Olympic Fencer, Dagmara Wozniak
What inspires you?
What inspires me is my family. My parents came to the United States with very little and created an environment for me to grow and learn. I wouldn't be the strong independent woman I am today if it weren't for them.
What are your athletic goals for this season?
My current goal this season is to improve my world ranking and win a medal in the 2018 World Championships in China.
What is the most significant challenge you face in achieving your goal?
Currently the most significant challenge has been rest and recovery. There is a very fine line when it comes to poor performance and stellar performance when you're at the elite level. My goal has been to focus more on recovering better so that tomorrow I can push harder than the day before.
What is a technical aspect of your sport you are focusing on or have previously improved?
With proper rest I can train specifically and train hard. With this in mind I can work on creating faster transitions in moving back and forth in my sport. Speed and agility can be a huge challenge and I have been working hard to improve it.
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What is your approach to Recovery?
My approach to recovery is to actually do it. Mentally and physically. Most athletes think that if nothing hurts I'm fine but that isn't the case and I learned the hard way. Your body is like a machine and the only way to use it to destroy your opponents if its a well oiled and fully functioning weapon.
I'm big on salt soaks and hot water post practice. My legs cramp up a lot if I don't cool down and I get restless legs if I go to bed too early after. I have to cool down at practice and then come home and do it again or else the next day I can't move. The salts help with that a lot and the oils help relax too. The smells also help calm the mind which I feel lowers stress levels and lets muscles do what they are supposed told to do.
Dagmara at the 2016 Rio Olympics
What might you say to inspire other athletes?
There is always a way to improve. Maybe you're not strong enough, or mentally tough enough, or fast enough etc. However enough doesn't mean forever. There are so many variables to being a top athlete and there are always ways to improve and succeed. Be patient with the process and trust it.
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