The One X Ten Interview:
1. Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
I'm from Indianapolis, IN, but right now I'm living in Santa Monica, CA!
2. How did you get started in your sport and when did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?
I started when I was 2 years old (my parents were both college athletes). After watching the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta when the USA girls won the gold medal, that is when I decided I wanted to go to the Olympics. I was 5 at the time!
3. What is the biggest setback you’ve suffered as an athlete?
I had a lot of mental blocks when I was a younger gymnasts and when I got older I battled injuries. It's tough to find the fine line of training enough, but not over-training. That was always tricky for me because I always wanted to train more.
4. Best piece of advice from women starting out in your sport?
Enjoy it! It's a sport that demands a lot from you and you can easily get burnt out. I was one of the lucky ones that truly loved doing gymnastics until my very last day in the sport. You have to appreciate the journey!
5. What’s the biggest misconception people have about being a female athlete?
Hmmm... I guess going to college, everyone assumed we were jocks and more on the masculine side. I can't speak for all female athletes or even all female gymnasts, but I love dressing up and wearing makeup and being a girly girl. I'm usually either wearing gym shoes or heels!
6. Whom in your sport do you admire the most and why?
Right now, I admire Simone Biles. Not because she's one of the greatest athletes in in the world, which she is, but because she's able to keep her personality and stay really fun. There's definitely a stereotype with gymnastics being very intense and serious at the highest level and that you have to fit this mold in order to be great. Simone defies this stereotype and I think it sends such a positive message that you should really love what you do!
7. What’s in your gym/workout bag?
I always have Chapstick, headphones, water bottle, deodorant, hair ties, good-smelling spray, and a snack! I usually keep it pretty basic and light.
I always eat breakfast no matter what turn of day it is, I always have to eat breakfast foods first. I love eggs, smoothies, fruit... Really any breakfast food and especially coffee or green juice!
9. Favorite workout or workout tip?
I don't have a favorite workout because I always like to switch it up. Running, cycling, yoga, boxing, circuits, etc. If I run one day, then I'll try to do a circuit or some yoga the next day. The best workout tip I have is to always have good music. Whenever I have a good playlist or don't, it definitely dictates my workout! So, on days I'm not feeling it, I make sure to have reallyyyyyy good music!
10. We define “The Wonder” as the state of reaching the truly extraordinary—the achievements that most people, including you at one point, could not fathom. What is your Wonder and what has it taken—or what will it take—to reach it?
Specifically in gymnastics I've had a bunch of truly remarkable experiences that when I was younger, I could only about. I competed for my country, went to the Olympics, and competed for UCLA. I think "The Wonder" state of my career is my very last meet ever. I was competing to win my favorite event and win or lose I knew it would be my last meet EVER. I was taking risks by putting my hardest skills in my routine and I don't think I've ever been so nervous for a routine. I took a deep breath, mounted the beam and it was like I was in a dream... The skills were easy, I was smiling (dancing almost) just enjoying the moment. When I saluted, I knew I had won and it was the perfect culmination of pressure, excitement, adrenaline, and pride that I felt over the course of my career. I ended on the perfect note and to me, THAT moment was "The Wonder" because it gave me a sense of appreciation and joy from the sport I did for 21 years!