We recently had the privilege to speak to Rachael Adams, an Olympic Medalist with a passion for wellbeing. Rachael has inspired us with her hard work and her positive attitude; She’s part of the USA volleyball team and has won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games to sit next to the gold medal from the 2014 World Championships; yet in between training and travelling Rachael Adams still finds the time to spread positive messages on her own personal instagram account and @JourneyStrength.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“Listen to your body.” Our body is always on our side – guiding us with our intuition, gut instincts, sensing energies, guiding our health, needs, and overall well-being. If I don’t have a solid well-being, it’s hard for me to succeed in all the things I want to go after.
Your daily mantra:
Do your best, forget the rest.
One piece of advice that we should all add to daily routines
Make sure the first thing that you check on in the morning is yourself (how is your mind, body and soul doing? Take some deep breaths.) and not your phone and social media.
You’re interest in Ayurveda and wellbeing came when…
I first discovered my Ayurveda when one of my friends came back from India and was randomly like – “I found out my dosha. Take a quiz to discover your dosha, I think you would really benefit from it!” And she was right. It’s hard to explain, but the things that I knew deep inside, but didn’t really make sense, NOW MAKE SENSE. Like how I hate being cold, feel better when I drink warm water over cold water and why salads never really sat well with me and made me feel “blah”. I discovered my loose blueprint of how I best operate and have clearer warning signs I can keep a watch for when it comes to getting out of balance.
What is your dosha?
I am a Vata
to find yours take the test
How do you balance that when you start to feel off balance?
Regular meals aka not forgetting to eat because I’m on the go, warm and nutrient dense home cooked meals, slowing down, regular sleep and sticking to a schedule, meditation, journaling, morning and evening routine, and keep checklists (allows me to brain dump all the things I am worried about getting done down in one place so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming).
How has understanding yourself and your dominant dosha helped you on your journey? Personally and/or in your career?
As a professional athlete I am doing so many things that go against my dosha and my every day body wants and needs like heavy travel schedules, irregular routines when traveling with the team, demanding heavy lifting exercises, but knowing what doesn’t bring out the best of me allows me to combat that with what does: making sure when I do have an opportunity to choose my workouts, I am more grounding and do slow moving yoga instead of fast flowing yoga, making sure I keep something warm with me when I travel on long international flights because Vata get so cold easily, choosing hot and warm meals over salads at the hotels we stay at, making time to slow down when the schedule is getting demanding.
How does Ayurveda fit into your day-to-day routines?
Through Ayurveda and learning about my dosha, I learned that it’s important to create a number of “anchor points” throughout my day that allow me to ground myself and my energy and those consistent points are in my morning and evening routine. Meditation, journaling, gentle stretches, warm breakfast and warm dinners, massaging my feet with oils, making sure I’m moisturized, honoring my bed time, and wake up time (aka not snoozing a million times and leaving myself with nothing but rushing in the morning.)
You manage a busy working schedule, and make room/time for self care by…
Creating routine, moments to have away from technology, and time to gently move and listen to my body.
During your career I’m sure you have experience both triumphs and struggles, what has helped you along the way to maintain a sense of wellbeing?
Triumphs and struggles are inevitable along the journey and when reaching for goals and one thing that has helped me maintain a sense of wellbeing along the way embracing my feelings, listening to them, and being away of my thoughts around them. It’s so easy to beat up on myself during a struggle but that’s the time when I owe myself the most compassion because I am trying and doing my best. I make sure that my thoughts and words are lifting me up and not tearing me down – it’s so important.
What helps with natural sports recovery rituals?
Some of my natural sports recovery rituals are staying hydrating, deep tissue massages, infrared sauna, a good nights rest (8-9hrs), stretching regularly, time to do ‘nothing’, solid meals, and being in tune with my bodies (listening to how it performance after certain foods or if it’s being fuled enough)
I’m sure in training to be an Olympic athlete you have had days where you were striving for perfection/ an end goal, any tips on how to live in the present and be okay with where you are right now as well as be striving for goal?
As an Olympic athlete I definitely have had and still have days where I am striving for perfection and many times during my young and early career. Along my journey I have learned that when I do approach a “staircase” that I don’t try to leap one whole flight of stairs in one jump. Meaning, I don’t expect myself to win or succeed straight away. I remember there were days in my younger career that I would be learning something new and I would be in tears by the end of practices because I didn’t get it straight away! Now I allow myself to make mistakes and fail and make room for them because they are apart of the process.
We love your blog/Instagram @journeystrength, what part of YOUR own journey brought you to create this platform?
The part of my journey that brought me to create journeystrength was that fact that I almost held my OWN SELF back from reaching my goals and dreams because of limiting beliefs and self-doubt. I realized how strong the mind is and how important was for me to take care of my mind, body, and souls as athlete. I wanted to share things that helped me on my journey with others, in hopes I could inspire a habit or change that could positively add to their life, journey, and dreams.
What is your morning ritual?( can go into the food you choose to eat, rituals, ect)
When it comes to morning rituals and what I eat – it’s all about getting myself GROUNDED. Starting my morning with a few deep breaths, Headspace mediation app, and gentle stretching before checking my phone. The next grounding staple in my morning routine, besides ROUTINE, is what I eat. It’s all about cooked and warm meals for me.
I don’t like taking 15-20 minutes to make breakfast so my perfect and hearty breakfasts is warm oatmeal topped banana slices (someday I need to change it up because it gets repetitive and I’ll do overnight oats even if it’s cold) and now I do these protein pancakes packed with grains and nutrition and top it with almond butter
Any advice you would like to give to women who are currently trying to make their dreams/goals come true but it feels so far away?
It’s so easy to look at people that are at the height of their business, sports careers, and passions and assume that they arrived from point A to B so easily. In reality, the line from point A to point B is not a straight shot, it has many squiggles, dips, ups and downs, but I truly believe these moments make us stronger and all these moments are important (and inevitable) parts of our journey so I always look to embrace them.
Two of my favourite quotes about the journey and goals:
“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.”
“be patient with your life and your path. You don’t need to compare anyone’s position to yours. Flowers don’t grow at the same speed.”
Favorite Mauli product? and if so why/how do you use
My favourite Mauli product is the Surrender Body Oil! When I was learning about my dosha I learned about “Abhyanga” aka a self-massage and its many benefits. It’s now a staple in my self-care practices and as a Vata, I’m so dry, so taking time to massage every inch of myself, thank my body for all the hard work it’s been doing in the gym and on the court and give my body this deep moisture is a highlight of my day.