‘You have to know yourself and be ok with the choices you make.’ Kerry Simmonds – Olympic athletes interviewed Episode 94
Kerry Simmonds, Olympic champion, 2-time world champion shares how she got injured just a few months out of the Olympics. Kerry outlines the mentally and emotionally grueling process of the Olympic try-outs, the secret behind the dominance of the US Women’s Rowing Eight team, and a quick hack to prepare for peak performance.
Furthermore, we discuss
- The differences between the rowing disciplines she competed in
- How she got into rowing
- Her darkest moment
- Her best moment
- Why making the Olympic team was more enjoyable than winning the Olympic title
- If the team was worried to not bring it home when they were behind in the Olympic final in 2016
- Her advice to a younger Kerry Simmonds
- Why she entered the sport late and left the sport early
- Her decision to retire
- Her success habits
- Did she reach her full potential in rowing
- Why rowing teaches discipline and how to perform in high pressure-situations
- The reason for the dominance of the US Women’s Rowing Eight team
- Her morning routine
- How to prepare for important moments
- Why the Olympic tryouts are mentally and emotionally tough
- How to overcome setbacks
- Her role model
- The best advice she has received
- Why you have to surround yourself with like-minded people, and what to do with people who aren’t like-minded
- What’s going on in Kerry Simmonds life at this moment in time
- Her interview nomination
- Where can you find Kerrie Simmonds
Christian: In this interview, I’m joined by Kerry Simmonds. Kerry is Olympic Champion, 2016, who represented the US in rowing. Further achievements are two times World Champion and one-time runner-up at the World Championships, and a world-record holder.
Kerry: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
The differences between the rowing disciplines she competed in
Christian: Kerry, it seems like, in rowing, you had the best results with Women’s Eight, where you won the World Championships and the Olympic title, but the runner-up was in the Women’s Pair. What would you say are the biggest differences between these disciplines?
Kerry: There are lots of differences. I won’t get too into all the technical differences, but certainly, there’s just two of you in the boat going down the course versus eight in a Coxswain.
I believe that more countries field these two-person boats. Eights is fast and getting eight people in a Coxswain to go really fast is a little bit more challenging for smaller countries. Certainly, for the US athletes, college rowing is all about Eights racing, so we have a lot of experience coming up from college in that boat class.
For the US athletes, college rowing is all about Eights racing, so we have a lot of experience coming up from college in that boat class.
So the pair is definitely something that we do more as we were doing it with the US team. So it’s challenging. You can feel a lot in that boat, that is really fun.
I’d say I like it better than the Eight for many reasons, to be quite honest, but the Eight goes really fast and that’s fun too, but there’s a lot of differences. Why we were successful in the Eight, and the US is just really strong in that boat class.
Christian: Yes, especially in the last two decades to three decades where the US Women’s Eight rowing won 3 consecutive Olympic titles.
Kerry: Yes, we had some pressure going into the 2016 Olympics.
Christian: Yes. I have that for later, we will certainly speak about that.
How she got into rowing
Christian: It seems you got into rowing quite late, isn’t it?
Kerry: People are always amazed that I started in college. That’s so crazy. But half of my boat in 2016 were walk-ons. That is what we’d call it in college. So it’s not as uncommon to enter rowing later.
Half of my boat in 2016 were walk-ons, it’s not as uncommon to enter rowing later.
There’s a lot of opportunity for women at the college level to row, so it’s not as uncommon as you’d think. I do know I had a teammate that started after college. She was a softball and volleyball athlete in college and then found rowing after. So I’d say that’s probably less common, but to find it in college is about half and half.
Her darkest moment
Christian: In your life as an athlete, what was your darkest moment?
Kerry: That’s actually pretty easy for me. The timing of it, was interesting because it gave me a lot of perspectives. I got pretty injured and I hurt my rib, and if you’re an athlete, you know that rib injuries can take anywhere from four to six weeks typically to heal.
So that happened at the end of 2015. It was the Olympic year, so to speak, when I was just stuck on the stationary bike and it was dark because I didn’t really have my teammates around me. I was on the bike while they were out rowing.
It was the Olympic year when I was just stuck on the stationary bike, while my teammates were out rowing.
