FITNESS recently caught up with our July issue cover girl three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, along with fellow USA Volleyball players April Ross and Jennifer Kessy at the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge. You can catch Kessy and Ross, who nabbed silver at the London Olympics against Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, take on Team China, Chen Xue and Xi Zhang, at 3 p.m. today on the NBC Sports Network. Walsh Jennings commentates during the match, which was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu.
Kerri Walsh Jennings Talks About Being Pregnant during the London Olympics
FITNESS: Was it scary playing so hard in the London Olympics knowing you were probably pregnant?
Kerri: No, not at all. I was maybe a week and a half late max by the end of the Olympics. At that point, most people don’t even realize they miss a period. I knew we tried and I was just on it. But I would have never put myself in that situation if I thought the potential baby in my body was going to be at risk—and I know that’s not the case. I played volleyball until the time I was 9 months pregnant with Sundance [her second son, now 2] and felt like I was doing right by him and the same thing with this baby. Being physical is what I do and it makes me feel good and it benefits the baby inside me.
Did it change your mindset at all during the Games?
Kerri: It wasn’t stressful, it was nothing negative—it was just more inspiring. I didn’t take a test until I got home to confirm it, but you know. It was just like, What if? I remember telling Casey [Jennings, her husband] that I’m late and he’s like, That’s so great. That’s how we do it. And I thought, You’re right. We’re here at the final stage of one journey that we’ve been working so hard for and we’ve always really wanted to start this other adventure of adding to our family right away. So it just feels like the timing was so blessed and we’re just really grateful.
You wear a bikini for your job. Do you feel self-conscious about your body when you’re pregnant?
Kerri: I do. The hardest part for me is right now [mid October]—I’m 15 and a half weeks pregnant and you know you can’t really tell that I’m that pregnant but you can. My muscle turned to mush right away with this pregnancy and I actually am very self conscious, and so I wear a lot more leggings and cover up a lot more. And I live in California and it’s hot all the time and it drives me crazy.
I generally don’t have an issue with that. Not that I really love my body or anything, just that I appreciate my body and that kind of helps me overlook what I’m doing. So once I turn the corner and get a little bigger than I am right now I think I’ll appreciate my body again because I know what it’s doing and I’m grateful. But it’s hard—it’s hard to see the cellulite, it’s hard to go from one place where you’re walking around in a bikini top to you can’t even imagine being in a bikini.
I heard you think the baby is a girl.
Kerri: Yeah. The pregnancy is so different so far. My skin is so different—I have way more acne than I’ve ever had—and I’ve been sick way more. With my two pregnancies with my boys [Joseph, 3, and Sundance, 2] I had maybe two days total where I didn’t feel great and this has been the majority of the days I don’t feel great. Chinese calendar says we’re having a girl. My money’s on a girl. We’re going to open a present on Christmas morning to see what we’re having and then we’ll celebrate either way. I love my boys—I would not trade my boys in for the world. But I would love for my husband to have a daddy’s little girl.
Read on for Jennifer Kessy’s and April Ross’ Beach Body Secrets Read more
There are modeling competitions…and then there are models who compete.
We prefer focusing on the latter, and the athletic, crazy-cool Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament in South Beach a few short weeks ago is a prime example of model behavior that may motivate you to start getting summer-ready! Pictures worth being jealous of:Read more
Just a reminder for FITNESS readers who live close to Miami…swing on by the MBVT on Saturday and Sunday! Click the image for more info.
One of the most thrilling, coolest, and—yeah, we’ll say it—sexiest Olympic sports is Women’s Beach Volleyball.
That’s why we were pretty psyched to chat with Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, the U.S. women’s pair currently ranked fourth in the world. The duo is just a few months away from a berth to the Olympic Games in London and are preparing to dive into their competitive season. But remember how we told you about that Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament in Miami this weekend? Yep, Kessy and Ross will be there. (Gah! Let’s all go!)
