Competitive Swimmer - Olympic Medalist - Content Developer at Excelle Sports
Do you think of yourself as a role model?
Yes, in some ways I do. Once I started competing on the international level at World Championships, the Olympic Games, and the Pan American Games, I realized I have the ability to influence the lives of others in a positive way. I see that as a gift. I try to live my life as authentically as possible and to inspire others to do the same. Following a passion in life can be scary and many people suffer from self-doubt, no matter what industry they are in, but I think taking that risk and putting yourself out there is the only way to find out what you love.
When you’re performing, how do you feel?
Everything. I have felt everything in the water when I compete and train. There are days when I feel horrible, heavy, and slow in the water. Those days happen often and that is part of life and part of sport. There are days when swimming is the best medicine and can clear my mind from whatever it is that is bringing me down. But in the best performances of my life, I have never felt so alive, my energy is completely flowing and my heart is beating heavy, time slows down, and I am in the zone.
From where do you draw your sense of inner strength?
I believe I developed my inner strength from my family. We are all pretty strong characters and I grew up being really competitive with my two brothers. They would challenge me often and I think I thrived on those challenges. I always had a competitive spirit but I remember wanting to be just like my older brother John, he was definitely my first role model. More specifically my Mom and Grandmother, they are some of the bravest women I know. I have always admired how they have carried themselves through life. Everyone in my immediate family has a strong work ethic and is ambitious, so I emulated that. I believe that having inner strength is a reflection of your support system and I have been really blessed to have a large, supportive, and honest support system.