Friday Fitness News: You Mean Besides That I Met Dara Torres?

Is there more news to share? I mean, I MET DARA TORRES. There are few things in this world that are cooler than meeting Olympians. They are stellar athletes with the kind of dedication I can only dream of having.

This picture is even cooler the 2nd day.

Ok, ok, I’m sure there’s other news happening and, in fact, there is. A lot. Let’s not dawdle.

I totally started the trend.

What’s going on this weekend? Are you running in a race? If you’re up near the Hudson Valley area and see a bunch of bike riders with Get Your Guts In Gear stuff, cheer them on! They are riding to raise money and awareness for people with Crohn’s, Colitis & Ostomates. They are my people. Cheer for them, please.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Now go out and run!

 

I Got to Meet Dara Torres!

That’s two days in a row with exclamation points in the title. Pretty sure that breaks some unspoken blogger etiquette or something. I just couldn’t help myself!

I GOT TO MEET DARA TORRES!!!!!!!!

  • Five-time Olympian.
  • Twelve-time Olympic medalist.
  • The first female athlete to be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
  • The oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team (Beijing).
  • Mother of one and 45-year old Olympic hopeful DARE TORRES!

I have to thank Jess for throwing the invitation out there, Crunch gym and Bengay for hosting me. I was absolutely thrilled to attend. After our workout, we were invited to stay for a Question and Answer and to take pictures with Dara. Thankfully, Jess brought a very fancy camera (I brought my dinky iPhone) and snapped a picture of us!

She’s gorgeous. She’s tall. She’s ripped. She’s wearing lululemon. I mean, what’s not to like? (Photo courtesy Jess Underhill and her fancy-schmancy camera)

Yes, she is that ripped. Yes, she is that beautiful. Yes, she’s very sweet and was totally candid with her answers. Yes, she’s gracious and took pictures with everyone. Yes, she’s wearing lululemon!!! And, yes, I want to be like her when I grow up 🙂

I hung around after the workout while she gave an interview and took some more photos for this post. Hope she didn’t mind the stalking.

If you’ve never met me, I am not a shrinking violet. I will stand up and ask questions when allowed and be the first in line to volunteer for demonstrations. Overeager? Probably. But I got my questions answered by the great Dara Torres, so there.

My first question was about her workout strategy and how it’s changed over the decades. Sorry my voice is so loud and hers is so soft, pump up that volume!

I love that she does functional training. I’m a big fan of it myself. I don’t remember what other people asked because I was trying so hard to remember my own questions. Here was the other one I snuck in before the close: Is this your last Olympics? And here is her response.

Again, sorry for my annoying voice in the middle of the videos. I was totally giggly the whole time. I love the honest of her answers. She talks about getting older and things not working the way they used to and being realistic with what she has left in the tank for yet another Olympic trials. You don’t get that much from athletes. I really appreciate her candor.

She’s such an inspiration to me, especially as I get older and try new things and find myself having to start over after illness. She has given me hope that, at any age, women can kick ass in sports. Through injury, through motherhood, through whatever life throws at us, if we work hard and are willing to put the effort into it, we can accomplish anything.

Yeah, it was pretty awesome meeting Dara Torres. Makes me wanna hit the gym! (Just kidding, Dr. Lee :))

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: All-Stars

Happy Tuesday, friends! Monday is long gone and we are well into what is proving to be a pretty tough week here in the Land of Abby. Buuuuuuut, I think everything will work out and, you know, life goes on.

And on, and on, and on, and on. And today is Tuesday, so it’s high time I remind myself that being here is always better than not being here. You know who reminds me of that? All-Stars.

Every sport has an All-Star/All-American/All-State/All-Conference team who are the best of the best that year. They are the ones the rest of the team look up to and aspire to be. They are the the All-Stars and, sometimes, Olympians.

My favorite All-Star Olympic Basketball Team...those were the days.

Dara Torres is an All-Star. A super-hot, 40-something year-old ALL STAR and mom! (Image courtesy of TIME Magazine)

These athletes sacrifice a lot for their sport. It takes time, money, dedication and sacrifice to reach the heights attained by professional athletes. Yes, the rewards can be phenomenal, but never forget that they had to give up their lives to get where they are. For most of us, this is unattainable. Olympic speed and strength is out of our reach for whatever reason and these people, All-Stars all around, remain enigmas of the professional sports world.

And then there are the everyday athletes. My friends. My colleagues. The runners who buzz by me like I’m standing still in Central Park. They are All-Stars in their own right and whose ranks I aspire to.

Dorothy Beal is a mom of three who won the B & A Marathon in 3:11 and just yesterday ran her 20th marathon in the sweltering temperatures in Boston. I am more inspired by her All-Star performance yesterday than by any of her super-speedy times (she’s crazy fast!) because she fought hard to finish. Just finish. We all have horrible races but Dorothy is brave enough to share her story with the world, good or bad. Oh, and she’s famous, if you didn’t know.

Jessica Hofheimer is a fellow lululemon Ambassador and a 3:34 marathoner who sometimes runs 20 miles on a treadmill. You gotta do what you gotta do and Jessica does it with a smile and plenty of words of inspiration for others. She is an All-Star who has fought hard to be the amazing athlete she is today and I am in awe of her dedication.

Michele Gonzalez is a 2nd Lieutenant with the US Army, a 3:21 marathoner and has deployed to Iraq three times. What I love the most about Michele is that she is super-candid about running through her first pregnancy (And second! Congrats, Michele!) and what it takes to be healthy about it. In a world where it’s becoming commonplace for pregnant mothers to push themselves harder, Michele is a voice of experience and reason. I plan on copying her All-Star ways when I get pregnant.

These women are amazing to me. They are the All-Stars I look to for inspiration. If they can do it, so can I. They make me realize that I haven’t even come close to reaching my potential as a female athlete and coach. With a little more hard work, focus and creativity, I will reach their ranks one day. And that’s what All-Stars do for us. They inspire us to aspire to more.

They make it better to be here than not. Thank you, All-Stars.

Now go out and run.