During the frigid days of winter, we all need inspiration to get outside and get active. Look no further! Olympic gold medal winning snowboarder Torah Bright and X Games freestyle skiing champion Sarah Burke recently stopped by our office to share their success secrets and tips to improve your snow play. Both Burke and Bright will show off their skills at the Winter X Games from January 27-30 in Aspen, Colorado. For more information, check out xgames.com.
Torah Bright flies high on the snowboard superpipe. (Photo courtesy of Zach Ornitz/Shazamm/ESPN Images)
FITNESS: What keeps you motivated to stick with your training?
Sarah Burke: I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s almost something that I require for happiness! I’ve always wanted to push myself and am always switching up my routine to stay fresh.
Torah Bright: I’ve realized that if I focus more on off-snow training, it helps my on-snow performance. I love surfing and circuit training in the gym with weights and plyometrics. When it’s mid-winter and I’m out on the slopes a lot, I focus on getting plenty of recovery.
SB: I love sufing too, and downhill mountain biking!
FITNESS: Congratulations to both of you on your recent weddings! How do you stay fit as a newlywed?
SB: Both of our husbands do the same sport that we do, so that’s helpful so we can be active together. It’s nice to have someone who wants to go to the gym with you and who helps to keep you focused. I also make dinner when we’re together. Otherwise, I’d just grab a bowl of cereal because that’s just so easy.
TB: My husband definitely motivates me to go to the gym, so that’s great. Jake [Torah’s husband] gives me a big confidence boost. Any time he says I do something pretty well...I love it!
FITNESS: What are your favorite foods to stay fueled with while training?
TB: Nuts. Park City [Mountain Resort in Utah] has a Cobra Dogs shop now too, but I haven’t had one yet. That may not be the best training food.
SB: I never leave my house without a granola bar, whether it’s a CLIF bar or some other fiber bar. I also like to keep a cheese stick or almonds in my pocket so I don’t have to stop on the slopes.
FITNESS: What does a typical in-season training day look like for you?
SB: It always changes and depends a lot on the weather. Some days I may get up at 5 am to snowmobile and ski all day. Other times, I may ride for a few hours, then go to the gym.
TB: Generally, three hours is my max on the slopes, then I focus on recovering. Powder days [after a big snow] are heavier days. But my mental capacity wanes after three hours.
FITNESS: Can you tell us more about powder days?
TB: It’s a blank canvas on the mountain. You float on the puffy, soft snow.
SB: People just hoot! You can hear “woohoos!” from people making their way down the trails. You just feel so good from the inside out when you land in that snow.
FITNESS: Is there one particular part of your fitness routine that’s especially important for your skiing/snowboarding?
TB: A lot of core work is key. I really feel the importance of a strong core during my slope transitions.
SB: Balance helps for body awareness and reaction time in the air.
FITNESS: What is the most memorable part of your career so far?
TB: Winning the gold in Vancouver was pretty great!
FITNESS: No kidding! How about you, Sarah?
SB: I’d say the first time I won the X Games, in 2007. I pushed for so long for women to be included and to receive the same prize purse as men, so after I dreamed and work towards it and finally won, that was awesome.
Sarah Burke shows off her ski tricks at the 2010 X Games is Aspen, Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Heather Rousseau/Shazamm/ESPN Images)
FITNESS: Do you have any tips for beginner skiers or snowboarders?
TB: Get a lesson!
SB: Just get out there. Find friends who want to learn too if you’re scared or intimidated. You can’t get past those feelings if you don’t get out there!
TB: I still get intimidated if I don’t have my crew.
FITNESS: What do you wish all women knew about snow sports?
SB: You can be warm if you wear the right clothes. It’s a lot of fun—you feel great being outdoors and moving.
TB: I wish everyone could experience an amazing powder day...just chasing the best snow.
FITNESS: You both are a part of the Roxy snow team. Can you tell us more about your work with the company?
TB: I’ve been with Roxy for about 10 years now. I rode in Australia with them and now am with Roxy internationally. Now I have a signature line that I help design.
SB: I’ve ridden with Roxy for about five years. It’s really nice to be a part of a female-supportive team. There’s a ski suit that I helped design and seeing it hanging in a store is pretty sweet!
FITNESS: What are your goals for the future?
SB: Right now, I’m focused on the biggest contests this year, but still mellow. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed for skiing half pipe in 2014.
TB: I’m taking a bit of a break and learning to love the sport again. It’s been fun to access backcountry trails now that I’m learning how to drive a snowmobile. This year, I’m planning to do the X Games and Roxy Chicken Jam. And of course I’m keeping my eyes on the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
Thanks to both of these ladies for sitting down with us and sharing their stories and tips! Now we want to hear from you: What's your favorite snow activity? Tell us in the comments!