We recently had the chance to interview Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler. The 29-year-old Ohio native is an active environmentalist in addition to her accomplishments as a snowboarder. She has paired up with the Playtex Sport “Be Unstoppable Movement." Read how Gretchen stays motivated (yes, even professional athletes have "off" days) and how she stays in shape when she's not snowboarding.
dailySpark: How do you motivate yourself on those days when you just don't want to work out?
Gretchen: I'm a big proponent of setting goals in order to give your everyday life direction. These goals should cover your physical, mental and spiritual health. Everyone has challenging days where you just don't want to work out, but when you have confidence you’ll also have the motivation to do it anyway. For just this reason, I recently partnered with the Playtex Sport “Be Unstoppable Movement”. The movement is all about celebrating physical activity and shining the spotlight on women and girls in active moments and the confidence that comes with it. Girls who want to get involved and “join the movement” can visit the Playtex Sport Facebook page and connect with women across the country in the montage of unstoppable women athletes by creating an Unstoppable Moves video, triggering a $5 donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation in support of programs that nurture healthy, active and confident girls.
dailySpark: How important is nutrition to your performance? What are some of your go-to meals and snacks?
Gretchen: Nutrition is the foundation for participating in any sport or activity and snowboarding is no exception. I've always tried to eat healthy, but recently I’ve gotten more serious about eating more a nutritious and balanced diet. I started logging my food and found that I definitely don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. So now I'm just a lot more aware of what I'm eating at each meal and I try to hit all of the requirements for vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbs for the day. I eat 4 to 5 times a day but now my main meals are a lot smaller. I find a have a lot more energy with this new program!
dailySpark: What is your favorite cross-training workout?
Gretchen: My workouts are really different based on what time of year it is. Generally, in the fall I'm in the gym doing a lot of strength training to make sure I'm as strong as I can be going into the competition season. We use free weights, slide boards, medicine balls and Indo boards among other things to really test my balance, coordination and take my strength to another level. I do a lot of squats, lunges, step ups, modified dead lifts, explosive jumps and spins, ladder drills, tons of different core exercises and crazy push up variations.
dailySpark: Who is your biggest inspiration?
Gretchen: People who are breaking past barriers and stepping outside of the box of the known. We're all capable of being these people, which is why the Playtex Sport “Be Unstoppable Movement” is so important to me. Giving girls the opportunity to showcase their active moments and see the positive effects is incredibly inspiring!
dailySpark: At SparkPeople, we encourage our members to set smaller goals as milestones during their journey to a larger goals. (For example, reward and celebrate every 5 pounds lost, rather than just the ultimate weight-loss goal.) Are small goals a part of your training plan, and if so, what role do they play?
Gretchen: Absolutely! It's really important to have long term goals in order to fuel your everyday short term goals. But it's your short term goals that are the everyday stepping stones to your long term goals, so you cannot have one without the other.
What about you makes you "unstoppable"?
Photo provided by Playtex