Born in Fayetteville, GA, Taylor was a standout track and field athlete – setting state high school records in the long jump, triple jump and 400m, and winning a plethora of World Youth Championships. Taylor went on to attend the University of Florida, where he racked up both indoor and outdoor National Championship titles in 2010 and 2011, and a 2011 World Championship. He continues to showcase his infectious smile and personality throughout the world of track and field, and is often seen preluding his jumps with the infamous gator chomp!
Christian is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. He’s been working with kids around the country through Classroom Champions, helping them reach their goals and say YES to a healthy lifestyle!
I am a fond believer that 90% of competing is about the mental preparation. This can mean the mental preparation it took through training, to get to that competition, and even the mindset it will take to perform at your highest level. I believe that professional athletes are generally similarly gifted once they get to the top level. The thing that separates a good athlete to all time great is the mental aspect, his or her passion, focus and sacrifice.
The biggest challenge I struggled with was giving up my weekends to compete across the state or even the country. When all of my friends were partying or going to amusement parks, I was going to sleep early and competing to better my craft. When it comes to underage drinking, this was not a real issue for me as my parents had informed me of the negative consequences that it had. I wanted to be the best and didn’t want anything to slow me down or hold me back.
Being apart of a team was very beneficial to my success in the sport because it allowed me to feel a sort of responsibility. I knew that I had to do my best to help contribute to the team title. Not only was I there to compete but also encourage my teammates to do their best. That way we all win at the end of the day.
Success for me is finding happiness or simple being satisfied with the work I have done. I rarely win and am used to falling short in training. But when I focus on the big picture and am able to see progression over a longer period, I am pleased.