The bike is just hard because you’re sitting in your own sweat. It’s hard sometimes to stay motivated when you’re just getting after it on your own, and mentally, it was definitely the darkest moment.
But the timing of right before the Olympics was very healthy for me to have. I’ll just elaborate on this. When you go to the Olympics, everything is awesome. You start to think that you could do it again and it is great.
Having had that injury right before, or during that year up to the Olympics, allowed me to say that I do remember the dark moment. It made me realize that there are pros and cons to the lifestyle. So that was very healthy for me to go through. I felt definitely stronger mentally after, for sure.
Having had that injury right before the Olympics, allowed me to say that I do remember the dark moment and made me realize that there are pros and cons to the lifestyle.
Christian: And it was just a few months out of the Olympics. How did you recover from it? How did you get through it?
Kerry: The hardest part was actually building back into the team. You heal your rib and then learning to trust your body again. We were a part of a very deep, competitive team, so it was a challenge to fight back for my spot on that team.
How did I recover? One day at a time and just knowing that this is the Olympic year and I just had to go for it. I can’t really think about the “what ifs” in that equation. I just have to do what I can and hope that it’s good enough at the end of it.
How did I recover? One day at a time.
Christian: When were the tryout? Before or after the injury?
Kerry: They were much later. I got injured around Thanksgiving, end of November , and I was out till mid-January spending my time on the bike. I started to transition back to rowing in late January  and probably was at full volume again by February .
We started selection in March, and the team wasn’t named until June, really like a month before the Olympics basically.
Christian: Was that publicly announced or to the athletes?
Kerry: I would say we knew maybe a week before the public knew.
Christian: Okay. So not much more than that.
Kerry: No. The idea is to find the fastest athletes that are the fastest at that time of the Olympics. It would be hard to think of naming it any earlier because a lot of things can happen in a month or two.
Her best moment
Christian: What was your best moment?
Kerry: The best moment for me and a turning point in just my confidence as an athlete, as a rower on that team, was when we had selection regattas in those two-person boats and the pairs and we call it the National Selection Regatta.
It’s intra-squad racing and honestly, probably the toughest racing that I’ve have ever done because it was such a competitive squad to be a part of.
I won the National Selection Regatta (NSR) with my pair partner, and that year we actually went on to represent the pair for the US that summer. When I won the NSR, my partner nor I didn’t expect it. We just went out there just to see how fast we could go.
It clicked and it started going fast and it was just really cool to feel, that I could contribute to the team in a major way. It felt like you’re an impact on the team and that you are not bad at rowing. It was definitely a confidence boost, so that was a lot of fun.
It was just really cool to feel, that I could contribute to the team in a major way.
I’d say that that was a huge moment. And then I’d say the other one would be just making the Olympic team finding out that I’d made it after four to five years of training with this team and it was an emotionally and mentally really hard selection process. So just to feel like I was able to come out on the winning side of that selection process was really awesome.
Why making the Olympic team was more enjoyable than winning the Olympic title
Christian: So making the team was much more enjoyable than the Olympic title?
Kerry: Of course, winning a gold medal in front of your family and your friends and representing the US is incredible and to do that on the Olympic stage is a memory that I will always have. I’m happy to share that memory with people that care to listen, but making the team was the hardest thing, for sure.
It was harder than competing against other countries, which is a cool thing to say. That’s how competitive our team was. I would honestly say there are probably about eight other women that could have been in my seat. Maybe there were six other women that could have made that boat just as fast.
Making the team was harder than competing against other countries, which is a cool thing to say.
Christian: Yes. You do have some sports that are like this, right, where the competition inside the country is higher than actually at the Olympics.
Kerry: I’m getting nervous just talking about it again.
Christian: Why is that?
Kerry: When you relive memories, you have those all emotions tied to them and talking about Olympics selection, as much as I appreciated that experience of the Olympic selection process and I am grateful for how much it’s taught me, I don’t think I want to go through it again.
As much as I appreciated that experience of the Olympic selection process and I am grateful for how much it’s taught me, I don’t think I want to go through it again.
So yes, all good.
