At 36, beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings has three Olympic gold medals to her name (won with former partner Misty May-Treanor) and she plans to take her shot at a fourth in the 2016 Olympics with April Ross. A recent shoulder injury temporarily threw her off her game, but that’s not stopping her from keeping her eye on the prize as she balances her career and health with family life — she has three children with husband Casey Jennings, a fellow beach volleyballer. She spoke to New York Magazine about her wellness habits and revealed that she loves Pinterest and mindfulness, just like so many of us non-Olympian normals. Athletes: they’re just like us! Her most illuminating nugget of wisdom was her suggestion that we all make time to meditate:
“Before, [wellness] was just about my body. Now it’s body, mind, and spirit. If my mind isn’t there, my body’s not going to perform. If my spirit isn’t there, it’s not going to perform…
…I’m really working on being mindful and meditating. Some of these words are still considered taboo, but I like to take time to be quiet even if it’s just for six to ten minutes. I’m Catholic, and growing up you’d say ‘God’ and people are like ‘don’t put that on me.’ Sometimes, when people say ‘kale’ and ‘meditation,’ people are like ‘don’t put that on me.’ A few years ago, I think the topic of meditation would have made me uncomfortable.”
Walsh Jennings also opened up about how making time for “rest and recovery” is the hardest part of maintaining a healthy routine these days, as her kids wake her up every few hours. What stood out most about her insight was her candidness — Walsh Jennings was honest about the fact that she is still figuring things out just like everyone else. She’s not afraid to ask pros for help, even when it comes to fitness, her own realm of expertise:
“I like when someone tells me what to do, so I like working out with a trainer. But not everyone can afford it. So go and do training sessions until you get the basics down. Then, even if you don’t have access to a gym, you can do things without equipment. Body-weight workouts are so awesome. There are a lot of resources online — I’m a huge fan of Pinterest and the fitness section; it’s my inspiration.”
Kerri, be our BFF? We could do Pinterest workouts together!