US Olympian Devin Logan On Conquering Fear & Loving What You Do
We're now several days into the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and Team USA's Devin Logan is ready for a chance at freeskiing glory. While the slopestyle and halfpipe fields are crowded with talent and uncertainty, Logan is familiar with the winner's podium, having won the silver medal in both events at the 2012 X Games.
Of course, competing at such a high level isn't always easy. Devin was kind enough to answer questions over email about her training regimen, fear of heights and sources of inspiration.
MBG: You’re so freakin' talented! The first thing I want to know every time I see videos of you is: How are you not terrified to fly down at mountain at those speeds?
DL: Well, thank you for that compliment. The funny thing is, I am terrified of heights and people always ask me, "So how do you do this when you are scared of heights?" Well, you don't really realize it when you're up in the air. I've been at this for so long that the heights thing doesn't really apply to me when I am performing, but when I am on the chair I am terrified! It is so fun, it is the closet thing to flying.
What goes through your head when you’re mid-flight?
"Grab your skis, and land on your feet!" That's basically it. Sometimes it depends on the jump, because if you mess up on the takeoff you're just trying to recover. Sometimes you go bigger than you want to go in the air and you have to figure out how you are going to recover.
What’s a typical training day like?
Go out, have fun and ski with your friends. Haha! It's doesn't really feel like training, but it is. I love skiing, I have been skiing since I was two and so when I go out and ski for "training," it's about enjoying myself. Typically I go out around 8:30 or 9 a.m. and ski until about 3 p.m. From there I will get physical therapy and then have dinner and do it all again. Since I compete in halfpipe and slopestyle it's all about balance and being good to my body. I've learned to really listen my body and when to call training or keep pushing myself.
How do you balance your time/schedule training for the two events?
I work closely with my coaches to make sure that the schedule can work, and that I am dedicating enough time to slopestyle and halfpipe. It's a lot about strategy and conserving my energy, while still getting in good training time. It can be challenging because it is a lot of time spent focusing on both, but I have been doing it for so long it is just second nature.
How do you deal with the stress (and excitement!) of competition?
I get stressed the day before the competition, but once I wake up and get on the chairlift it is exciting. I like to bump tunes and have fun. Being with your friends helps and it's good to see what everyone else throws for tricks. Some athletes don't like to watch their competition, but I like to watch my competition and think it's smart to do so I know what needs to be done. I'm pretty competitive and expect a lot out of myself, and I get bummed out [when I don't perform up to my standards]. When I do well it makes me happy and I like to treat my friends. The 10% rule is important ... it's when you spend 10% of your winning paycheck on your friends!
What’s your philosophy on food? Do you follow a specific diet?
I give my body what it wants and what it asks for ... if it's McDonald's and chocolate I go for it! I don't follow a strict diet like most "competitors" do, but I do think it's important to pay attention to fruits, veggies and protein.
Have you ever tried yoga or meditation?
I have tried yoga before and it makes me so sore, even though it's supposed to help. Yoga makes my body hurt! I have tried mediation, but I have really bad ADD. My brain goes in too many ways to sit still!
Just curious … since you’re amazing at halfpipe, are you a natural at sports like skateboarding and surfing? (Would you want to be?)
I am not good at sideways sports, the whole sideways sports thing doesn't apply to me. I am much better at front to back sports. I have tried surfing and it is pretty hilarious to watch me because I take a lot of diggers. I tried to skateboard when I was younger because my brothers did it, but it scares me! Asphalt hurts a lot worse than snow!
Any favorite inspirational quotes?
"Kick ass, take names." From my mom
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a ride!'" - Hunter S. Thompson
Favorite guilty indulgence?
Buffalo chicken wings, McDonald's, any chocolate, twerking ... I love dance parties!
What do you for fun when you're not on skis?
I love hanging out with my friends and it's always nice to sleep in my own bed. Lately I've gotten into cooking, and like to do it for my friends and family. The past couple spring and falls my friends have taken me camping. We went to Moab and I tried rock climbing and hiking. It introduced me to a whole new world! I rappelled down a 120-foot cliff, I was shaking by the time I got down. My fear of heights got to me there!
We’re a wellness website, so we have to ask: green juice or green smoothie?
A while ago my sister made me a really good green smoothie with kale, yogurt, OJ and fruit;it was pretty tasty so this is a tough one! I didn't think I would like it, but I did! I think I will have to with Odwalla's green juice, the superfood juice, that's one of my favorites!