Was the team worried to not bring it home when they were behind in the Olympic final in 2016
Christian: In that Olympic final in 2016, you guys were behind after 500 meters, after 1000 meters, and from 1500 meters, you were leading. Were you ever worried to not bring it home?
Kerry: This is something that was asked of our squad. Following the games, we did a social media day. We had to do a fair amount of interviews and we could all agree as to the boat, that we were prepared for crews to put on the pressure early and really try to get out ahead and just hold on. So we were not surprised when that happened. It was not jarring.
We all had a plan that we were going to race the first half pretty internal. Where we would just execute the plan and listen to our Coxswain and then go in the offense big time in the second half. And really, if someone’s hanging with us in the first half, we would just make them pay for it by that point.
We all had a plan, and if someone’s hanging with us in the first half, we would just make them pay for it.
Rowing is interesting because that 2K distance is tricky. The crews that were leading one, two at the thousand meters actually didn’t medal that race. So pacing is a part of it and we were pretty prepared that if they’re going to hang, we’re just going to make them pay in that second thousand.
This is what we did, and we were ready to make a move in that third 500 and just waiting for the Coxswain to call it. And when the time came, you could just feel the response throughout the whole boat. It’s really a quite cool feeling.
Her advice to a younger Kerry Simmonds
Christian: If you could travel back in time, 10, 15, 20 years, what advice would you give a younger you?
Kerry: I’m going to give my age here. So 10, 15 years I would be about 16 years. I definitely didn’t have the Olympics on my radar as a realistic dream. I think that was a good thing in a way because I didn’t have expectations put on me to be this elite athlete.
However, at the same time, I would encourage my younger self and those that are younger to dream big. There’s nothing to lose by setting your goals high, but at the same time, you need to also be realistic and set manageable goals to get yourself in that direction of a bigger goal. So I guess I was lucky as a kid that I’ve never had anyone telling me I couldn’t do something.
There’s nothing to lose by setting your goals high, but at the same time, you need to also be realistic and set manageable goals to get yourself in that direction of a bigger goal.
I think that I would be that voice as well that said that you can really do anything you want if you work hard enough and you put the time in. There is some natural talent at times and just being in the right place at the right time and taking the opportunity, but “dream big” would probably be the thing I would say.
- Also check out the interview ‘Dream big, work hard, believe you can do it.’ With double Olympic champion Mariana Pajón
Why she entered the sport late and left the sport early
Christian: It seems you came into the sport quite late, but it also seems you left it early. Is that a fair assumption to say? You just take the gold medal, two World Championships titles, and then move on.
Kerry: I would say that there are a few like me, but it’s also not uncommon to do two Olympic cycles. I have teammates that are on their third and fourth Olympic cycle right now.
For me it was a very personal decision. I was ready. I did not want to have my entire twenties be in this elite athlete lifestyle. I wanted to find some more balance. You have to know yourself and be ok with the choices you make.
You have to know yourself and be ok with the choices you make.
I think maybe I could have done another Olympic cycle, but I’m happy with my decision to not move forward and to move onto something different.
Her decision to retire
Christian: When did the decision to retire come?
Kerry: Officially, it didn’t happen until 2019. So I made this decision in January to officially retire. But I had it always in my mind in around 2017/2018. I did a little bit of training in the fall of 2018 to really make sure that it was realistic that I could come back and decide if I wanted to.
I could have built it back, I’m sure. But I just didn’t want to limp through two more years of elite rowing mentally and emotionally, I was just ready to be done. So it was a little bit late. I’d say 2019 is when I officially was at peace with retiring.
Her success habits
Christian: What are the habits that make you a successful athlete and person?
Kerry: I think it’s a good question, habits translate a little weird for English, so I’m going to just say mentality. I’m going to focus on the mentality part because there are a lot of ways to perform better and those are good habits, but I believe mentally that’s where I was strong in the sense that I was pretty internal.
I was external when I needed to be. I’m definitely a competitive person, but I think I’m more competitive with myself. I don’t need the gratification of beating someone else or obsessing over what they did or how are they doing this?
I’m definitely a competitive person, but I think I’m more competitive with myself. I don’t need the gratification of beating someone else or obsessing over what someone else does.
