Taylor Morris, Olympian 2018 shares how he missed his first Olympic participation by 4 thousand of a second, why he believes consistency and preparation are key to success in sports and life, and how to develop mental strength.
Furthermore, we discuss
- How he got into the sport of luge
- What the army in the World-class Athlete Program is
- His darkest moment
- His best moment
- His advice to a younger Taylor Morris
- His success habits
- The differences between army training and high-performance sports training
- His morning routine
- How to prepare for important moments
- How training and competition develops mental strength
- His role model
- Why luge is a European dominated sport
- The best advice he has received
- A typical training day in the life of an Olympic luger
- Why he started a digital marketing agency specialized for attorneys
- His interview nomination
- Where can you find Taylor Morris
Christian: Today I’m joined by Taylor Morris. Taylor is Olympian 2018 and was a substitute in 2014. Welcome, Taylor.
Taylor: Thank you for having me, Christian.
How he got into the sport of Luge
Christian: Taylor, I saw you got hooked with Luge at the age of 11 when you watched the Luge competition at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games 2002. Why luge?
Taylor: Honestly, I just like to go fast and at a young age, I’ve always pushed my boundaries of what’s safe and what I can do to maybe impress some other people. I push my own boundaries if you want to go there. But I really like the aspect of how fast you would be going.
I’ve always pushed my boundaries of what’s safe and what I can do to maybe impress some other people.
Christian: Do you remember anything in particular from these Olympics?
Taylor: Honestly, for 2002 because this is my home state where the Olympics were, I didn’t make it to any of the winter sports, other than the Paralympic. It was the biathlon. My sister had won tickets to go up to it and so I went with her and my brother and myself and we watched the Paralympians do the biathlon.
That was really inspiring because they were some people with missing appendages, such as missing arms and missing legs. There was one individual who was completely blind and it was just really an inspirational moment for myself knowing that I was trying to make the Olympics at some point in my life. But for those around me who maybe weren’t even looking to go to the Olympics, it was just inspiring to watch.
Christian: I believe that.
What is the army in the World-class Athlete Program?
Christian: You are in the army in the World-class Athlete Program. It’s a program tailored specifically to athletes. Is that correct?
Taylor: That’s correct. So you have to be in the army and you also have to reach a certain level. Every sport has a different level of where you have to reach. But pretty much you have to be in a position as a soldier to compete at an Olympic Games or be pursuing the idea of working towards an Olympic Games.
So for me, working towards luge, I joined back in 2011 in the army. I knew that I was going to be put into the World-class Athlete Program, just given my rank among the national team. I was third overall at that point, so I knew that I wasn’t going to have any issues getting into this World-class Athlete Program.
But it’s really a program in the army that allows you to be a soldier and an athlete at the same time. Your army obligations are a little bit different than, let’s say a normal soldier in the army.
It’s a program in the army that allows you to be a soldier and an athlete at the same time.
Christian: Yes. I know in Germany they have something very similar to that.
Taylor: Yes, and the same with Italy with their police force.
Christian: Which sports do they support?
Taylor: They support almost every sport to my knowledge. The athletes that I’d know of from the winter side, there was bobsled, skeleton, luge and I don’t think there was any more that had been in, at least the US, that was in any anything like that for the army.
Christian: And summer sports are similar to that?
Taylor: Yes. Summer sports are a lot more rigorous. I would say it’s harder to do, mainly because the winter sports have a smaller selection of athletes in general, than the summer sports. So for the summer sports, they have Taekwondo, boxing, wrestling and running. the summer side is much fuller than the winter side in the US Army.
His darkest moment
Christian: In your life as an athlete, what was your darkest moment?
Taylor: This is actually pretty easy for me. It was not making the Olympics in 2014. Throughout the season, I had raced and I had my ups and downs. But when it came to the pivotal moment which was in Salt Lake City.
We had a World Cup and the way that our system works in the USA luge is there’s a tier system. There are A, a B, and a C tier and giving your racing result throughout that first half of the season, which runs from October until December, they choose the team off of the tiers that you make. So without getting too deep into the details, I had pretty much secured a B-tier but needed to get an A tier.
The A tier would have been me placing 15th or better in this World Cup in Salt Lake City which is my hometown. For me, I had placed my first round. So it’s two runs for luge unless you’re at the Olympics and my first run was really good. I was actually in the 13th spot at that point.
