It is a pleasure to have you on our show and we are very excited to have the opportunity to share your passion and insights.
Interview follows below!
Intro Q & A
Place of Birth and/or Nationality?
Grew up in Barre Massachusetts
Type of Athlete and/or Specific Sport?
Triathlete turned swimmer
Why did you get started doing it and why do you continue doing it in a few sentences?
When I finished graduate school I found myself always feeling sluggish so started running with a Saturday group. The individuals in it were of all levels and the encouragement of a friend and camaraderie of the group lead me to triathlon.
Athlete Q & A
What’s your biggest athletic accomplishment and what made it special?
The biggest athletic accomplishment is probably the Peaks to Portland Swim. This was a 2.5 mile swim across Casco Bay in Maine in July and there were so many unknowns to it for me bcs I had never swam that distance before and across a bay like that. I was so nervous in the pre race meeting that I had butterflies in my stomach that never left until I started swimming. This race ended up being the most fun I've ever had in an event. My brother was my kayak spotter and we just had a blast on the beach with all of the other swimmers and kayakers before the start. Everyone admitted that no matter how many times they swam it they were always nervous taking the ferry over early in the morning knowing the only way back was to swim it so on the beach there was just music and laughing to remember that it was not necessarily about a race but about having fun.
What’s your secret for staying fit, healthy, and maximizing your training results as a busy, executive director for the Savannah Philharmonic?
A few factors that I owe to my success include patience, consistency, and skill development. I’m really not the most physically gifted athlete in terms of numbers and performance, but over time I’ve kept chopping away at the task at hand and let the work slowly come to fruition. I was fortunate to get early exposure to technical riding and racing and it has become a huge advantage and tool for me.
Any advice you'd give to your younger self, especially when it comes to maximizing athletic performance and potential?
Implement the household rule in the question above much sooner. The only way to really maximize athletic performance and potential is to prioritize sleep and recovery because every time I have ignored this I have ended up sick or injured.
Better health, better training, or better gear. Which one has helped you achieve more athletic success?
Better health and balance has definitely helped me achieve more athletic success because health and balance allows training hard to stay fun.
I hear you are now training for the USA masters national swimming championships. How are things going so far?
I did not grow up a swimmer and have really only been swimming “seriously” for about 11 years, never even really loving it until a few years ago. Now though, with the support of a USMS team and training partners I am having a blast training to qualify for the US Masters national swimming championships. The entire process is somewhat of a game to discover what is possible and I have a great training partner that is along for the ride with me. He was a collegiate swimmer so has the experience that I lack.
Some top swimming tips you’ve learned for going faster for longer?
The tips that I have learned are actually based around learning how to be a sprinter in the pool. And these consist of being okay with being quite uncomfortable for a short periods of time and staying out of your head. You are racing with only the clock and you have to believe a time is possible to push the body to do that. The other tip that I need to also remind myself of a lot lately is that form matters more than speed for most workouts.
Are there any qualities you developed as a professional bassoon player that now transfer over into helping you become a better athlete?
Right now, I am working on translating the control of the breath that I developed playing a wind instrument since I was 13 to swimming. The more I progress the more I realize that swimming is similar in that it takes controlled air. I also believe that the time management, discipline and systematic approach needed in athletic training is the same as being a professional musician.
Mystery Q & A
You’re leaving for space to populate a new planet, what three things are you definitely going to take with you?
My Ipod Shuffle (I am old school with this but I love it)
Dark Chocolate Almonds
Swimsuit - being out of the pool too many days always causes a loss of feel for the water
The best thing you’ve bought in the past year to help improve your health, fitness, and/or performance?
Probably my mini Theragun.
What’s your superpower and superhero catch phrase?
My favorite thing to remember is “if it excites you and scares you at the same time then you have to try it”
Outro Q & A
Where can readers go to learn more about the Savanah Symphony?