Did they do an extra workout? How did they do on that workout? I was just pretty focused on my progress and what I needed to do. Did I do that well? How am I going to do it better next time?
So that kind of being able to be internal at times, I think was very helpful because it’s really easy to get intimidated by your teammates that are very good and talented and not obsessing over small details. There are going to be days where you’re going to have a bad training session. That should not get to you. Be able to let that go and just big picture think about it.
So mentality is staying internal and keeping this big picture. Sometimes you’re just so in it and you need to just zoom out and keep some perspective on things. That was very helpful in training for the Olympics.
Just every once in a while, you have to zoom out and tell yourself that you’re okay. Keep some perspective and just do your best. That’s what I would say was something that I think I did a good job as an athlete.
There are going to be days where you’re going to have a bad training session. You need to just zoom out, keep some perspective, and do your best.
Christian: And did you always have this or did it somewhere develop along the years?
Kerry: I think I was always pretty good at it. I was very balanced as a high school athlete. I was a three-sport athlete, so I never really did like one sport and that was it.
In a way that was limiting because I never fully reached my potential at any of those sports. However, I think that was healthy in a way because there wasn’t huge pressure that I was putting on myself or others were putting on me.
When I rowed in college, I was pretty good at keeping that balance with friends and school and then rowing and not making it my life. And so when it became my full-time job to row, I had some of these abilities to keep some balance and not self-sabotage mentally.
Did she reach her full potential in rowing
Christian: You mentioned you think you didn’t reach your full potential. Is that also true for rowing?
Kerry: You know, you never know. That’s why people keep doing it.
Christian: No, that is true.
Kerry: I would say if I kept going, I’m sure I could continue to improve in some areas. But I think that there’s a trade-off. I’m still trying to find out. The goal is to always keep pushing your capacity.
The goal is to always keep pushing your capacity.
I feel like I got some good information about my capacity for hard work and my mental capacity, but who knows if you reached your potential. Who knows?
Why rowing teaches discipline and how to perform in high pressure-situations
Christian: That leads perfectly into the note I’ve taken here. You wrote on your LinkedIn profile, “Rowing has taught me discipline and how to perform in high-pressure situations…” I mean it was a bit of a longer sentence, but I’ve taken that out. Can you elaborate on that?
Kerry: Our practice sessions were just testing rounds to explore your grit. I’d say that would be a good word for rowing. What I mean by grit is your physical abilities to push hard, but also the mentality behind that.
I’m sure you’ve heard this, Christian, a lot of people say mentally, you’re going to limit yourself before your body gives out. You’re going to shut it down. So practicing over and over in these situations to push past that mental barrier and go into that pain cave here, the dark area, and explore that.
Our practice sessions were just testing rounds to explore your grit. Practicing over and over in these situations to push past that mental barrier and go into that pain cave, the dark area, and explore that.
So rowing allows you to go through this trauma in a very safe way amongst your teammates. I think that you explore these new depths of hard work and what your capacity is mentally for that. So, that’s what I mean.
You can just practice discipline and working really hard over and over. It teaches you a lot about what you’re capable of and it can definitely be applied to other areas of your life.
Christian: That’s what they say probably all over the world, but I know the rower’s community in Germany they say “Rowing makes tough.”
Kerry: Yes, you have to be tough to go through that sport. It’s a lot of work and not that much glory for that amount of work.
The reason for the dominance of the US Women’s Rowing Eight team
Christian: Until the Rio Olympics, if my research is correct, the US Women’s Eight didn’t lose the World Championships or Olympics since 2005. So that’s 11 years of dominance. In your opinion, what is the reason for this dominance?
Kerry: I was talking to a teammate about this. She’s still training and we had caught up the other day and we were talking about what made at least for what we call our quad, our four-year cycle, what has made it so dominant in that event?
We had a really solid team and it wasn’t just the Eight that was doing well. In 2015, we have our Women’s Quad win, our Women’s Eight wins, our Women’s Four wins and then the Pair got third. So it was just every boat medals. It was crazy.
It’s hard to say this is what set us apart from this team. I think what we decided was we were really competitive in a very professional way. It was definitely the best team I’ve ever been a part of and the fact that we were really good about beating each other up on the water and then left it on the water.
