’s and hoping it is what they were looking for!!
10) What are your expectations for next year?
To rest, recover and hit it hard again working on my physique and working on marketing myself so that I do not go broke trying to make it!! I am seriously going to focus on obtaining sponsorships and getting more name recognition and press! Hopefully obtaining my Pro Card is in the future as well!
11) What are your plans for next year?
Like my Dad always tells me when I am
down or upset about my day or where my life is, and I ask him, what
should I do, “Traci, you are going to get up tomorrow and do it all
over again, your life is what you make it”. So, to answer your question,
I am going to get back out there and do it again whether it is at the
National Level or the Professional level! It is in my blood!