If you’re anything like us, at the age of 19 we were just starting to define our dreams. Kelly Clark, however, was living hers. An Olympic gold medal winner before she was even a legal adult, Kelly has now racked up four gold medals in snowboarding and established a legacy of greatness in just over a decade. She’s also the mastermind behind The Kelly Clark Foundation, which was established in 2010 to give kids both the resources and opportunities they need to achieve their highest potential through snowboarding. Kelly knows that even one singular opportunity to follow your dreams can lead to the kind of success that surpasses expectations – as a teen, the opportunity to attend Mount Snow Academy up in Vermont was what allowed her to fuel her passion and make her dreams a reality.
Why are we chatting with an Olympic snowboarder in the middle of the summer, you ask? Because Kelly is living, breathing, smiling proof that a healthy, happy, winning life is built in the “off season.” For athletes, that means the time of year when it’s not showtime and the final goal is months away. For the rest of us, it means the quiet moments – the ones in which we have a choice to sit back and press snooze or actively work towards that reward we know will be so sweet.
Take a few of Kelly’s healthy living tips, tricks, and favorite things and try incorporating them into your own lifestyle this summer and beyond. Turns out, the journey is what ends up defining us, not the destination.
Off the board with Kelly Clark
Moment I fell in love with fitness:
When I realized that I got out what I put in. I have always been active, but I started to enjoying fitness when I saw how it enabled me to achieve my goals. Fitness was an untapped resource for me, and in the last few years of my athletic career I have really started investing in it.
When I’m not on my snowboard, I stay fit by…
I surf as much as possible, spend a few days a week at the gym, run and spend a lot of time on my bikes.
Favorite workout shoes:
I have tried a few different brands over the last few years and I like my Asics the best. They have the most stable support.
Best fitness wear staples:
I wear my Burton First Layer DRYRIDE tank and capris. It’s simple but it works great.
I stay motivated by...
Remembering where I want to go. If I keep the end result in mind, I find the day to day much easier.
I always have my Sprint iPhone on me to check my workout program and play music. Then I always have my headphones too.
On my workout playlist…
I end up running Pandora a lot when I work out. Keeps it interesting and I don’t get tired of the same old songs.
Most unexpected item in my gym bag:
Food… I always have food with me, snack bars and chocolate milk are some regulars.
Favorite way to hydrate:
I carry a water bottle with me during my day. I try to empty it as much as possible.
Favorite post-workout fuel:
I love chocolate milk! It is a good mix of carbs, fat and protein and will help my body out until I can get to a real meal.
Fave quickie workout:
Running stairs. You can do it in almost any hotel, and on the platforms between the sets of stairs, you can put some core exercises in. If you’re feeling good, you can even get creative with the footwork and do single leg, hops, lunges etc. And even 20-30 minutes will go a long way.
Healthiest daily habit:
Getting enough sleep! During my winter season, my travel schedule can be full on and I don’t always get the sleep I would like. So when I am recovering and training I put in my sleep time. When I finish my season I spend about two weeks sleeping 12+ hours a night. Then, as my body recovers, I sleep without a set alarm and I feel great. Once I wake up I juice at home every morning, it’s a great way to start my day. A favorite combo of mine is carrot, apple, and ginger.
Best fitness tip:
Match up your intake with your output. If I am in a big training week I have to make sure I am eating enough. Same goes for a recovery week, I don’t need to eat like I am training hard. My eating habits should correlate with how hard I am working out that week.
An understanding that you never arrive and you’re never the best… it keeps me learning new things and enjoying my sport.
Nothing is impossible.