Olympic Q & A: Sarah Schleper, USA Alpine Skiing

Sarah Schleper is the only female member of the U.S. Ski Team born in the 1970's, and the only mother! Sarah took time off from skiing to rehabilitate a torn left ACL in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While she was in Cabo she fell in love with Federico Gaxiola de la Lama, a Mexico City native whom she had met at a race many years prior through her friend. They were married in October 2007. Schleper had recovered from her ACL injury and was preparing for the 2007-08 season when she found out that she was pregnant. She skied until she was about eight-and-a-half months pregnant and was back on the slopes again 40 days after the birth of son Lasse in January 2008

MindBodyGreen: How did you recover from your injury?

Sarah Schleper: Injuries take patience and hard work. From my latest injury, I had a surgery to repair and reconstruct my ACL, plus I had some meniscus taken out. I was patient with the recovery time and didn't push myself too soon, this is always the hardest for me, because I am the person who wants to go go go.

MBG: Has your injury made you a better athlete?

SS: At the time of an injury it never seems right, but I think you mature as an athlete and as a person with each injury. The rehab training helps develop muscles and balance for a more experienced athlete.

MBG: How has getting married and having a child changed you or made you a better athlete?

SS: Being able to travel with my family and call wherever we are as a family home has helped me live the life of being on the road day in and day out. I have relaxed a lot more, after having Lasse, with my results. I don't have any pressures to do anything but ski fast because the most important part of my life now is my family and not ski results. My husband is also very supportive and has helped me in technical, psychological and physical ways.

MBG: Does visualization play a role in your success?

SS: Yes, I visualize the courses I am about to ski. This always helps so you can turn off your mind when you are in the start because you don't have to worry about element in the course if you have skied it in your mind already. I also use visualization when I am tense to take me to an aggressive, or peaceful, or calming place depending on what I need at that time.

MBG: How do you cross-train in the spring and summer?

SS: I surf a lot. Every chance I can get. This is good for endurance, focus, guts, and balance. I also like mountain biking which is good for picking lines and going fast.

MBG: What's on your playlist?

SS: JJ Cale. Rolling Stones. Eminem. 50 Cent. MTHDS.

MBG: Favorite healthy food?

SS: Fresh fruits and vegetables. I love markets with a lot of produce. I love the colors and the freshness.

MBG: Guilty indulgence?

SS: Chocolate.

For more on Sarah Schleper:

SarahSchleper.com

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