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Community Advocacy Organization

Terri Taylor-Farris – A Competing Body-Builder

Courtesy Photo- Terri Taylor-Farris

Have you seen Terri Taylor lately? She’s the svelte and petite sister who worked several years as Mayor Virg Bernero’s Human Resource Director and reportedly is the second Black female in Lansing history to hold that position. Currently she manages Human Resources for SODEXO Magic, Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s joint venture with the Lansing School District. But that’s not all she does. Terri began the strenuous journey of body-building three years ago after losing her parents, Mattie and George “Jesse/Tru Luv” Taylor.

It all started with faithful participation in a basic workout/strengthening class when she was introduced to Mrs. Kimberly Whitfield, owner of ‘Kimberly-Inspiring, Beauty and Strength’ and the Guinness Book of World Records holder as the oldest female body builder, Ernestine Shepherd. Terri was so inspired that she scheduled a meeting with Kimberly and started working with her. Before long, she became immersed in the process and began considering training for competition. That’s when the real work began.

Her extremely long days begin at 5:00 EVERY morning when she treks to the gym with attentive and athletic husband, Curtis, in tow. Together they “work on cardio and abs.” Every other day in the evenings, she has a “personal coach who works on strengthening” her shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs, etc. “Every other week,” Farris said, “I have another personal coach who is working with me on stage presentation. The most important part of my day is my diet. While I’m not on ‘a diet’, I must measure my macro-nutrients. This process consists of watching the carbohydrates, protein and fat I eat. My goal for body building was not to solely compete, but to set a goal of obedience and consistency for myself.”

“The most challenging aspect of the sport is faith, consistency and diligence,” she said. “Competing to body build requires so much preparation in the 12-weeks prior to competition. Staying on track with other day-to-day activities and maintaining a full-time job, requires me to juggle my life in so many ways. I must always plan very succinctly. Planning and preparing meals on Sundays for the upcoming week is the most essential aspect of my dietary regiment because I never had to watch or plan my meals before.”

Her best advice to women who are considering the challenge is “consistency, minimal stress, faith, fervent prayer and goal-setting.”

Relative to “consistency”, Farris says that following “a daily routine is a MUST.” It’s the discipline that gets you through the trying times and keeps you motivated. Minimal stress is an exaggeration. Terri believes that “you can only control you” and “the worries of family, work and drama-let it GO. You can’t control it anyway!” Faith is belief. “We must believe in ourselves, and cites Philippians 4:13 as her constant prayer. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This small verse has sustained me through life and has proven to be true.” Setting Goals – “At the age of sixty-years old, I am training to compete in my first NPC Bodybuilding Physique Figure fitness Bikini Competition in April. I’m not only excited about that but encouraged that it can motivate others.”

Terri Taylor Farris was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. She is the mother of Satitra, Dr. Rodney II and Taylor Singleton who continually motivate her to “be whatever I want to be, with no judging…” Her grandchildren are Rodney (Jacob) and Bryson Singleton and Malachi L. Mosley.

She is equally inspired by her husband, who motivates her every day by saying “…your heart’s desire” and he believes “I should have whatever in life I dream because he sees all the challenging work I put into everything I do to be my best.”

Cousin Gregory Eaton has modeled inspiration and arduous work “throughout my lifetime and he doesn’t even realize it!” Pastor/Overseer Edward Thomas of Antioch Church utters this quote on a regular basis and she posted it on the walls of her job and that of the family business, A Touch of Tint, as a constant reminder, “A MAXIMUM ATTITUDE PRODUCES A MAXIMUM RESULT, A MINIMUM ATTITUDE PRODUCES A MINIMUM RESULT AND A BAD ATTITUDE PRODUCES A BAD RESULT, EVERY SINGLE TIME!”

Last but certainly not least, Terri credits her former State of Michigan Supervisor, Charles E. Ford for his consummate mentor-ship and encouragement to complete her education. She completed two degrees while married and simultaneously raised three children as a full-time employee. When you see her around town, give her a nudge, smile or words of encouragement and enjoy the radiance of my beautiful friend and a favored woman of God who, by the way, extends the absolute BEST hospitality when I come to town!

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