I get to work with so many amazing women week after week, and they all inspire me in their own unique ways. The physical strengths is one aspect of why they're inspiring, but the thing that lights me up and gives me goosebumps is hearing their stories - their "why's", their challenges, the obstacles they've overcome, their perseverance, patience, and determination to be the best version of themselves, no matter what that entails.
I'm so excited to get this first feature up on Jaclyn, who works full time in corporate Calgary by day and trains diligently by night on a mission to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics as a member of the Canadian National skeleton team.
What do you do for physical activity and how many hours do you train in a week?
JL: I am training to earn a spot on our women’s Olympic skeleton team, with the ultimate goal to win a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics!
I train about 20-25 hours a week – a combination of weight training to build strength, Olympic lifting to build power and sprinting for speed. We also do some technical work to practice our pushing starts (we push our sleds for 20m before jumping on!).
What drives you to train?
JL: My ultimate goal of going to the Olympics drives me to train. But underlying that is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from pushing and challenging myself physically and mentally! I love working hard, leaving the gym feeling like I have made myself better.
I love the feeling of trying something new or challenging; I find it so exhilarating! That could be trying to get a new personal best on a lift, or even working on technique. Sure, it’s uncomfortable and sometimes you fail. But I would rather go home feeling satisfied that I attempted it, than regretting I didn’t even try. This also helps keep me motivated to train, because every day is a chance to challenge yourself!
What are some of the benefits you've experienced from training?
JL: So many I can’t count. I think the biggest one is learning to believe in my abilities.
I’ve struggled with accepting and actually being proud of what I have and can accomplish. It never feels like enough, especially when I compare myself to others. But I’ve learned you can’t. This is my life, right now, in this moment. I think about how hard I’ve worked. Maybe right now, I’m not where I strive to be. But I have to give thanks to myself for getting this far. I have learned to appreciate that and know that it is what makes me, me. If I have tried my hardest, how can I ever be mad at myself for that?
Acknowledge, respect and appreciate what you have accomplished and the effort you have put in.
What challenges have you run into and/or overcome from training?
JL: Aside from the mental aspect, the most challenging piece has been dealing with injury. I had a hamstring tendon injury which took me out for 6 months. It was so frustrating to go to the gym to see your competitors getting better while you are just waiting to heal. I may have cried on the stretching mats more than once…
The biggest learning is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It knows what to do. Nags and niggles, are a sign something isn’t right. If you have those, stop and rest. If that doesn’t fix it, seek some physical therapy. Your body will find ways to compensate, it wants to complete the tasks you ask of it…but it will do so using other muscles, tendons and structures which aren’t designed to be doing that work. And that will only work for so long…
What was your primary goal for seeking nutrition coaching with Raw Fitness YYC?
JL: I wanted someone to take the stress away from me in telling me what to eat. There is so much information out there and I ultimately became confused about what I should be eating and when and how much. It was causing me a lot of stress and I wasn’t seeing any positive results – Quite the opposite!
After meeting with Nicole, I knew she was the nutritionist I was looking for. She understood the importance of my training and worked with me to create a plan that managed to help me lose some fat but gain muscle. She took away the stress of being scared to eat carbs and has created easy, nutritional habits that will stay with me for life!
Want to find out more about this amazing woman and follow her story? Or maybe help sponsor her road to the Olympics? Check her below: