Some of our talent do amazing things in their lives and we love to share it when they do! Taylor Amann has graduated from the University of Wisconsin as a record holder in Pole Vault. Now she’s transitioned into a fitness model with SLU and we’re excited to share some of her story here along with a little video at the end.
How did you get into pole-vaulting?
I started pole vaulting my Freshmen year of high school when I decided to end my career as a club gymnast and instead join both the high school gymnastics team and the track & field team. I was told that the fundamentals I had acquired from the past 10 years of gymnastics would translate well into the sport of pole vaulting, so I figured I was in good shape to give it a try. I caught on immediately, as I was consistently improving every single competition I participated in. I was starting to get contacted by recruiters around the country after my successful Sophomore season. It was not until the end of my Junior year that I decided to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to continue pole vaulting at the collegiate level.
Where did you compete (what school/and coolest places traveled)?
As a member of the University of Wisconsin’s track and field team for four years, I was able to travel around the country almost every single weekend for competition. Although I got to experience many new cities, my favorite places to compete at and travel to was anywhere on the west coast. I fell in love with the tides of the Pacific Ocean and the hilly mountains of southern and northern California. A particular memory I have was at a competition at UC-San Diego. After my teammates and I were done competing we walked across the street from the track, climbed down a small cliff on the shore of the ocean, and we took a dip into the salty water while wearing our uniforms. During that moment I really put my experiences into perspective.
How did you end up doing throughout your college career?
My time as a collegiate athlete was amazing, and I truly would not change a single thing. I set the bar high for myself and I ended up accomplishing even more than I had expected. While consistently progressing throughout the four years, I earned three Big Ten Championship titles as well as First Team All-American honors, placing seventh at NCAA Nationals my senior year. I exceeded the goal height I had hoped to clear, and I broke both the indoor and outdoor school records for the University. My achievements are forever in the books.
After being on a team for four years, competing and going to school – how are you transitioning into the “real world?”
I think everyone struggles in some form or another with the transition from college to the “real world.” It is the period where you are just fully starting to be on your own, and you feel like everything you do or don’t do will affect your life. In all honesty, the transition for me from being a collegiate athlete & student to being a full time employee was exhausting. It was difficult for me in the beginning to find my purpose. I was no longer being instructed and guided through workouts or lifts, nor was I receiving recognition for performing well. I was getting tired from the strenuous and constant thoughts of not knowing what I was doing or what my plans were.
What got me through this? Again, time. It is important to be patient. This was a time for me to try a bunch of new things I was passionate about and to see where they may take me. Once I got acclimated into my job, I began using my free time to set myself up for my modeling career. I started writing my own workouts based on my knowledge and skills I learned over the many years of being an athlete, attending hip-hop dance classes to spice up my style, and doing practice photo shoots with photographers to update my portfolio.
Anything else you’d like to add that we didn’t talk about. Any last pieces of advice for our models competing or maybe young ones trying to decide whether they want to model or compete in college?
A current life update is that I am a full-time apparel and gift buyer in Madison, WI, a workout fanatic, as well as a fitness & lifestyle model.
My last piece of advice for any aspiring collegiate athletes out there: always set the bar high for yourself. Every athlete has struggles and road blocks, but by doing the best you can every single day, and trusting yourself and having confidence, anything is possible.