Ashley Wagner is an accomplished Olympic figure skater and wellness expert. We gathered to hear Ashley share how her background in skating has translated to an interest in fitness and a passion for self love. These interests have acted as a foundation for her blog. Here’s a snippet of our inspiring conversation!
Training to be an Olympian is a full-time job. How did your love of wellness come out of that?
I was not really that aware of what I was doing while I was training. I would go home after I was training, have a glass of wine and eat pad thai. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it, but...My love of health and wellness came into play as I got older. I needed to find a way to get that edge over my competitors. I had to make sure I was fueling properly, that I was hydrated, that I was recovering the way that I needed to. I don’t think I would have made it as far in my career had I kept drinking wine and eating pad thai as often as I was!
How did you maintain self-care while you were training?
Balance. Balance is so important. Figure skating was my entire life. It ate up every single second of every day. The year leading up to the 2014 Olympics was the most difficult year of my entire life. I felt like my life was not my own. Mentally and emotionally I had nothing left to give. I knew I was not able to compete in the mental space that I was in. I realized that my entire life was skating and I wasn’t doing anything that made me happy. I realized that skating was the only thing in my life, it was the only thing that made me feel like me. So I decided to take a step back. I would get a drink with a girlfriend, I tried a book club. That balance is what brought me to the Olympics and allowed me to deliver the way that I did.
How did you transition out of skating in a healthy way?
After Korea, I needed to figure out who I was beyond my sport. I had no one to guide me through that process. As a professional athlete for 23 years, I was used to listening to a coach. Now, my life was in my hands and I didn’t know what to do with it. I knew that in order to make a change I need to push myself out of those comfortable boundaries. I was stuck in a rut and I was letting myself stay in that rut. That’s where my relationship for self love came into play. I started making steps to make myself better. I really started to love myself and be okay with not knowing what I wanted to do. It’s helped me so much getting through this process!
We learned so much from Ashley, had a great time meeting new people, and sampled a ton of wellness brands, like skincare products from Mother Dirt. Check out all the brands for yourself on Amazon. And don't forget to check out Ashley's blog too -- especially her Real Talk series!