I knew that all I needed to do was make it down the mountain, down the track, have a clean run and I was pretty much golden to the slide in for that last spot. For whatever reason, I don’t know what it was, whether it was fate or an act of God, so to say, but I just didn’t have a very good second run.
All I needed to do was make it down the track, have a clean run and I was pretty much golden. But for whatever reason, I just didn’t have a very good second run and I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to make the Olympic team.
It was really hard to comprehend not as an athlete, but as just a spectator of how much time and effort and energy and sacrifice these athletes give up to pursue their dream as an Olympic athlete. Especially with the sport of luge, it takes a really long time to get good at it.
I started at 11 years old and didn’t make the Olympics until I was 26. So it’s not something that you can really cross-train for. But anyway it was a dark moment for me having a really bad second run because I pretty much immediately knew that I wasn’t going to make the Olympic team.
That was really tough to handle. That was 14 years or 13 and a half years at that point of hard work, dedication and sacrifice because I had messed up. It had really come down to four-thousandths of a second with the mistakes that I had made on the second run.
So I actually ended up in 16th place and I didn’t make my A-tier and I had to tell everybody, my friends, my family, that I didn’t make the Olympic team. It’s kind of a double-edged sword because you feel so bad for yourself, but at the same time, you feel like you’ve let so many other people down that have had your back throughout this entire journey.
Ever since I was a young kid, my community had always supported me during fundraisers, during any other events that I was putting on. To show up empty-handed was really, really difficult.
It’s a double-edged sword because you feel so bad for yourself, but at the same time, you feel like you’ve let so many other people down that have had your back throughout this entire journey. To show up empty-handed was really difficult.
Christian: How did you recover from that moment?
Taylor: Recovery took a long time. It still hurts thinking about it that I could be a two-time Olympian that I could have had another chance at doing something great at the Olympics and that chance was sifted away from me of my own doing. I can’t blame anybody else.
Recovery it’s more so having to take a step back from the situation and look at the entirety of the situation that you’re in and realize just how blessed you are. I think coming from a background of being relatively religious and believing things happen for a reason, that helped a little bit.
But I got married, probably four and a half months after missing the 2014 Olympic Games and that pivotal race for me and having something to distract me a little bit from the constant pain that I was in every morning and every night from missing the Olympics. But having my wife, fiancé at the time, and the community, my best friends, my family, my family friends, my neighborhood even, they were all just so supportive.
I was in constant pain every morning and every night from missing the Olympics.
They were all super on the ball for trying to get me picked back up again and letting me know that I’m okay. They told me that I could go for it again. Those kinds of things really help when you have a community behind you that’s so supportive.
Christian: You said you’re religious and you think things happen for a reason. I can definitely follow that thought. But sometimes it’s very difficult to believe things happen for a reason. How do you maintain faith?
Taylor: It’s really difficult and I won’t say that I’m super religious. My firm belief is things happen for a reason, but I also believe that things happen because of you. The things and the steps that I could have taken differently to prepare a little bit more maybe or really focus on the race itself.
My firm belief is things happen for a reason, but I also believe that things happen because of you.
I think I was immature as an athlete at that point. I hadn’t really had something so difficult a hurdle to get over, so to speak. This situation of me missing the 2014 Olympic Games really made me a more mature person in general, but a very mature athlete in the sense that I’ve been through the struggle.
I know what it’s like to be so close and miss it that it lit a fire that I was going to do this again. I was going to give it another four years. I was going to dedicate absolutely everything with no distractions.
Because from 2010 to 2014 I was 18 years old to 22 and those are times in your life that you’re trying to figure your own life out and figure who you are as a person and as an athlete when you’re competing like the way we were. So I think I learned a lot from the mistakes.
I learned a lot from the good things that had happened as well. But I think the mistakes that had happened throughout that year and throughout that season really made me a better person, in general. Just knowing that I can push through those hard times and come out a better person and I think that was probably the biggest take away from that season.
His best moment
Christian: Well, what was your best moment?
Taylor: There’s a few of them, but I think the very best moment is when you’re standing at the opening ceremonies with all of your teammates, Team USA in general because there’s such a camaraderie. Everybody’s just so happy to be there and you know that you’re in such good company.
I’m with Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn, and many more. I’m with these incredible athletes and we’re all one team. It’s not an individual when you’re walking out onto the stage and you just take a moment to reflect on everything that had happened for the last 17 years; from when you first started, when you felt the drive to really push in a sport that could potentially take you to an Olympics.
