EU Living Magazine v6 English - Page 22

dōTERRA ™ Performance Advocate Irena Michalcik Q: How did you first become involved in competitive sports/ the Spartan Races? A: I’m more of a late bloomer when it comes to competitive fitness; I didn’t get into Spartan Races until my early 30s. It was after a divorce in 2012 that I decided to push myself in new ways. I had never considered competing in the Spartan Races, but it caught my attention because it looked so challenging. I signed up for my first race in 2014 and, after running a few races for fun, I decided to train more seriously and run obstacle course races competitively the following year. Q: What challenges did you face in the process of becoming a professional athlete? A: I was born with hip dysplasia. My doctor recommended that I stay far away from sports, as my limited hip mobility would force my body to overcompensate during rigorous activity, thus causing unnecessary wear and tear on my body. That reality has definitely been the most significant challenge. It affects my running mechanics and it took me a while to figure out how to work around it. Luckily, I found a coach that has been able to programme my training in a way that doesn’t over-tax my joints. Also, having a full time job and learning how to juggle training, nutrition, and my career as a teacher was a challenge at first, but with the right mindset and priorities, I figured out a routine that has worked well for me. Q: Where do you draw your inspiration? A: I draw inspiration from the miracles of everyday life. In the morning I wake up, get myself out of bed, feed and dress myself, then go out and do what I love. These blessings are easily taken for granted, but not everyone can do these things. Life is too short and I want to enjoy it. Being healthy and in good enough shape to do whatever I want whenever I want is the inspiration I need to keep moving forward. Q: What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be an athlete — despite challenges or physical limitations? A: Just because you can’t do something the same way others can doesn’t mean you can’t do it at all. Surround yourself with people who support you and will be there for you no matter what. Learn to listen to your body so you know when to push harder and when to rest. I have physical limitations due to my hip dysplasia, and thanks to my coach, I’ve learned how to work around it so I can still be active and do the things I love. Q: How do you want to be remembered? A: I want to be known for inspiring others to follow their dreams, take risks and live their lives to the fullest. Q: Do you have a routine to get ready for a competition? What is it? A: I am definitely a creature of habit; sticking to my routine before races brings peace of mind and helps calm my nerves. I make sure I get enough sleep, taper my training, and up my recovery the week of my race. On race days, I take my LLV and a few other dōTERRA supplements with a protein shake. Right before I start warming up, I rub dōTERRA Air™ on my chest. I also take dōTERRA Mito2Max™. Q: What have you learned about leveraging failure to achieve success? Do you have a story or experience surrounding this? A: Failure is part of any process, including becoming an athlete. One of my high school teachers always said, “Try to find the positives in every situation. Acknowledge the bad — honour it if you have to. But then move on, focusing on the positives.” It took time and experience for me to learn how to live this way, but now I automatically focus on the lessons I learn from my failures. For example, if I have a bad race and don’t perform as well as I had hoped, I turn that experience into fuel to train more effectively for my next race. Inside Irena’s Travel Bag • Athlete’s Kit I use these oils on a daily basis! Tea Tree is my go-to for minor cuts and scrapes and dōTERRA Air™ helps me prepare for races. • dōTERRA Salon Essentials™ Protecting Shampoo and Smoothing Conditioner: My hair looks and feels healthier and stronger than ever. I love it so much, I never travel without this duo. • dōTERRA HD Clear™ Facial Kit: All the training and sweating I put my body and skin through can be harsh and result in unhappy skin. Despite the stresses my skin faces from travelling, training, sun exposure and hormones, my skin has never been happier. • dōTERRA Life Long Vitality Pack™: It seems like my energy levels are more consistent when I take these supplements. I also feel like they boost my immune system; I don’t get all the colds/sickness everybody around me gets in the autumn and winter. 22 / EUROPE LIVING MAGAZINE