As I head into my seventh season as a professional lacrosse player, my desire to be my best self (both on and off the field) is stronger than ever. Growing up in Smithtown on Long Island, it was always my dream to play lacrosse at the highest level. So far, I’ve reached three “Final Fours” while attending Cornell University, won a gold medal with Team USA and won an MLL Championship—so I am, in fact, living my dream.
What you don’t know as a kid, however, is that being a professional athlete in lacrosse isn’t quite as glamorous as it may seem. Many players hold down full-time jobs in addition to training and performing. I have personally dedicated myself to the sport full time, which has brought out my entrepreneurial self. As a result, I am always on the go looking for new opportunities and new ways to build my brand. Much like you, staying in shape, eating healthy and performing at the highest level is a 24/7 challenge for me.
Whether it’s being in the office at 7 AM every morning, working until 10 PM, finding time for our children or traveling a lot, finding time for ourselves while keeping up with the demands of our professional and personal lives often seems impossible. My summers are spent on the road, running camps during the week and playing on the weekends. I am taking anywhere between 4-6 flights a week, making my workout routine difficult to follow and eating healthy a near impossible challenge. But I have developed some ways to stay on track which you might find useful as you struggle to do the same.
1. Make a game plan.
Planning out what our days on the road will look like allows us to find the gaps where getting a workout in is possible. For me, this is usually first thing in the morning, allowing me to get that heart rate up and blood flowing for the rest of the day. Scoping out the hotel gym and its equipment in advance lets you plot your workout in your room—so when you go down there, no time is wasted.
When we are traveling, our bodies are tired and we probably aren’t well hydrated—so be sure to keep workouts on the road short to avoid putting excess stress on your body.
2. Be a conscious eater.
I don’t know about you, but I get more nervous than usual about eating when I’m on the road. I try to cope with it by consuming most of my calories during the earlier part of the day—so I am not starving come dinner time. Healthy snacking between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner also helps. That’s where my ONE Bars come in. I usually eat 2-3 per day, especially when I’m in the airport or on the plane, as well as after workouts. This helps me make better decisions and not listen to my empty, hungry stomach. Don’t feel awkward being “that person” who wants to eat healthy—you will be surprised with how many people want to hop on board with you.
3. Make time for recovery.
If you are physically and mentally tired, decision making is not at our best. Thankfully, hotel beds are the best! Our best option for recovery is sleep. Making sure to get 7-8 hours while on the road will drastically help with working out and eating healthy. If you’re feeling tired already, there’s no need to take that tiredness to the next level with a hard workout—30 minutes of walking on the treadmill or elliptical is plenty. In addition, cryotherapy has become one of my keys to recovery on the road. You can be in and out in 15 minutes—and for that reason alone, we should all be giving it a try. It’s only 3 minutes of freezing cold temperatures!
We all have goals in mind, and we all can accomplish those goals.
There is no secret sauce, and everyone is capable of achieving excellence.
It takes hard work, dedication and (above everything else) consistency. If you can be consistent in the changes that you are trying to make—whether that’s eating healthy, going to the gym, etc.—you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. I truly believe I am where I am today only because I have consistently committed to my goal of being the best version of myself that I can be. Sure I take days off and have cheat meals because we all need to. But at the end of the day, I know I’ll be right back on track—and so will you! Commit to it. Be consistent with it. We all can be great.
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