Photo by Mitchell Haaseth / NBC Olympics.
“Faster, Higher, Stronger.” “Faster, Higher, Sarah Robles.” Because if you want a synonym for "stronger," look no farther than the 23 year-old U.S. weightlifter.
It’s not just that she’s technically the strongest woman in our country—Robles will compete for her place on the international podium on August 5th—but it’s the other challenges that have shown the world just how mentally tough this girl is. In the weeks leading up the Games, many of us learned about her financial struggles…and were thrilled to see the online community cheer her on.
But no amount of money, medals, or media attention changes the fact that the 5’10”, 275-pound, 23 year-old has had to overcome a few body issues. On behalf of every woman in America, I’m just gonna go ahead and say that’s where I think her most enduring, admirable strength truly lies. Here, a few questions and answers with the Olympian.
FITNESS: How did your life change when you began accepting your shape and body type?
SARAH ROBLES: My life changed for the better when I decided to be okay with who I am. I knew I wasn't going to change, nor really could do much about it anyway. I cared more about being the best athlete. It didn't matter what my body looked like, it mattered more to me how it performed.
FITNESS: What are your best confidence-boosting tips for other women?
SARAH ROBLES: First, stop caring about what other people think. They probably aren't thinking what you think they are, and most likely, you'll never see them again.
Next, surround yourself with positive people. Negativity is sticky. It sticks to you and is hard to get rid of. Once you do (find those positive people), you will feel clean, happy, and free!
Lastly, do things you really love or try new things. You never know what you can be good at unless you try. When you learn new skills or further develop the ones you have, you will be more confident.
FITNESS: Which athletes or celebrities do you relate to the most? On a related note, who are your role models?
SARAH ROBLES: Melissa McCarthy cracks me up. She's not afraid to be silly or get physical for a few laughs. I love that quality in a person. To give someone a smile is the best gift and she's given it to so many! Otherwise I don't follow celebrities that closely. My role models are my mom and my coach.
FITNESS: What are your favorite foods that you feel give you the most energy and power?
SARAH ROBLES: One of my favorite meals to make is pesto chicken, couscous, and a vegetable. I think the balance of protein and carbohydrates give me sustained energy, and I don't get too hungry later. I also feel that milk helps with strength. It's just a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and calories. You can get it anywhere and it's really cheap. I've never heard of a good power athlete who doesn't drink milk or consume dairy products.
FITNESS: What are your favorite fitness activities outside of weight lifting?
SARAH ROBLES: I enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, window-shopping, and throwing shot put or discus.
FITNESS: What are you most looking forward to about competing in the London 2012 Games?
SARAH ROBLES: I am looking forward to showcasing my talents and hard work. I want to achieve some personal records, and hopefully bring home a medal. I am also excited to see my family, have a mini vacation, and have some fun afterwards.
Speaking of family, Sarah and her mom are involved in the P&G Team USA Sports Fund, which helps ensure that kids across the US have access to quality sports programs. Follow @thankyoumom on Twitter – for every new follower, P&G will donate $1 to the fund, up to $50,000. While you're at it, you can find Sarah tweeting at @roblympian.