There wasn’t a lot of drama, certainly not like compared to college rowing where it’s just young women and you’re always together and there’s going to be some drama. It was a very professional group and we trusted the process. We knew that if we put in the work and we really went after it every day that we would win.
So there was a confidence and trust in the process, knowing that if we got through this process and we’re still standing, we got named to the boat, that we trusted each other to do what we needed to do, that we would cross the line first. As far as the teams before us, I think it was really awesome to have this platform to go off.
We could say that these women were really good and we want to keep carrying that forward. They passed the torch to us and there is some responsibility to that. We want to represent not just the US, but we want to represent these women that came before as well.
The teams before us, these women were really good and we want to keep carrying that forward. They passed the torch to us and there is some responsibility to that. We want to represent not just the US, but we want to represent these women that came before as well.
We were pretty confident in a good, healthy way. Not cocky, just confident in what we were doing.
Christian: And it seems the team is bigger than the individual.
Kerry: Yes, it was a really good team.
Her morning routine
Christian: Do you have a morning routine?
Kerry: Not anymore. It’s pandemic time, so I would say I was one of those people that probably had a kind of routine. However, I was not obsessive over it and I think that that’s probably a good thing.
We didn’t wake up terribly early, but most mornings I would definitely wake up before six. I would be a coffee drinker. Got to be careful with that. Don’t want to become too dependent on coffee, but I definitely did drink it.
My go-to meal was oatmeal. But it would change. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body. Maybe you got up earlier and maybe you needed more sleep. The time when I went to bed varied.
So the short answer is no. If we talk about routine, generally speaking, sure, yes. Now pandemic times, I’m trying to keep some more routine, but it’s not like anyone’s counting on me to be in a routine.
How to prepare for important moments
Christian: How do you prepare for important moments?
Kerry: I breathe. Breathing is a good thing to do before you do important moments. Breathing and then trusting that you are prepared.
- Also, check out the interviews ‘You can always do more than you think you can.’ With 4-time Olympic champion Inge de Bruijn and ‘Sometimes you have to push beyond what people believe is possible.’ With Olympic champion Lydia Lassila, who outlines the power of breathing
Why the Olympic tryouts are mentally and emotionally tough
Christian: You’ve touched on it earlier, I listened to a podcast you were featured in, where you said that the tryouts for the Olympics were mentally and emotionally the toughest for you. Can you elaborate on how you prepare for that?
Kerry: You are competing against people for a spot that you know them very well. You’ve trained with some of them for four to five years. You respect them immensely and you know at the end of the day that one of you is not going to make it and that’s really hard.
You are competing against people for a spot that you know them very well, you respect them immensely and you know at the end of the day that one of you is not going to make it and that’s really hard.
So you just have to surrender to knowing that if they make that boat go faster on that day, they deserve it. If I make that boat go faster, then I hope that you think that I deserve it.
I had some friends that didn’t make the boats that they wanted to make and you feel for them because you know that could’ve so easily been you and for some reason, it wasn’t. For whatever reason, it worked out that I was able to give a performance that allowed me to earn that spot.
Not everything’s always as black and white. It’s not track and field where you just race and that’s who gets it. It’s sometimes the parameters of racing change. The coach might put you in first and then the other one gets to race and it’s not always super fair.
So you have to surrender to that as well. You just know that if you’re going to make it go faster, you just got to bring it and hope it’s enough.
Christian: What I hear from, it was more the empathy aspect of the friendship of some people missing out that are close to you?
Kerry: It’s just really hard to compete against your friends. It’s much easier to compete against people that you are competitors and you don’t really know them. I don’t want to come across as I pity them because they certainly don’t want that.
No one wants pity from me. But no, it’s that emotional element that one of you is not going to make it and I really want it to be me. But I also know how terrible it’s going to feel if it’s not you.
How to overcome setbacks
Christian: How do you overcome setbacks?
Kerry: I actually just kind of went through that my whole year where I was applying to Physical Therapy school. I put forth my application. This is kind of a later career transition for me, but I feel really good about it.
I was getting rejected from programs and it was just starting to wrap my head around that there’s a good chance that I don’t get into the school that year and wondering what I am going to do. So you apply again.
