What is your fitness philosophy?
My fitness philosophy has evolved over the years, and today, there are three factors that influence how and why I workout the way that I do. First, I view working out as a lifestyle choice. Just like eating breakfast and brushing my teeth, it’s something I make a conscious and deliberate decision to do almost everyday. Second, I believe it’s crucial to be working out with a tangible goal in mind—whether it’s to do 10 more pushups, shave 15 seconds off my mile time, or just have fun at a spin class with a friend, having a specific aspiration helps me hold myself accountable. Third, and probably the most important, in order to sustain this lifestyle choice for the long run, I need to be having fun. For me, experimenting with new workouts, signing up for races, and trying new activities keeps sweating fun and challenging.
What does your fitness routine look like? How many minutes/hours of exercise do you average per day?
On average, I exercise five or six days every week, and I try to listen to my body; if I’m feeling super sore, I might back off my intensity level or take the day off altogether. My workouts usually last 45 minutes to one hour. (Except my long runs. They’re called “long runs” for a reason, right?) Every Sunday night, I write down my weekly workouts on a calendar, and I do my best to balance cardio (running and spinning), strength training (free weights), and core work (ab exercises). I usually run three days a week (speedwork, tempo/hill repeats, and one long run), use free weights three days a week (after I run), and spin (or do yoga) two days a week to cross-train.
Have you ever been injured from a sport of exercise?
Yes, absolutely! As a former high school and collegiate athlete, I racked up my fair share of sprained ankles and jammed fingers, but the only true “injury” I incurred was when I tore my ACL and meniscus the summer before my junior year of high school: During a summer league basketball game, I jumped to grab a rebound, and I got tangled up in the air with another player; as I landed, I felt and heard my right knee pop. When I had arthroscopic surgery in June 2006, I opted to use my patellar tendon to repair the two tears. I chose this aggressive option (as compared to using my hamstring to repair the damage) because I wanted to be back—and close to 100 percent—for basketball season. My long-term goal was to play basketball at the collegiate level, and the majority of college recruiting occurs during a player’s junior year; basically, I needed to have an impressive junior high school season to even be considered as a potential college recruit. (Since I couldn’t play field-hockey, I started my college visits as a junior; the injury was a blessing in disguise because I found HWS soon enough to apply early decision.) After lots of painkillers, physical therapy, and tough love, I was back on the court three months to the day later—without a knee brace!
Do you have a fitness bucket list?
You bet! Here’s a quick rundown:
-run a half-marathon –> check!
-run a marathon
-complete a triathlon –> check!
-do a mud run
-run a race in a foreign country