Q&A with Amanda Beard
The seven-time-medalist and author on swimming with sharks and the sound of water.
I train about eight times a week. Six of those workouts are in the pool, so that’s mostly cardio. The rest I do with a personal trainer, and he mixes it up a lot — he uses a lot of kettle bells and boot camp-type stuff.
Lots of camera film. Instead of having vegetables in the vegetable trays, we have camera film. My husband is a photographer, and the fridge preserves it better.
I have a massage therapist with me, but there’s nothing that I absolutely have to do before a match. I kind of zone out and put my headphones on.
I give a lot of motivational speeches to young athletes, specifically girls, and their parents. I really felt like I had so much more to give to people about the things that I struggled with and how I have tried to overcome them. I wanted to inspire them — I wanted to reach out to someone and reassure them that they’re not alone.
My husband and I went to Wakatobi — a teeny, tiny island, about a two and a half hour flight off the coast of Bali. We actually got married there, just the two of us. It’s an amazing resort that only holds about 50 people, and it’s a big scuba diving location. We jumped into 88-degree water, and it’s like you’re in a stocked aquarium. It was the best vacation of my life.
Chicken and broccoli. I’m always kind of in a rush with having a family and working out, so I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store on the way home and then steam some broccoli really fast and peel the skin off the chicken. It’s tasty and takes like two minutes.
Anything fried! (laughs) Good French fries, chicken strips. I love Mexican food — quesadillas or a chimichanga. Any of those things, I love it all!
My trainer has started making me veggie smoothies with his Vitamix that I drink throughout the day; they’re awesome.
The sound of water. Even if it’s a pool with people swimming laps in it, I just lay there and listen. Or if you’re at a resort, listening to the sound of the ocean or river or waterfall is great. We have a pool in our backyard with these waterfalls, and it’s like you go out there and just…(sighs).
My trainer, Mike LaCoss. He always seems to be so motivated and healthy. Just living his life the way he that he wants to — it’s great.
A lot of things! (laughs) There are things that are kind of annoying, but at the same time they’re so much a part of me. Like the teddy bear that I had from the 1996 [Games]. People always bring it up, but it’s a memory to have.
I haven’t gone sky diving. I want to go cage diving with great whites, which I was supposed to do but then got pregnant. And learn how to kite surf.
The iPhone app, Draw Something. I’ve been playing with my sister. You draw things, send it, and people guess what it is. It’s totally dorky but totally fun. My sister drew Katniss from The Hunger Games, and I surprisingly guessed it right!
Someone like Jessica Alba because she dresses very comfortably but is very stylish. I’m all about comfort, but want to look cute at the same time. I’m a very laid-back California girl in jeans.
For people to not be ashamed of who they are. And to not judge others. Be accepting and loving.
Photography by Christian Witkin/trunkarchive.com