Photos by: Mike Lewis
1. What is your greatest strength and why?
I believe my greatest strength is the perspective I have on living in the elite world of sport, which I gain from having a relationship with God! I realize that swimming is a blessing in my life and brings me joy - when I can swim free of fear and work believing good things will come I can enjoy every moment! Knowing I’m swimming for a purpose greater than performance gives me so much freedom to just be present and rock the blocks!
2. Describe a situation where you had to make a quick decision in a race and what did you learn from that experience?
One instance was my World Champs Gold medal in 2016. As I approached the backstroke to Breastroke turn I had to decide which version of the turn I would do. Only a few short weeks before this completion I had learned a new turn that is faster but it wasn’t yet a habit. I knew it would take a perfect race to win, and in the final moments as I hit the wall I committed to the turn and it was perfect. In fast and out fast! Committing to what I knew was faster, not comfortable, gave me the edge to pull away a slight amount. Every race is filled with quick decisions. I’ve come to learn that each decision I make often happens instinctually. Which means that what I’m doing in training is preparing me for those quick decisions.
3. How do you handle stress and pressure?
I’ve gotten better over the years. I used to become crippled with fear. I’d get nauseous and change my race plan. Once I started to understand that at the moment I stand on the blocks there is nothing else I can do I had peace to stand confidently and just race. Now that’s a different story when I don’t believe I’ve put in the work. So it’s a constant learning experience but I know if I put in the work, I can stand confidently and trust that regardless of what the results may be I was my best at that moment. The truth of it all is that I’m not defined by the results so I can just swim free! And when you swim free, you swim fast!
4. If I called your coach right now and asked him or her what is an area that you could improve on, what would he or she say?
The details. I believe something we could all agree needs some focus is the small things that add up. Like maintaining an excellent sleep schedule, activation routines, warm down routines, supplementation, diet etc. We can always be getting better! If it was easy everybody would be doing it.
5. What excites you most about your career as an athlete?
What excites me the most about my career as an athlete is that I get to travel the world doing what I love! Which is essentially taking excellent care of my body and pushing it to new heights every day!
6. What is your most favorite aspect of the Masimo MightySat?
My favorite aspect of the MightySat is that I can have very understandable data in an instant. There’s no blood prick or time wasting task to get solid data. It takes very little time to know how my body is and has reacted to the work I’ve been doing and that data helps me understand what I need to do next.