Written on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
You probably know Lolo Jones and Alex Morgan from the 2012 Summer Olympics—Jones is a track & field star in the 100 meter hurdles and Morgan, an Olympic gold medalist in soccer. If those accolades aren’t enough, these women are pushing their boundaries and challenging themselves for Degree’s Do:More Campaign. Hoping to inspire people everywhere to pursue their passions, Jones is going after one of her own by training to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in bobsledding and Morgan is taking a (temporary) break from the soccer field and indulging in one of her favorite hobbies—stand up paddleboarding. I chatted with them about their crazy training schedules, diet and makeup faves.
So tell me why you wanted to get involved with the Do:More Campaign.
AM: “I got involved because I love soccer but I found a new passion in paddle boarding, and I think both of us want to inspire other people to do more of what they love.”
LJ: “Yea, never in my life would I have imaged that I’d be jumping in a sled going 90 miles per hour and doing something so adrenaline-seeking. So I just wanted to get out of the comfort zone I had with track. I feel like sometimes when you pursue a goal for so long, it can become repetitive and you want to know how you can get stronger for that but at the same time, not give up on the goal you had. So I felt like getting into bobsledding would refresh me and just give me a new outlook and that’s what is has done.”
How did you get interested in bobsledding?
LJ: “Just watching a lot of Cool Runnings. (laughs) No, actually I met one of the drivers a few years ago at a charity event and she just said, ‘I think you’d be good at it.’ And it kind of stuck in my brain and after the Olympics, I just felt like it was a good time to try something new.”
And Alex, how did you get interested in stand up paddleboarding?
AM: “Paddleboarding is just a hobby of mine that I picked up when I was vacationing in Hawaii. I hung up the cleats for two weeks after the Olympics because I haven’t had a break in over two years. And of course as a professional athlete you feel like you always have to be doing something. You can never be content with just relaxing, so I just rented a paddleboard one time and went out there and loved it right away. It’s more of a release and get away from soccer. It’s nice to have something completely different that you love and can get your mind off of everything.”
Do you always look for different activities that you can do to complement how you train?
AM: “Yeah! I think there’s always something that I’m looking for and I’m never a 50% type of person—it’s either all or nothing. So with paddleboarding, once I started, I loved it. I got a paddleboard. I live at the beach in LA so I went out all the time. I taught my sisters and my mom how to do it. A year ago, I got really into Spin classes, so I think you just find something that you love and for me, getting away from soccer is what I need sometimes because it is mentally and physically straining so it’s nice to switch it up on your body and mind and get a fresh outlook.”
How active are you guys on a daily basis? Are you working out all the time?
AM: “For me, it’s training six days a week at least and at least one to two sessions so whether that’s in the gym or the field, on the track and in the pool. The sessions are about four to five hours, but that includes getting ready. It really depends on the type of day it is. You have to have a couple of hard days so on those hard days you have to mentally prepare yourself.”
LJ: “I’m training six days, not everyday because I’m doing two sports. With track, it’s such a mundane sport; it’s not like a team sport so sometimes it gets very repetitive. So piggy backing on what Alex said, I have to find other ways to get out there. She said she got involved in Spin one year; I was the same way. One year it was yoga; one year was Pilates. I think the main challenge people have when working out is they get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. And so for me, this whole campaign of Do More is perfect because you have to step outside of your comfort zone every now and then. And sometimes, doing that will refresh you for your original goal. Doing bobsledding has refreshed and renewed me to go back to track and running. I’m just amped up to return. I definitely just want to encourage people to get out there and try new things.”
What are your diets like when you’re training this hard? What kinds of things are you eating?
AM: “I think for me, it’s not a strict diet. But it’s knowing the time to have something and getting enough in because when you’re training so vigorously, you’re eating a lot, at least 4 meals a day for me. Obviously, you want to get in protein and greens and enough carbs but I feel like for desert, I’m fine with having something after dinner because I know I’ve worked hard enough and my body actually craves it.”
LJ: “With bobsledding, I can eat whatever because the weight is good [the heavier the sled is, the faster it goes] but for track, I have to eat very strict. So it’s hard, but I think everything with balance. Even when I have super strict days, I allow myself to have a cheat day because I work for that cheat day. So I think when people are trying to lose weight they shouldn’t just go über strict to the point you’re not allowing yourself to enjoy life because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re trying to do. You’re tying to work out, but at the same time you want to do it in a good way and find balance.”
What’s your favorite thing to cheat with?
LJ: “Well, since I live in Louisiana, I’d have to say anything down there. It’s like the worst place for a professional athlete to live. I don’t think any athletes train there.”
AM: “I love that type of food but since I’m from California, Mexican food is my go-to. Burritos with sour cream and guac—so good. Even the Cali burrito, it has French fries in it.”
You both travel a lot for your sports, so how do you stick to your diet on the road?
AM: “It’s honestly really hard because I’ll go into a training camp and we’ll have our nutritionist set out our meals for two weeks. We have food in front of us three times a day. It’s very healthy. And then you go home, you don’t have food in the fridge. You’re only home for five days; you’re not going to go out grocery shopping. So, it’s difficult but I find that just trying to eat two out of three healthy meals a day is good enough for me.”
LJ: “I’d say packing protein is my number one key for traveling because that can always hold you off from the cravings of airport food. You can smell it, you see people scarfing it down. Actually, when people travel nowadays it’s like a movie experience. They get their snack and they’re crunching away. So I always make sure I have protein powder with me which will help curb my appetite for a little bit and then that will give me time to make the proper decision. There are always options; it’s just really hard to find those options in an airport.”
Do you have any favorite beauty products that you love to have in your bag when traveling?
AM: “I love Degree Motion Sense Deodorant ($8, drugstore.com). On top of that, I need mascara. And I’m in the sun sometimes six hours a day so definitely sunscreen all the time.”
LJ: “I like YSL Touche Èclat ($40, sephora.com). I use it for dark circles, as an eye shadow base, I’ve used it to clean up my eye brows—it’s like a miracle pen.”
Do you wear makeup when you’re practicing or competing?
LJ: “A warm up takes quite a bit, so we just have to have something that will last for a warm up but look fresh when we go out there in front of the camera for 12 seconds so I like a cream-based eye shadow and a good waterproof mascara.”
AM: “Yeah, I will say it depends on if you have a televised game or a closed-door practice where no one is going to see you. Mostly all the time, at a closed practice, I’ll wear absolutely nothing but then during a game, I might wear a tinted moisturizer.”
LJ: “Even if I’m going to a gym I’m not trying to look all rough. The chances of meeting a hot guy at a gym are increased!”