With Mother’s Day steadily approaching, we thought we’d take a minute to sit down with TYR’s very own “Momma on a Mission,” 4X Olympic Gold Medalist and 16X World Championship Medalist, Dana Vollmer.
Having become a mother less than a year ago, Dana is more motivated than ever to once again leave her mark on the world’s stage. And with major races on the horizon, we at team TYR cannot wait to see what she can do! In the meantime, Dana took a break from her busy schedule to talk training, motherhood and staying motivated. To find out more from one of the sport’s fiercest competitors, read on below.
You’re new to team TYR, but certainly not new to swimming. Tell us a little bit about your journey as an athlete thus far?
I have had such an amazing journey as an athlete and I am thankful that it’s not over yet! I’ve gotten to travel all over the world, meet amazing people and learn all about keeping my body healthy. Has it been all hearts and rainbows? Of course not, but no Olympian’s story ever is. Everyday I learn more about myself, about movement, performance, nutrition and so much more. As I make this comeback I feel more balanced in my life as a mom and as an athlete than I ever thought I could be. This will hopefully be a very exciting summer for my family!
You managed to take home gold in the 100m butterfly at Winter Nationals, less than a year after giving birth. What was your secret to coming back so strong?
Taking it day-by-day, step-by-step! I started with really small goals and worked from there. It’s hard to start working out again as a new mom in part because the demands on my time and energy with a newborn were huge. I couldn’t expect myself to jump in with a training schedule that looked anything close to what I had done two years prior. It all started with one practice, then I tried to survive my day as a new mom. When I felt I could do another workout, I did! Slowly, I was able to put in more workouts per week, and in time the intensity I could put into each practice grew… day-by-day, workout-to-workout. Having a newborn at home made me focus on the present moment, and drove me to ask the best of myself- and really, that’s all you can do.
Has your training routine changed since becoming a mom?
I feel smarter about the way I train. With the demands of having a son, I have limited time to put into practice, so I manage it wisely. Everything I do has an intention behind it. I can’t just rely on countless hours of training to make me fast. My coach Teri McKeever and I have to figure out how to optimize every moment I am in the water!
What is one thing you’ve learned from your experience as an Olympian?
Never lose sight of the journey. Life goes by so fast! Experiences we think will last forever are soon gone, and many times, it’s the memories of the journey that we remember forever. I’ve learned to appreciate the highs and lows of the process, and gained the understanding that with true effort, anything is possible!
What is one thing you’ve learned from your experience as a mom?
I can handle more than I ever thought I could! Being a mom takes a crazy amount of emotional strength but somehow you get it done, you have too! It’s not just about taking care of myself anymore, I have to do the best I can everyday to make sure my son has the best life I can give him.
What are your top five TYR product picks for this Mother’s Day?
Let’s see: The Durafast Elite Solid Crosscutfit Swimsuit, The Laguna Crosscutfit Tieback Swimsuit, The Studs Crosscutfit Swimsuit , The Supremo Crosscutfit Swimsuit and of course, The Eureka Crosscutfit Tieback Swimsuit .