Tiffany Walker went viral after catching the bouquet in a remarkable way. Her leap, the athleticism of it, caused Walker to go viral. She was featured on several ESPN platforms. The post went viral on Twitter, with 3.2 million views and garnered another 2.1 million views on “The Shade Room.” We spoke with Walker about the viral leap, her career as a professional bodybuilder and what fitness has given her.
See what she had to say below.
Tiffany Walker: Normally, I don’t participate in any of the bouquet tosses when I attend weddings. I actually was in a wedding back in April. I just never participate. I just think it’s a bad look. And at [this wedding] I stood up. Everybody was like, ‘No, you can’t participate’ because they know how athletic I am. They were like, ‘You have an unfair advantage.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to participate this time. This is my sister’s wedding.’ So at first I get in the middle. And they’re like, ‘No, you have to get on the side.’ So [my sister] turns around, she throws the bouquet up and I just go for it. And because she threw it so high, I was like, ‘There is no way I’m going to catch this bouquet.’ But then I felt it on my fingertips. Then, I came down and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I actually caught it.’ So I definitely was not expecting that at all.
MN: I read that you’re 5’2, right?
TW: Yes. I’m 5’2.5.
MN: So that’s a pretty big leap!
TW: It was. I did play basketball but I didn’t know I could get up that high.
MN: So you were not trying to catch the bouquet for any type of symbolic reason?
TW: Not at all, no. It was just me being competitive. That’s mainly what it was.
MN: Did you realize you had jumped that high?
TW: Not until I saw the video, much later.
MN: Did you see the video before it was posted on social media?
TW: My brother is the one that recorded it. He showed it to me. I didn’t know that he was posting it on Twitter. The next morning, I was getting calls. I didn’t get up early because we stayed out late the night before. But someone text me and said, ‘You’re on ESPN.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah right.’ And that’s when all the videos and everything were coming in and I was like, ‘I definitely was not expecting this.’ And for it to still be trending is amazing.
MN: You’re a professional bodybuilder. Tell us about your decision to pursue the sport.
TW: I’ve been bodybuilding for five years and I obtained my pro status last year. Now, I can actually get paid in the federation I’m in and I can compete internationally. Once you become a pro-bodybuilder, you’re not classified by height.
I’ve always been into fitness. I actually ran track from middle school up through college. I had a track scholarship to the University of South Florida. I went from running track to doing 5Ks, then I did a marathon. And I was actually approached by another female bodybuilder and she said, ‘I think you should look into this.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t really lift weights.’ I didn’t want to have a masculine appearance. So that was my main concern. But I got into it and it was just the perfect fit for me. I’ve just been doing it every since.
MN: A lot of Black women particularly, we don’t want our arms to get too big or we don’t want to look too hard. How did you overcome that?
TW: The main thing was that I saw other female bodybuilders and their appearance. I started out with a male coach and he was like, ‘There’s no way you’re going to turn into a man or have that masculine appearance over night. Most of those females are taking enhancers or they’ve been doing this a really, really long time.’
I get a lot of compliments. Most people will say, ‘Oh, you have a really nice body but you don’t look like a man.’ And I’m like, ‘Not all female body builders look like that.’
MN: I’ve heard that bodybuilding has helped women become more disciplined, more healthy and even that it helped one woman with her endometriosis. Can you speak about some of the health benefits you’ve noticed?
TW: There are definitely health benefits. The first thing my doctor says is, ‘You have perfect blood pressure.’ It has a lot of health benefits. It keeps me on a strict schedule when I’m preparing for a competition, even outside of preparing for a competition. It saves a lot of money because I prep all of my meals. I’m one of those people who’s okay eating the same thing four or five times. I had really bad acne and it helped with that because I’m able to consume all of my vegetables and I get all of the water that I need. Most of the time, I get more than enough water. So it has really helped.
MN: How have you found fitness to be empowering in your life?
TW: I have a younger sister. We’re 25 years apart. I am one of her role models. She runs track like I did. She’s a cheerleader like I was and she actually wants to get into lifting and fitness. She plays soccer. And I have a twelve-year-old son. Sometimes, he doesn’t like the attention but most of the time he likes that his friends are like, ‘That’s your mom? She has muscles!’
It definitely helps with stress. It’s my outlet. Running was the same way for me so crossing over into bodybuilding, I get to interact with other people in the gym and we share our stories and how we got into bodybuilding. I’ve met women who’ve been in abusive relationships and that’s what brought them over to bodybuilding.
MN: What’s next for you?
TW: I’ve started a viral clothing line. It’s called LeapofFaith.shop, where you can find the t-shirt. People said, ‘You should make this the WNBA logo. So I have a shirt that looks similar to the logo but it has my picture and my outline on it with the red and blue colors.
I’m also working on a faith-based, Christian apparel fitness line. It’s called Greater is Your Walk. I came up with Greater is your walk because my mom passed when I was eight. And her initials are GYW. So it aligned with that.
Check out pictures of TIffany and her body building journey on the following pages.