Day in the Life:
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Kerri Walsh Jennings is a 3X Olympic gold medalist and widely considered one of the best, if not THE best, female beach volleyball player of all-time. And she’s competing now in Rio for her fourth medal, as a full-time mother of three. Some jaws still drop when they remember she was weeks five weeks pregnant with her third child while she won the gold in London 2012.
How on earth does she do it?
Here’s a glimpse into Kerri’s 24-hour day plan during the Rio 2016 Summer Games:
Kerri’s Match Day Schedule in Rio:
- 930AM – Wake Up
- 10AM – Breakfast
- 11AM – Team Meeting, Review Game Tape w/ April
- 12PM – Walk through at practice courts
- 2PM – Lunch
- 3PM – FaceTime with husband and kids, Social media
- 4PM – Nap
- 5PM – Downtime
- 7PM – Dinner
- 10PM – Arrive at Stadium
- 11PM – Warm up for Match
- 12AM – Game Time!
Eating Right on the Road
Kerri is a strong believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so when on the road she’ll bring key supplies for her routine protein shake. In her bag, you’ll find whey protein powder and almond milk, to which she’ll add greens like spinach and kale, and fruit like strawberries, blueberries or pineapple, depending on what’s available at the location. At home, flaxseed, chia seeds, honey and coconut oil are additional staples to her morning shake. She likes it “crunchy” and if her kids get involved sometimes it turns into a “science experiment”.
In case a blender isn’t ready, she’ll back this up with nutrition bars and oatmeal. Other favorite travel snacks include turkey jerky.
Working Out on the Road
Kerri’s personal trainer helps maintain the workouts, so she knows she’ll have a game plan no matter the location. “Ideally, if there is a gym outside of the hotel I try to track it down,” she says. “Generally I have to rely on a hotel with Nautilus and dumbbells. It is what it is. I will run the stairs or hallways of hotels.”
Jennings also plans Pilates, which can be done anywhere, and mat and ballwork. When she struggles to find a good weight room, her on-the-road luggage always includes TRX bands, allowing her to hit the beach with body weight workouts and TRX.
Fortunately, outside of food and training equipment, there’s not much else on Jennings’ must-have travel list. As a beach volleyball player, she says she gets by on bikinis and sunglasses. “I can survive on that forever,” she says. “I will be a little bit chilly.”
She also packs workout shoes for the gym, lounging-around clothes and books — she loves heading to her local bookstore for lighthearted historical fiction or a self-help book before a big trip.
“That is just one of the challenges of the job,” she tells Sports Illustrated about life on the road. “You have to adapt, be nimble. You are living out of a suitcase, so deal with style, nutrition and training with a smile on your face.”
The Three Buckets
While the struggle might seem easy with the clearly defined list of travel snacks and personal trainer on board, the reality is Kerri deals every day with the expectant stresses of her high-paced and high-profile life, “My biggest stress in life is I feel like I don’t have enough time. I’m constantly sprinting…”
In her interview with the Today Show, Kerri explains the “three buckets” in her life, and how it helps her re-center and find balance day-to-day:
My family is #1, my career, my faith. Those are my three buckets. And so, if I’m ever off-kilter, if I’m ever super grumpy, I’m like – which bucket is not being serviced? And I go back to the basics…
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