Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn Shares How Strength, Determination, and Self-Love Have Propelled Her to the Finish Line

the body book - the longevity book - cameron diaz

Lindsey Vonn is the most successful female skier EVER, in the world, in history!! This speed queen has a dream collection of glamorous and impressive accessories including; Two Olympic medals, 81 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup season championship titles and SEVEN World Championship medals. When she is not training countless hours, she is visualizing about what gives her life a pulse, SKIING. Being in the mountains and being on top of the world is a familiar place for Lindsey as well as on top of championship podiums. This woman knows how to NEVER GIVE UP! Doctors gave her a 50% chance she would ever ski again after double knee surgeries. Remarkably, by the following season she won the downhill race to claim her record breaking sixtieth World Cup win. She has picked herself up after too many injuries to count and also rose up from depression. With South Korea as her muse and the feeling of gold running through her veins, she is training deeper physically and emotionally through yet another injury. In her recent book: STRONG is the NEW BEAUTIFUL, she shares advice as a professional athlete, tips for eating clean and exercising right for the purpose of loving your body for what it is and what it’s capabilities are. She is strong. She is beautiful. She is on top of the world. The forecast for Lindsey Vonn: Bright and Golden!

How Did your ski racing journey begin?

My Dad was a ski racer. I did a lot of sports, but started skiing at two and a half years old and competing by age eight. I showed a lot of talent in skiing and it was the sport that I loved the most. I had a lot of aspirations at nine years old.

what Advice would you share with your younger self, knowing what you know now?

Stay on your path and keep working hard. Everything will turn out how it is supposed to. I wouldn’t give myself a head’s up on anything. Everything that has happened to me has made me a better, stronger person. I wouldn’t want to avoid any of those setbacks or injuries because they all have made me who I am.

From the obstacles and injuries, what does #NeverGiveUp mean to you?

When I’m injured or have a setback, I take a step back and look at why it happened and understand the situation I’m in and make the best of it. I think every setback is an opportunity to be stronger and a better athlete and also a better person. Injuries make me appreciate what I do so much more. If everything is great all the time you really don’t appreciate it. The setbacks teach you what is valuable to you and what makes you happy and why you work so hard. It’s not necessarily about the winning. It’s about doing what you love to do and what you are passionate about. That’s why I work hard, because I love ski racing. Every time I’ve been injured it’s made me that much more hungry to get back and be on the mountain again.

what was the motivation for writing your new book STRONG is the new BEAUTIFUL?

To share what I’ve learned over the course of my career from diet to workouts. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on social media and followers wanting to know more, so a book is a good way to share my story. I put a lot of work into it. I feel the message is on point and it needs to be said. I’m happy it’s done so well.

In the book you say, “I’ve been fortunate to come through it all, and in the end, I owe everything to my body. My strong body.” What are your daily tools to re-connect with your body and mind?

The best meditation for me is working out. Running gives some people clarity but for me it’s lifting weights. I feel like I get a lot of emotion out. I always feel better and more in tune with myself. When I need to unplug especially when I’m traveling I watch “Law and Order.” I don’t know why but it’s my go to thing. In the show, when the case is solved, the world is good, everything is ok and it makes me feel better.

What do you appreciate and love most about your body as it is right now?

My legs and my butt. When I’m lifting weights and I’m feeling strong I feel like that gives me a lot of confidence because they are the strongest parts of my body.

what does longevity mean to you?

As I get older and being an athlete, ski racing has taken a toll on my body. I definitely am achy but I feel the best thing for me is sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things. I try to get at least 10 hours total, and in the day I take naps. When I sleep well I feel better and I feel more rested and I can accomplish more during the day. I’ve included more fats and fish oils in my diet and I feel like my face looks better and brighter and even my hair.

the body book - the longevity book - cameron diaz
who inspires you?

