World-renowned athlete, New York Times bestselling author, wife, and mother. Gabrielle Reece is a former professional beach volleyball player and was Nike’s first female spokeswoman. She has a passion for healthy living and fitness, which has shaped her career and makes her a popular leader in the world of health and wellness. Gabby was recently named host of NBC’s upcoming transformation competition series S.T.R.O.N.G., and she is excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.
Here, Gabby shares a little more about herself, in her own words.
How did you get your start?
I got into the business of health through the professional sports path. I was fortunate to be a professional beach volleyball player and was exposed to some of the smartest trainers in the business. Each and every one of them helped to contribute to my improvement, but also sparked a genuine interest in movement and nutrition.
Where have you appeared or been featured?
I have been doing public interviews since 1989, so I have done quite a few shoots and interviews. People, Vogue, ELLE, Harpers Bazaar, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, Shape, SELF, Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, ESPN (playing volleyball), The Tonight Show, and more. I have hosted a few of my own shows, too—MTV Sports, The Extremist, Insider Training, and currently NBC’s STRONG, which is out in March 2016.
How do you find your fit?
Initially, I found my fit through playing and the love of sports. Then I discovered another level of fit from great trainers when I was competing, and now I find my fit through my training life, and appreciating good health. Not to mention trying to be a good example to my three daughters. I think one can continue to rediscover their fit and continue to learn, grow, change, and try new things.
I believe training and exercise is an ever-evolving part of our lives, so long as we stay open and keep trying new modalities or activities.
What is your most memorable achievement?
My most memorable achievement was getting a scholarship to college. Don’t get me wrong, I loved winning in the pros but it was a complete surprise to me to play Division 1 volleyball. My family couldn’t really afford to send me to a university, and it wasn’t even part of my plan. That one single opportunity set me up for a lifetime of experiences and lessons through sports. I am truly grateful for the way things went during that pivotal time in my life.
Why do you love Fitbit?
I love Fitbit because it’s a great tool to have in your health arsenal, and you can customize it to your needs. If you are a number cruncher and data hound, you can keep track via your Fitbit device. If you like to check in with your circle of friends and keep everyone accountable, you can see everyone in your Fitbit dashboard. For someone like me, I can use it as a gentle reminder or base line for how I’m doing overall. Plus, I love the fact that Fitbit products are so easy and realistic to use. Tools are great when they fit into your reality, and are easy to fold into your everyday life.
What do you love most about your job?
I have been fortunate enough to make my sport my job, and my job my sport. Now that I’m no longer competing, I have still managed to use my fitness life as my job. This is a luxury that I am aware of each time I head to the gym. Not only do I love how I feel after training or an activity, but I’m keen that most people have to “find time” to get their training done—I get to call it “work.” I also get a deep sense of satisfaction from continuing to learn about all the new ideas surrounding movement.
In the end, besides the way I feel, I truly love the sense of community around sports and training. Gathering people together to work hard for a common goal is pretty powerful—and fun.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of…Tough one. The fact that being human is an imperfect state, I often feel like I’m playing catch up. Being a mom is something I’m proud of, but it’s also something of an honor. It’s also the role in which you continuously doubt yourself. I guess I’m most proud that I’m still plugging away. Oh, and let me not forget, I have been with my husband for 20 years and any of you who have been in a relationship understand…
What’s the best health or fitness advice you’ve ever received?
Train, move, and eat closer to how we did 150 years ago. We get so caught up in the latest trends, but in the end being functional and eating foods that are real seems to make the most sense. I also appreciate when an educator or trainer encourages people to figure out what works for them and their bodies—there is no one program or diet for all.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Don’t take anything personal.
If you are good at an activity try something new.
Everything takes work so embrace it, and don’t try to avoid the discomfort.
Don’t let your ego take hold so much that you’re afraid to look silly or try something new.
Tell the truth
Don’t take it or yourself so seriously.
Try to have some fun.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.