I need to figure out how I’m willing to sustain myself. So I’d have to get a job. So just this setback in the sense of my plan A, I wasn’t sure it was going to work and mentally being prepared to adapt and adjust as needed.
For me, I had to re-center myself and be say that this is a likely possibility and I’m just going to trust that if I need to, I will just adapt.
Rowing has given me a lot of confidence that I can be very adaptable, and that things are going to be okay. I just need to be patient and trust the process. That sounds incredibly cheesy, but trust the process is like a very good lesson to learn.
Rowing has given me a lot of confidence that I can be very adaptable, and that things are going to be okay. That sounds incredibly cheesy, but trust the process is like a very good lesson to learn.
Rowing taught me that and I reapplied it in many areas of life now, and this was the latest one. So I did get into school.
Kerry: So that was really awesome, but I was definitely prepared for having to adjust or pivot my plan a little bit.
Her role model
Christian: Who’s your role model and why?
Kerry: I don’t just have one. This is probably the hardest question. I’m not going to lie because I think there’s not a clear answer that I can give. I can’t just name a person.
It was awesome to grow up in a time where you had some really boss women in sport. I had Mia Hamm when I was playing soccer and we had Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh playing beach volleyball. That was awesome to see them dominate in the Olympics.
For me, I had women in my life that were just strong. So I’d say my mom, Karen, she was doing ultra-running. I was seven watching her just do a hundred-mile races, which was nuts. I just had some really, I think, strong women, teachers, and parents.
I’m not going to say my younger sisters, but I love how strong they are now. But yes, growing up, I think I was just exposed to a lot of really awesome people that definitely didn’t put any limits on me because I was a woman.
Growing up, I was just exposed to a lot of really awesome people that definitely didn’t put any limits on me because I was a woman.
To single out one role model is really hard for me. I think I had a lot of influences, which was great. I hope that I can just be a small influence on someone else, not the only role model, but just maybe one of them.
Christian: That’s cool.
The best advice she has received
Christian: What is the best advice you received and who gave it to you?
Kerry: The best advice is hard to say, but there’s one advice that’s stuck with me for a long time. A teammate gave it to me, when. I just moved to the training center. I went to school in Seattle, which is on the West Coast, and Princeton, New Jersey is on the East coast. So it’s six hour’s flight time. The United States is very big, so it’s a different place. So that was an adjustment.
I didn’t know a lot of people. I was coming into the training center group as a college graduate. I was the slowest. One of the slowest came from a program where I was one of the best athletes and now is at the bottom.
A lot of these women were training for the London 2012 Olympics, and they were just intimidating. And I had a teammate who was training for the London Olympics. She just came up to me one day and we were stretching after practice.
I don’t know how it came up, but she just asked me how it was going. We talked about the Erg [ergometer] workout and where my pace was. She said that she was honestly much slower than me when she came in.
Everyone starts somewhere and to have that realization that these women that are really fast around me were once slow during college. They just worked their way up and just to have that reminder that everyone starts somewhere.
Even Olympians at one point were novices in their sport. Just having that reminder was really, really good at that time of my life.
Everyone starts somewhere. Even Olympians at one point were novices in their sport.
That’s something that stuck with me because I think every time I’ve had to start over, whether it be with rowing, with coaching, and with applying to physical therapy school, that I have to remind myself, everyone starts with the beginning. Everyone’s a beginner at some point in their lives and it’s totally okay.
If anything, it’s really good to continue to always try to be a beginner at something and never feel the pressure that you can’t be incompetent. At some times in your life, it’s just a part of the process.
Christian: I can fully relate to that. I once heard a saying ‘Every master was once a disaster.’ So every time I start to wonder what I am doing, then that comes back and I then know that there’s still a chance of becoming better.
Kerry: I think as we get older, it’s harder for us to become beginners or to want to be a beginner in something. I don’t know if you’d agree with that, but I think it’s good to have some courage to say that it’s okay if you look like a fool in this new sport you’re doing or this new activity.
It’s okay to not be really good at it when you first do it. I’m trying beach volleyball now. I do not look like an Olympic athlete, that’s for sure. But I think it’s good to be okay and just be okay with being a novice at something.
