Q: Which Olympic athlete has inspired you as an athlete and fitness instructor?
A. I love the Olympics! Watching the world's top athletes go after their dreams after years of preparation and dedication is inspiring. No matter the sport -- combining passion and skill result in glorious achievements.
The two Olympic athletes who have inspired me most as an athlete and fitness instructor are Mary Lou Retton and Dara Torres. As an 11-year-old girl watching the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, I loved everything about Mary Lou Retton's Olympic story: her athleticism, grace, exploding personality, and poise. At a time when female athletes were far less dominant and celebrated than their male counterparts, I loved watching her reach her dreams and take the gold medal. She made dreams come true!
Dara Torres’ Olympic triumphs have also inspired me as an athlete and instructor because of her endurance and dedication to her passion. When living in Palo Alto, Calif., in the late 90s, I would occasionally see Dara swimming laps in the outdoor pool. She exudes power and beauty. In 2012, she became the oldest woman at 41 to win a gold medal in Beijing. Having just turned 41 myself, her record-breaking achievement is even more impressive! Dara's story is a lesson in believing that there are no limits and then pushing yourself to your edge to make it happen. Age is just a number.
While I will never reach the heights and caliber of these female athletes, I am grateful to be inspired by their stories of glory. They dreamed big and dedicated themselves to their passion. I love it! Go for it!
Q: What is your most poignant Olympic memory, and how has it affected you in your life or job as an instructor?
A: My most poignant Olympic moment was when I sitting at the River Cafe in Stratton, Vt., with may family in the summer of 1984 as Greg Louganis dove to win his gold medal. My father was a diver in college and at one point aspired to be in the Olympics for diving. With the personal understanding of the training and physical control required to ascend in the sport, my father had a deep appreciation for Greg Louganis' accomplishment and gift. Furthermore, my father touted having had the same coach as Louganis. We were seated in a full restaurant with everyone, diners and staff, glued to the Olympic diving competition. When Louganis nailed his final dive to win gold, my father leapt out of his chair screaming, "UNBELIEVABLE!" as though he had witnessed an impossible human feat. My dad gets fired up watching sports, but this memory stands out as him being extra exuberant!
Q: If you could compete in any event in the Olympics, what would it be?
A: When they decide to make indoor cycling an Olympic event, that's my sport!