You also start thinking about all the sacrifices your family and your friends and yourself have made and how worth it is at that specific moment to know that you gave it everything and it worked out. I think walking into the opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang, it was an overwhelming feeling of emotion just feeling so amazing about what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.
You just take a moment to reflect on everything that had happened for the last 17 years; from when you first started, when you felt the drive to really push in a sport that could potentially take you to an Olympics, and all the sacrifices your family and your friends and yourself have made. It was an overwhelming feeling of emotion about what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.
Just feeling like you’re on top of the world at that point you feel so good. But that was the best moment. It’s one of those things that for luge, especially at the Olympics, luge is one of the first sports to compete. So there’s actually a lot of luge athletes that won’t go to the opening ceremonies because you compete the next day within 24 hours.
There’s a lot of standing around. Your back gets tired and your legs get tight. That was something that I wasn’t willing to miss for almost anything because that was my moment to soak in everything that I had accomplished.
Christian: What did you learn from that moment?
Taylor: I would say walking into the opening ceremonies and feeling the way that I was feeling, I learned that I can do hard things. I can overcome the hurdles that life gives me and to really focus on your sport the way that I was doing.
I learned that I can do hard things. I can overcome the hurdles that life gives me.
It really took me to another level of mental stability for being the athlete because it’s so difficult to even make the Olympics. But then when you get there and you know that you only get four runs to perform in front of the entire world, everybody can see it. I learned specifically that I’m more mentally tough than I actually thought I was.
His advice to a younger Taylor Morris
Christian: If you could go back in time, 10, 15 maybe 20 years, what advice would you give a younger you?
Taylor: The advice I would give myself would probably be right around the age of 11 when I started luge. I would really try to enforce the fact that you need to have fun because there were some years, multiple years, that I was doing the sports so seriously that I wasn’t even having fun anymore.
I would enforce the fact that you need to have fun because there were multiple years, that I wasn’t even having fun anymore.
I was so focused on the results. I was so focused on trying to impress my family and friends at home, about how well I’m doing and I lost that component of fun in that process that didn’t make luge likable for me anymore for a little while. So that would be my two cents to my ten-year-old or eleven-year-old me is make sure to have fun.
Because that’s really what switched from missing 2014 through the quad of 2014 to 2018. I stopped really caring about the results, but that doesn’t mean that I was being lazy or not caring about how I did. It was going to focus on the process and doing the best that you absolutely can and then let everything else fall where it may.
I can’t control the other athletes. I can’t control their equipment. I can’t control the dice. I can’t control anything else, but what I have, which is my equipment, myself and putting it down the track as clean as I can.
Christian: At what age was it when you lost a little bit of fun in it?
Taylor: I would say I lost the fun, probably around 15 years old to 17 years old because I had just started traveling on the US circuit. I was about 15 and I wasn’t at home a lot because I was a year-round athlete.
Earlier, when I was home, I played American football and then I would go wrestle and played basketball in the winter and did luge and then in the spring, I would play soccer. So I was missing almost all of my sports, except for a little bit of soccer when I’d come back in the spring.
I was missing out on that, my education, my friendships that I could be making and my family time. I was gone six to seven months out of the year just traveling and competing.
That was definitely a difficult part and as an adolescent, growing up as a teenager, trying to really establish who you are and things of that nature, I guess it was probably a harder time for me just in general in my life, as well as the sport of luge wasn’t as fun as it used to be for a minute.
I was missing out on my education, my friendships and my family time.
Christian: How did the fun return?
Taylor: The fun really started to return when I was 18 because I started seeing that I could really compete with some of the other kids. Because the junior group is 20 and under, then after that, you move on to the senior group, which is as old as anybody can be really as long as you can race.
So it’s 20 and above and so I was 18. I was starting to place in the top ten in some of these races and I started showing as I could really compete with these guys. That was a really good feeling.
I think there was a lot going on with USA Luge and the teams and there were just some people on my team that I really started to get along with because you’re pretty much a family. It’s such a small knit group. It’s 5 or 6 guys, 4 or 5 girls and a doubles team.
So it’s really 10 or 11 people traveling around Europe for three months at a time and you really start to become close with some of the individuals. I really started to become more of a family with those folks. I think that’s what really started helping to turn around the fun for luge for me.
- Also check out the Interview with Olympic Luger Jonathan Edwards
- Also check out Taylor’s other interviews
His success habits
Christian: What are the habits that make you a successful athlete and person?
