iON Featured Athlete: Maryse Gordon, Seeking Adventure
This month we feature an amazingly inspiring athlete who is driven by the challenge of conquering new adventures in fitness and life! Meet Maryse Gordon, Finance Pro in the Big Apple and OCR Athlete and Adventure Seeker in Life!
What Sports/Fitness Activities do you compete in?
Former sprinter and general fitness enthusiast, now OCR (Obstacle Course Racing Athlete)
What inspires you Maryse?
Reaching goals. I am a goal setter and I work hard to achieve them. I also take great inspiration from the other female athletes in my field. They are such diverse athletes, work extremely hard and have such a positive outlook on the sport which helps inspire others.
Is it difficult balancing the busy pace of a finance career with your fitness endeavors?
I work in the corporate world, moving from one fast paced environment (London), to another (New York). It can be very hard to manage a career with fitness endeavors, but I think the best way to achieve this and to stay motivated is to find an activity you love to do, and a great community to do it with. That way you get the benefits associated with the activity itself, as well as the fun and good relationships you build in the process. You have to stay disciplined and ensure you stick to your agenda. Setting aside 2 or 3 mornings, and 2 or 3 evenings for training and planning your day around this is important. It is also important to share your hobbies with colleagues so they know how important it is to you. People are happy to plan activities around a pattern, its similar to working around family or other commitments.
Are there ways that your athletic experience or background help equip you in the corporate world or vice versa?
Both these activities are goal focused for me. I aim to be the best version of me in my career and my fitness. For both you need determination, you need physical and mental well-being. You need to have a sense of purpose and always know you are putting your best foot forward, going in prepared and ready for the outcome knowing you put in the hard work to get to where you wanted to be.
What is your current season goal?
My season just ended, and next season I would like to get into the top 10 Elite Females for as many races as possible. It is a very stacked field at some events with the greatest of them all in competition, but placing top 10 on average throughout the year is my goal, and if I can squeeze in a podium finish at some of the bigger races I will be very happy.
What is the most significant challenge you face in achieving your goal?
Moving form a sprinter to an endurance runner. The races I compete in are between 3-5 miles, and where my training in the past has been for a race no longer than 13 seconds, I am now running for over an hour at times. Retraining my body and my mind to persevere is a challenge - there is plenty of time our there to change your mind, or battle with your thoughts of slowing down or giving up, when you sprint there isn't enough time for that to creep in. So re-programming myself for these longer distances has been hard.
"Believe you can do something big!"
~ Maryse Gordon
What is a technical aspect of your sport you are focusing on or have previously improved?
This sport is about obstacles, you are often relying on grip strength, weight bearing and endurance running to win. My grip strength has been my biggest asset, and I came into the sport with none of it, and that it is what I rely on to pass components on the field. I still do struggle under wet conditions, but this is my focal point, as well as picking up speed on the long distance running, using obstacles or running to recover my heart rate. I need to figure out which one works better for me.
Recently you truly expanded your territory and embarked on an adventure to Antarctica! Many people would ask, I think...of all the places...what inspired you to go there? And...what did you take away from that experience or how did it touch you?
Travel is a huge part of my life, and I make it my goal to see the world differently. For years I have wanted to go to Antarctica to see natural beauty, untouched by mankind in any way. I managed to make it there at the end of 2018 and it did not disappoint. It was such a wonderful experience, and even better to know that I made that happen all by myself. I am brave, I am positive and I have no reason to think things are unachievable for me if I can see a way forward.
Maryse takes "the plunge" in the icy Antarctic waters!
My trip to Antarctica really gave me time to reflect on me with the most beautiful sights my eyes have ever seen. I was often alone on the snow with just the sounds of the penguins. The sea was calm, there was no wind, no telephones or car horns, just you. It made you realize how big the world is, and how much is out there for all of us if we are open to looking. Sea kayaking, snow hiking and plunging into subzero water are all things I would never have even considered, especially in a place as remote as this, but there was no reason for me not to do it, so I did, and I loved every moment of it.
Maryse Gordon's Arctic Adventure!
What is your approach to Recovery?
I am pretty bad at it, but I tend to use bath soaks where possible – I have set my set a goal to make sure I dedicate one day a week to sitting in a bath using muscle recovery products. I am also trying to be more flexible because that is connected to performance. I am trying to incorporate stretching into my daily routine, and this will be a huge part of my recovery programming. I also do acupuncture and sports massage once a month, but think that frequency needs to increase.
I know that people don’t take recovery as seriously as they should – I am guilty of that. It is just as important as exercising in the first place, but we often don’t find the time or motivation to do it. It’s only when you start to feel tight, or injury creeps in that body maintenance is taken into account, so I am trying to have that as part of my routine, and not a solution to a problem that arises from not doing it.
What do you love about iON?
I have only used the foot recovery produce once and really liked it. My training is done bare foot so they get used a great deal more when there is no protection. I liked that the foot recovery salts made me feel relaxed and I could tell a difference in my feet after use compared to a usual quick shower.
Follow Maryse's Adventures!
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