Anyone that is strong and confident inspires me. Serena Williams, Rodger Federer, Billy Jean King. I don’t know why I focus on tennis, but I feel like their mental strength is shown more; you can see their facial expressions and see the pressure. And I’m inspired by that.

we are so inspired by the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, a nonprofit you started to empower girls to live their dreams. so we have a question from two future ski racers and dreamers, my nephew Kai, 9 and niece Morgan, 6. THey want to know what advice you have for young, aspiring ski racers?

If you want to accomplish something, you have to work hard, make sure you love it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. The harder you work, the closer you’ll get. And not letting anything stand in your way. Everything is achievable.

They also want to know if you have any superstitions.

I have to have everything color coordinated to match my ski racing suit, from my Under Armour long johns, to ski socks, underwear to my bra. And I lay it out the night before. I also wear one piece of jewelry that my boyfriend or family has given me because I feel it centers me.

What are you thinking about at the starting gate during the countdown?

Everything comes automatically. I train hard so that my body knows what to do and I’ve memorized the course. It’s just a matter of being relaxed and clear minded. I’m ready to charge. When I’m skiing my best and really in the zone, I should be thinking about nothing. Which is hard to do. I do my best when I’m not thinking.

How do you Physically and mentally prep for a race?

It has been similar for the last 15 years. I feel like “don’t change what works.” I wake up and I ride the bike. I do a full workout and listen to rap music. I eat breakfast. Food is hard to repeat though being in foreign countries, certain foods aren’t always available, so I can’t control that. But as far as a physical routine, that stays the same, and the music that I listen to. It depends on my mood but almost always rap.

the body book - the longevity book - cameron diaz
is there a Standout event/race that was a turning point in your life?

There are a couple. The highlight of my career was winning the Olympic gold in Vancouver. And also crashing in the 2006 Olympics. I thought I had broken my back. It was the first really scary injury that I had where I thought I could potentially never ski again and that was definitely a turning point for me and I realized how much I loved ski racing. I never want to get to the bottom of a race course and say I could have given more. I adapted the mentality of “all or nothing,” and at least I have given it 110%.

Current favorite tunes?

Kendrick Lamar’s album, I love DNA and Humble. I can’t wait to listen to Jay-Z’s new album.

Go-to food; that you can’t live without? 

Frozen yogurt! Usually a mix with standard french vanilla. I need a lot of other things but I can’t live without frozen yogurt sometimes topped with Reese’s pieces or brownie bites.

how do you unwind after a hard day of training?

Watching Law and Order, a standard for me, Game of Thrones or House of Cards. When I’m training in LA I chill out by the pool.

what do you do for fun when you’re not training or racing?

I don’t have too much free time, but when I’m in Colorado I go on hikes with my three dogs. With injuries I can get depressed. My dogs have been good for me emotionally and they are always excited to see me and keep my bed warm. Lucy always travels with me and they all love me no matter what. I also fly-fish or go out to dinner with my sister and my friends when I’m in LA. When I’m training heavy I don’t really leave the house except to go to the gym. I try to force myself to go out to dinner once or twice a week so I can be out of the house and do something fun and get my mind off my training. I can be too focused. I need to disconnect and relax a bit.

What’s next?

Once I get into racing season I’m just focused on breaking the “all time” win record and doing well in the Olympics.

the body book - the longevity book - cameron diaz

Thank you Lindsey! See you on the slopes! We will be cheering for you.

Connect with Lindsey: Instagram, Facebook, Website, and the Lindsey Vonn FoundationRead our related interviews with other Olympians: Elena Hight: Olympic Snowboarder and Simon Biles: Olympic Gold Medalist 

Affectionately described by many as a yoga scientist, Amanda Kriebel is an innovative Doctor of Physical Therapy and Yoga Teacher who humbly claims to be a student of life. Contact her to schedule and appointment in person or via Skype. Learn more about her and her exclusive videos: www.awarenesspt.com | Facebook | Instagram @amanda.kriebel | YouTube Channel