Why you have to surround yourself with like-minded people, and what to do with people who aren’t like-minded
Christian: Talking about advice, I heard in that podcast, some advice that you gave. You want to surround yourself with like-minded people who understand what you’re doing.
Now I want to challenge you. Sometimes you have people in your network that are completely the opposite. What would you advise to do?
Kerry: This is good. I don’t even remember saying that. So it’s interesting to hear me three or four years ago. I got to think about this one.
What would I do? So the question is what would I do if I have people that are opposite or not like-minded, right?
Christian: The question is you have this saying, you’re the average of the five people around you, therefore you need to have a good network. That always comes back. However, very often people find themselves in situations, that people in their network who are not like-minded, who are not driven, who are the opposite? What do you do?
Kerry: If you have the luxury, remove yourself from that network. I know that it sounds kind of hippy, but there are definitely people that I just feel are a drain on energy. I think we all know what I’m talking about.
There are people out there that you just feel exhausted from being around and limiting that interaction or just not being around it as much as possible is something that I try to do. So if you have the luxury to choose who you want to be around, then choose not to be around those people.
- Also check out the interview ‘Your thinking creates your feelings, your feelings create your actions and your actions create your results.’ With Olympic champion Jamie Salé, and how she describes how she deliberately removed herself from the people who took energy from her during her Olympic preparation.
If you don’t have the luxury, I think communication is always good. Working on how can you communicate in a productive way is healthy and a good thing.
Communicate to that person that you’re really uncomfortable when they say these things or how they say it. Just try to be productive and work together on creating a more positive relationship with that person.
So pick your battles, but if it’s something that you cannot really remove yourself or it’s a family member and you’re related to them, think about how you can communicate better so that you guys get on the same page.
Oftentimes there’s a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication. So figure out how you can work through that.
What’s going on in Kerry Simmonds life at this moment in time
Christian: What’s going on in Kerry’s life at this moment in time?
Kerry: Weird times, in the midst of the pandemic when we’re talking right now. I’m getting ready to start Physical Therapy school online at the end of this month.
I’m also working on virtual coaching with high school rowers. We call it Rower Academy. So I’m working with Luke Walton, a San Diego native who’s another Olympic rower.
We’ve worked together on a couple of rowing clinics and now I’m working with his company on helping high school athletes navigate the recruiting process for college rowing. How that looks is making them just more recruitable by helping them with their erg techniques using the indoor rowing machine.
That’s a big deal for recruiting, as well as mentally and those kinds of race strategies because I think we’re able to relate to these kids. Even though we’re a little past college, we still know what it takes to approach a rowing test or what we call seat races and how to communicate with these coaches that are at the college level. That’s what I’m excited about.
I left full-time coaching to pursue Physical Therapy school, and this is a way for me to continue to work with young athletes and just make them better and stronger and able to contribute to their college program.
Christian: And where can you find these virtual coaching services?
Kerry: It’s online, it’s roweracademy.com https://roweracademy.com/ it’s new and I’m excited about it. So if you’re a high school rower and you’re gunning for college rowing, we’re a service that can help be supplemental coaching.
Her interview nomination
Christian: Do you want to nominate someone to be interviewed?
Kerry: Yes, I would say someone that would be really cool for you to reach out to and I would be really interested to hear because she was a role model of mine is Misty May-Treanor, the beach volleyball player.
I think she’s just really cool and down to earth. I actually think she would maybe take the time to chat about her story more than some other athletes who are sometimes just too in it already.
So Misty May would be who I’d love to see interviewed. So I would suggest reaching out to her, but I can’t really be helpful with reaching out to her, because I don’t know her personally.
Where can you find Kerrie Simmonds
Christian: Where can people find you?
Kerry: I’m on pretty much every social media platform. I’d say Facebook is probably more rowing related. Instagram, I’m ready to get off Instagram. I feel like there’s too much Instagramming going on in my life in the pandemic, but certainly, I’m active on that as well.
Kerry Simmonds Social Profiles
Christian: Kerry, thanks so much for your time. That was awesome.
Kerry: It’s fun to go back in time. So appreciate the questions. Thank you.