It is no secret that in this day’s age, body image is prominent. There is constant pressure on both women and men to have the “perfect body,” and that “perfection” streams from the media. I guarantee that if you look around right now, if you are in a public place, there will be at least two or three people using some sort of technology. Go ahead, look. It is almost impossible to ignore what is being put on the internet about celebrities. A majority of the time, it is a critique or comment on the person’s image. Therefore, it is hard not to compare yourself to that person and get sucked into the media firestorm. It is a pity how some celebrities are unnaturally thin and that young girls look up to that sort of thing. However, not all hope is lost. In the wakes of the recent winter olympics in Sochi, Russia, female athletes pose a positive role model for fit and healthy role models. Not only are they physical role models, they are also emotional role models about being true to yourself. One of the ladies that has inspired me the most is recent gold medalist, Jamie Anderson. It was a thrill to watch her win it all, and especially because she is such an inspiring role model. Oh, and did I mention she is the first EVER women’s slope style gold medalist? If that’s not enough to make her the most awesome person ever, here’s a few other reasons…
One of the key factors of snowboarding is having really keen balance. Something that I do to help me improve my balance is yoga. I started yoga after seeing snowboarders like Jamie posting pictures of them practicing yoga. Not only is it a great way to tone your body and help your balance, it also frees your mind of daily stresses that I know we all have. One thing I was really nervous about was actually starting out. I kind of had the popular misconception that everyone in yoga classes were crazy good. But, surprisingly, there were a lot of beginners like me. And everyone was very supportive of each other, so you can go at your own pace and not feel pressured to keep up.
I always go to yoga — I do core fusion and Vinyasa. My favorite poses are variations on the handstand and the scorpion. You have to use your whole body, it’s physically and mentally challenging. You have to find your balance in this uncomfortable position, so when you do it, you feel like you’re really overcoming an obstacle.
– Jamie in an interview with the Today Show
Having played soccer, skiing and snowboarding since I was 3, I was always encouraged by coaches and my parents to eat healthy on and off the field and mountain. It is a common misconception that snowboarding and skiing isn’t really a true sport, and that all you have to do is go down a mountain. However, it requires a lot of muscular power to turn as you are going down the mountain. It is also a great cardio work out. So, you have to make sure you are eating right, so that your body has enough fuel to burn off. You wouldn’t go for a 5 mile run after not having eating anything, so why would you go snowboarding without fueling up with some healthy carbs? I have found that it is most beneficial to start your early morning with some eggs, fruit, and some toast. That way, you can feel energized and ready to go strong until lunch time. If you don’t, you will feel weak, tired, and run down and won’t be able to snowboard to your full potential. And that’s no fun. In a recent interview with parade.com, Jamie explained her diet to stay energized on the hill:
I eat really healthy—mostly whole, organic foods. I love to cook and usually bring lunches to the mountain to make sure I get the healthy food that I need. Before a competition, I am usually too nervous to eat so I will just have a smoothie. I usually bring some rice and vegetables—something easy to digest—up the mountain with me to give me some energy.
And on womenshealthmag.com …
Your body is your racecar, give it the best you can in everything—choosing local organic, growing your own food, just doing what you can.
It’s a great idea that Jamie has to make lunches at home and bring them to the mountain for two reasons. One, the mountain cafeteria is full of greasy, processed foods that only energize you for a little while and then you crash. They may taste good, but they aren’t good for your body. Two, they are damn expensive! You are lucky to walk out of the cafeteria spending less than $20. If you are already spending $80 on a lift ticket, that’s another expense that you don’t need.
Jamie also drinks a green shake that’s filled with amino acids called Tonic Alchemy. It has over 100 superfoods like spiruline, goji berries, all kinds of different grains. It’s great to drink on the go, and it’s really good for you, too.
It is hard not to notice that Jamie also has radiant skin. Especially in a stressful athletic job, where sweat is prominent and the cameras are always on you, how the heck does she do it? Usually, when you think of sunscreen, you think you should only use it when it is warm out in the spring and summer. Or, when you are at the beach. However, when you are on the mountain, the sun reflects off of the bright so so powerfully, a goggle tan is inevitable. So, you must use sunscreen on the mountain. Jamie said in an interview with the Today Show that she uses BB cream for sun protection and light coverage. It helps hydrate your skin while keeping it protected from the damaging rays of the sun.
As Jamie wrote on her blog …
I choose to know who I am. I choose to make the commitment to myself to find my most true, authentic self. I choose to see my gifts brought into the world to be shared, like jewels, with those sisters and brothers whose paths I cross. I choose to appreciate each interaction with another as holy. I choose to find faith that my purpose will be revealed in both the quiet moments of solitude and in the active moments of daily life. I choose to pay such close attention to all these things that my being sings with joy and I release my fears and doubts. I pray to the wordless grace of spirit/creator to stay true to my choices.
Growing up in Lake Tahoe, California, Jamie is a strong advocate for nature and the beauty of it all. Every time I hear her speak, she is always saying how thankful she is for her family and her experiences, and especially how blessed she is. After watching her win gold in Sochi for women’s slope style, I realized that her free spirit is the most beautiful way a person can convey themselves. Most importantly: JUST SMILE! I love seeing people smiling, laughing, and just embracing every moment of life that they can. No matter how you look, what kind of body you have, smile, and you are beautiful.
SMILE! BE POSITIVE!
In an interview with the examiner.com, Jamie said-
If I’m going to be doing anything, I’m going to have fun and enjoy myself. … My sister Joanie always told me about trusting yourself and your abilities, and seeing it through ‘til the end. She always said that snowboarding is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical, and if you believe in yourself you’re capable of doing whatever you aspire to do.
I have always been an advocate for doing everything with a positive attitude and even if you fail, get back up and try again. I learned that when I started snowboarding, as it is a tedious and frustrating experience to learn how to snowboard correctly. Anyone who has tried snowboarding knows what I mean. Jamie is a perfect example of being at peace in your mind and always having fun, and that inspires me.
Oh, and doesn’t hurt that
she’s a boss at taking selfies….
Until next time.