Michigan State University junior Taylor Mullins found her passion for track through a family tragedy.
“I started track because my brother passed away my sophomore year in high school and he had been an avid track and field runner, so I decided that it was something I wanted to do and follow in his footsteps,” said Mullins, who runs for the MSU women’s track team. “I started my freshman year and then after he passed away, my sophomore year I took it more seriously.”
Mullins participates in the 600 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 4-by-4 relay all indoor and 400 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 4-by-4 relay, and 4-by-1 all outdoor. She also participates in the 60 meter hurdles indoor and the 40 and 100 meter hurdles outdoor.
“It’s really really intense,” Mullins said. “It’s a little nerve-racking to go over a hurdle, you definitely have to go through a lot of repetition and a lot of different practices.
Mullins makes sure she spends almost every day practicing, either with her team or independently. On Thursdays, she works on hurdles with her coach. Sundays, she takes the day off.
To keep herself on top of school, her workout regimen and social life, Mullins creates a positivity board every season to make sure she’s pushing herself beyond her current track and field achievements.
“I basically put my goals on there and how I’m going to get there,” Mullins said. “I’m pretty good in my academics so I make a rubric of my goals with track, so a 4.0 a perfect grade would be to win nationals,” she said.
According to Michigan State Athletics, Mullins ran a career best 56.70 in the 400-meter to finish fifth at the Notre Dame Invitational and posted a career best in the 600-meter at the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 1:32.70.
Mullins said her overall goal is to end the semester on a good note.
“Right now my goal is to maintain my diet of eating a lot of chicken, keeping in shape, and allowing myself one cheat day because I struggle with the fluctuation of my weight — but I have to make sure I am keeping myself happy,” Mullins said. “In addition to that, I am preparing myself for finals and making sure that I not only have my positivity board for track but for school as well.”
For anyone struggling to reach their next athletic goal Mullins says to be strong in who you are.
“Be true to who you are,” Mullins said. “Just because you’re not where someone else is right now does not mean that you’re not going to be there one day.”