Tamara Oudenaarden is a Canadian speed skater and was a part of the Winter Olympic Team in 2010. Tamara is also a believer and a friend. She inspires me. For our ALL IN series, I asked her to talk about one of the least observable but vitally important parts of Olympic training.
She shared some incredible insights. “Training is a major aspect of sport but something that people look past is the recovery which is an essential part of an athlete’s world. Fueling your body with the right things at the right time, or jumping into cold bath’s or pulling on your recovery tights are so important if you want to keep your performance level up day after day…Its essential to refuel and replenish the body with nutrients and energy that are lost in a workout. I eat a high carb, high protein diet in a program called “Fuel for Gold” provided by the Canadian Sport Centre.
Once or twice a week I schedule an appointment with my osteopathist, massage therapist, physio or chiro….There are a lot of things an athlete can do on their own but at times you need structural work by therapists.
Summer training is all about building a base and putting on muscle to last us throughout the racing season. Volume is up and so is intensity and there are days where we wake up the next day and have trouble walking down stairs but as athletes you need to suck it up because usually you will have an equally hard program that same day. Those are the days that are mentally/physically hard to get out of bed and I have to motivate myself a little more.
Sometimes the programs look so tough on paper that you’re mentally struggling to prepare yourself for that one; your mind is so strong and can convince you that you aren’t good enough or that you can’t finish that program, and when you believe what your brain is telling you it shows in the work you put out on the ice. It’s important to have a strong mindset each and every day, make goals for yourself, and know when to push your body past the limits or when your body can’t handle anymore.”
Tamara is ALL IN when it comes to her sport and her faith. She also shared, “It was so cool that while I was writing this, I saw the direct correlation with how we are supposed to prepare our minds and bodies each and every day as a Christian and how we are supposed to spend that time feeding ourselves with the word of God and having that relationship with Him. Before we go out into our day that we need to be prepared in mind, body and soul. I could just see with a lot of the points I made how it just responded to how I should be going about my journey with God like I do with training.”
I am interested to know what you do to refuel your faith and keep your life strong.