Source: Web exclusive, February 2010; phtography by ACA/Penataphoto
Q: Have you gained health insights from anyone you know who has struggled with a health issue?
A: I have someone close to me who has lupus and has lived with it for many years. I am inspired how that person uses nutrition, exercise, a few herbal supplements, and stress management to keep it in remission. I think that this is a great example of how you can adjust your lifestyle to fit your health and body needs. I think that everyone should practice a healthy lifestyle whether they are sick, injured or not.
Q: Have you ever dealt with a health issue and received some great advice at the time?
I think that as an athlete most our ‘health issues’ deal with injuries! I know that throughout my career have had numerous injuries varying from torn ligaments and broken bones to disk degeneration and arthritis. It is amazing the amount of trauma we put our bodies through in order to achieve dreams and goals. For me, my doctors have been insurmountable in their support and help in this department. My knee surgeon, Dr. McConkey, gave me hope when no one else could; he gave me the chance to compete at my first ever Olympic Games just 3 months post op. He told me to believe in going to the games and that my body would follow.
Q: What is the best health advice you’ve ever received?
A: Some of the best advice that was ever given to me was: Listen to your body and be true and honest with what it is telling you. You are the only one who knows your strengths and weaknesses, so don’t let other people try to convince you otherwise or compare you to other people; you are unique to yourself. This advice mostly stemmed from my National Team physio and medical staff. They would always remind me of this when I would push myself too hard and not listen to my body.
Q: Why was this advice so powerful?
A: Because your body is your vehicle for life. What you put into it and how you take care of it, is what you will get back from it.
Q: How do you put this advice into practice in your own life, from a practical, day-to-day perspective?
I love being active so my goal is to treat my body as well as possible so I can do this well into my later years. I hiked in Nepal more than a year ago when my mother turned 60; I was so inspired, I want to be like her. Nutrition wise, I just try to keep a healthy balance: I try and stay away from processed foods and just eat good healthy, hearty food.
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