We asked Olympic figure skater, entrepreneur and three-time national champion Ashley Wagner a few questions about her personal journey with health and wellness, now that she’s “redefining retirement.” She provided some awesome insight into what daily life as a fitness enthusiast and former professional athlete entails, and we hope you enjoy! We’re proud to introduce Wagner as a Mikra ambassador, serving both inspiration and important insight as we formulate products designed for high-performance athletes.
You’ve mentioned before that you moved around a lot as a kid. How do you think this helped shape who you are as a person today?
I think it made me super adaptable, a skill I am really grateful to have! I learned how to make myself feel comfortable in new and unfamiliar spaces, and I can identify what I need to thrive in that moment. It also taught me to advocate for myself, and speak up when I needed help or support in a new environment.
Figure skating is a notoriously “young” sport with athletes starting young and competing at a very early age. Did this present any unique experiences for you with regards to your physical health when you were first starting out?
Health was a priority to me at a very young age. I was trained to treat my body as a tool for my talent, and I learned that the way I fueled myself, my recovery, and how I treated my body pre and post training would determine how my competitive season would turn out. I really learned to appreciate the direct correlation between physical health and results, and it made me feel more confident because there was a scientific and factual connection to my success.
What does being a role model to young girls mean to you, specifically as a successful woman athlete?
In a world that is consistently changing for people in general, but specifically women, I feel it is crucial for the next generation of female athletes to have someone to look up to. I remember looking at Michelle Kwan, the legendary figure skater, and telling myself from a young age that I would work as hard as she did to become a skater just like her. She made my dreams seem possible, and I stayed connected to that feeling as I worked my way up. You must feel like your dreams can become a reality, and I think for young athletes we need to protect that drive and passion. It feels surreal whenever people ask me this question, but it is definitely a responsibility that I am honored to take on.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone feeling both physically and mentally apprehensive about approaching their 30s, what would you tell them?
It is just a number. If you are approaching 30, what a privilege to have made it this far. We tie so much self-worth and value to youth, but what about wisdom you gain, the opportunity to create new memories, and ability to experience life to its fullest?
If we were to look through your playlists, what would we find in your most played?
Neon Cowgirl on Spotify is THE VIBE.
Do you have a different perspective on overall healthspan and physical health now than you did before when you were competing competitively? What changed?
I think now I have to choose to be invested in my physical health, whereas when I was competing it was a given. I have the opportunity to say yes to a lot more now than when I was actively skating, like that extra slice of pizza or a glass of wine; trust me, I say yes to those as well. The difference now though, is that I don’t HAVE to treat my body like a tool for my life, but I choose to, because the feeling of a nice long hike or going to the gym and lifting weights is so fulfilling to me. I take care of myself in a way that’s a lot more authentic and satisfying because now it’s just for me, not because it’s my job.
What are some of your favorite wellness hacks you think have contributed to your overall physical health?
I despise water, I absolutely hate it. I put lemons, blueberries, strawberries, you name it, in my water overnight and it’s the only way I can get myself hydrated. I got used to functioning in a dehydrated state, but once I started getting the proper amount of water in my body I noticed my brain fog lifted, I had more energy and felt a lot more alive. So if you’re struggling with water intake, try infusing it!
What’s your favorite healthy snack or meal? And your favorite indulgent one?
I love putting lemon juice over carrot sticks or celery and dipping them in hummus. It’s a great snack when I need something filling but don’t have time for a full sit down meal. As for indulging, I LOVE pad thai, and I make sure to sneak it into my week somehow. You have to live life!
What do your mornings look like? Take us through your routine.
I wake up and journal. I used to immediately reach for my phone, but my anxiety was getting out of control so I cut down on screen time. From there I go make myself some coffee, play music and sit in the sun and read for a bit with my dog Ziggy. I make sure to take a full hour before I even look at a screen. Once I’m ready for the day, I whip up some breakfast, hit the bike and start answering emails for my business, Skate & Sculpt.
What’s your go-to way to stay young at heart?
Put on music while you are cooking and have a full-on dance party. Never take yourself too seriously, and give yourself permission laugh at your own jokes.
We can’t argue with that! Living life to the fullest is so important – and one of the reasons we do what we do. If you’re local to the Boston area or planning on visiting, we highly suggest checking out Ashley’s power skating class, Skate and Sculpt! We want to extend a huge thanks to Ashley for spending some time to chat with us. We can’t wait to see what you do next!