dōTERRA ™ Performance Advocate
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
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