Tech. Sgt. Ashaunettae Pollard-Young, 623rd Air Control Flight senior director technician, poses during the Sixth Annual Pacific Muscle Classic at the Keystone Theater on Kadena Air Base, Japan, June 3. The mother of three took first place honors in the Women's Figure over 5'4 and Women's Middleweight categories. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen)
by Airman 1st Class Justin Veazie
18th Wing Public Affairs
6/15/2012 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- "Mom! You know you're not supposed to eat that," 6-year-old Nadiya Young said after watching her mother open a bag of chips.
"Can I just have a few chips then," pleaded Ashaunettae Pollard-Young, who typically uses a measuring cup to plan meal portions. "They look so good."
As Nadiyah walked over to her mother she replied, "I'm going to tell Mrs. Zoa on you."
Before a recent temporary duty assignment to Washington, D.C. that ended in May, Young met up with International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness professional bodybuilder and lifestyle coach, Zoa Linsey.
During their meet and greet, Linsey agreed to coach the mother of three for an upcoming fitness competition - the Sixth Annual Pacific Muscle Classic. Linsey created a diet for Young and introduced different types of workouts that would help her. It was now up to Young to stay on top of her workouts and diet if she wanted to have a shot at winning the contest..
The 33-year-old technical sergeant saw her body quickly transform and despite the demanding regimen, Young's family support gave her the extra boost of confidence she needed to follow through until the contest.
On June 3, more than 800 spectators came out to see Airmen like Young and the 44 other contestants in the Pacific Muscle Classic.
Even though it was Young's first contest, she came out on top in two of the contest's categories: Women's Figure over 5'4 and Women's Middleweight.
"I was so shocked and excited, because I had just gotten back from a deployment on May 7 and did the competition on June 3, so I really had no real time to train," said Young.
Here on Okinawa, Young is a senior director technician for Kadena's 623rd Air Control Flight, which works alongside Japanese airmen at Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Naha Air Base. There, in the island's capital, she sits on the back row of the control center managing American controllers and technicians.
From the Japanese air base, Young and her co-workers work with Kadena Air Base's 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons as well as other Air Force, sister service and Japan Self-Defense Force units that may cross paths with Okinawa's airspace. The unit also helps with ground control intercept, or GCI, which provides air surveillance to American and Japanese pilots from the ground.
But before the long commute to work, Young goes to the gym with her husband at 4 a.m. to get in a good workout.
"Unfortunately that's my husband's and my quality time together," Young said with a chuckle. "We're usually there for about an hour and a half or two hours."
After the gym and working downtown all day, Young transforms again into "mommy/wife mode," ripping and running around with her husband and children almost every day.
Young tries to pass on her habits to her children by getting them involved with her workouts or bringing them to the gym with her after work.
"I really just wanted to show my kids, that with the right mindset, hard work and family support, you can get through even the hardest trials that we go through (in life)," said Young.