“We train really hard Monday through Friday and try to have a regular life on the weekends,” says Kessy. “So, we’ll be back to work on Monday. But in the meantime, the event gives us the chance to support the NVL (National Volleyball League). Plus, it’s in Miami and we like to enjoy the ride!”
And enjoy the ride they do. But it’s well-deserved: After just missing out on the 2008 Games in Beijing—only two teams per gender per country can go—Kessy and Ross have been preparing for years to represent the U.S., with Olympic veterans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Here, Kessy and Ross reveal a few of their essentials while they’re on-the-go…plus, we find out exactly why those volleyball bikini bottoms are so itty bitty.
FITNESS: What do you have to have when you’re traveling?
Ross: “The number one thing I have to have is a big water bottle. If I go half an hour without water, I tend to freak out.”
Kessy: “I have to have my pillow. My neck can’t take different hotels pillows every week, especially after you spend your days diving for the ball. Sleep is really important to us, being on the road a lot, so I also have a sleeping mask and earplugs.”
FITNESS: Are there any beauty products you can’t live without, other than SPF?
Ross: “I hate the grimy buildup from the sweat and sand, so I bring exfoliating cleansers on the road to get the layers off. I also have some sun damage, so I use Kieh’s Spot Corrector. I usually carry Eucerin hand cream, too.”
Kessy: “I just got the Clarisonic (Skin Cleansing System), and talk about getting grime off your face!” Read more
In 10 days, the 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will hit South Beach—and give us a motivational kick in the butt to get ready for bikini season. But the two-day event will also give us a little boost of hope, too, thanks to its charity partnership, Models 4 Water.
Co-founder models Georgie Badiel (runway stunner) and Heide Lindgren (face of Guess by Marciano) started M4W last year, with the goal of raising money to bring sustainable, clean water to the people in Burkina Faso, Georgie’s homeland. The country is one of the poorest in the world and about 85 percent of the population doesn’t have clean drinking water. And as you may suspect, most of the burden of finding usable water falls on the local women.
“We want to use our level of exposure to give back and work (as an industry) together to make a difference,” Heide says. “But this isn’t about being a ‘rewarding experience.’ It’s about fulfilling your duty as a human being to use your blessings to help bless others.”
M4W works with The Water Project, which also hosts the donations. (They’ll accept as little as $1, so go for it!) But the Model Beach Volleyball Tournament will also have an area dedicated to M4W, and additional Global Ambassadors will lend their image and connections to the cause in the future.
Until then, Heide says the dream is simple: “Water is one of the few things the body requires to live, and we don’t want access to clean water to be an issue or concern for anyone.”
Stay tuned for more updates about the exciting 2012 Ludus Athletics Model Beach Volleyball Tournament, an event FITNESS is proud to partner with!
You may have retired your bikini for the season, but certain athletes have to stay two piece-ready all year! Beach volleyball pros play hard, lunge and jump—all while donning one of the skimpiest outfits in sports. So how do they keep their confidence up? By training hard! “What gets me to the gym even when I’m not motivated is that fact that our uniform is a bikini,” says Whitney Pavlik, 2008 Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Rookie of the Year.
We caught up with Pavlik and three other top players from the AVP before this weekend’s Hermosa Beach Open to learn more about how they got their start in the sport, how they stay motivated and how they train to top the competition.
- Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik, partners and winners of the Manhattan Beach Open in August
How did you first get interested in volleyball?
Kropp: “My mom was a P.E. teacher, so she borrowed nets from the school during the summer and we set them up in our backyard.”
How do you get pumped up before big matches?
Kropp: “We listen to ‘Lighters’ by Eminem on Bruno Mars until we get to the beach.”
What is your favorite way to cross train?
Kropp: “I love to work out with TRX Suspension Training. Single leg squats, lunges, abs, even jumping jacks can be integrated into the workout.”
What are your goals for the future?
Pavlik: “We’re taking each year at a time, but the 2016 Olympics is the ultimate end goal.”
Read on for more from two other volleyball stars rocking the beaches!