Taylor: Consistency is a huge thing because you could be the best athlete out there, but if you don’t consistently put in the work and that goes for a lot of things. The work could be your nutrition from what you’re eating, to the workouts you’re doing, to the recovery that you’re doing and mental consistency too.
Consistency is a huge thing, from what you’re eating, to the workouts you’re doing, to the recovery that you’re doing and mental consistency.
Putting yourself in a mental state that you still feel good to compete and train and be in this rigorous plan for a four-year quad. That’s a lot mentally to think about that. What you start in January or February of 2015 to the Olympics, you’re working towards becoming the best in four years.
So I think planning is a huge thing. Having a solid plan with your nutrition, your diet, things of that nature. So I think those are two really, really big things. But I think keeping it consistent is such a huge part of making an elite athlete.
The differences between army training and high-performance sports training
Christian: One thing that interests me, I have consulted with the army, in terms of helping them with a physical development program to the Special Forces especially. The army and high-performance sports they have a lot of things in common, but on the other side, they’re also different. You have been in the army and in a high-performance sports environment, what’s your experience with that?
Taylor: Yes, for me the army training and my training for luge, they differed a lot. When I had gone to basic training, which is just the initial training for the army to make sure you’re fit enough, can shoot a rifle, those kinds of things in the US Army, the training there is very endurance-heavy.
Army training and my training for luge differed a lot.
We’re running 3 or 4 miles in the morning, doing push-ups for two minutes and trying to really give endurance for your body. When you’re out on the field and something happens and you have to carry somebody away or you’ve got to run away or whatever it is you want to be able to have the endurance to do that.
Now with luge, it’s not so much endurance. It’s quick, powerful, explosive movements and I think when I had gone to the army in 2011, I went in there at 195 pounds and I left after 11 weeks at 167 pounds. So I had lost a lot of my muscle mass, but I could run six miles, no problem.
So I think it’s very interesting because there were a lot of things that really worked well for me in the army that translated over to luge. But I would say that it’s just very different. The Army is more endurance-heavy and USA luge and most winter sports are very explosive quick-twitch muscle type movements.
His morning routine
Christian: Do you have a morning routine?
Taylor: I do, and it’s something that I didn’t really have until I would say I was about 20 or 21 years old. I wake up in the morning, almost every morning at about 7:00 a.m. It’s not super early, but it gives me enough time to get good rest. When I wake up, I try to get out of bed within 5 to 10 minutes.
I don’t want to stay in bed for too long because then I’ll go back to bed. Then I hop in the shower, I won’t check my phone. I really try to stay off my phone in the morning for the first hour because it just lets so much information come in right away and I just want to center myself and figure out how I’m feeling for the day, listen to my body.
I really try to stay off my phone in the morning for the first hour because I want to center myself and figure out how I’m feeling for the day, and listen to my body.
So I get out of bed within 5 to 10 minutes and I’ll go to the shower and I’ll normally have a pretty hot shower, feel my body relax, think about the day and then I’ll end it with a cold, like fifteen to thirty seconds of just as cold as I can take and it just wakes me up. It’s like a cup of coffee.
So that’s what I’ll normally try to do and then right after that, I’ll go downstairs and I’ll do a little bit of yoga. I’ll just try to stretch out. It doesn’t have to be super intense but just to loosen my body up for the day and then I’ll normally go to work and do that. But my morning routine is pretty set. At 7:00 a.m., get out of bed pretty quick, hit the shower and then yoga.
My morning routine is pretty set. At 7:00 a.m., get out of bed pretty quick, hit the shower and then yoga.
Christian: When do you check the phone for the first time?
Taylor: I’m not perfect on all days. Sometimes I’ll wake up and I’ll see my phone blinking or I hear a message just out of the corner of my ear, but I try to wait until about 8 o’clock. I try to get myself a full hour of being disconnected from everything and just focusing on myself.
When I do that on the days that I do it because I’m pretty consistent with it, but sometimes my daughter who’s 15 months old wakes up at 6:30 or she’ll wake up at 7:45 and I got to go get her and so sometimes things change. But 8 o’clock to 8:15, just because it’s nice to not have to answer to anybody or hear anything. It’s just me, myself, my thoughts and listening to my body.
Christian: And you want to start on your own terms. So you want to be proactive, rather than reactive?
Taylor: Exactly. I like that a lot.
Christian: I can relate to that.
Taylor: I’m sure.
How to prepare for important moments
Christian: How do you prepare for important moments?
Taylor: Preparation depends on what it is. Like if I was thinking about luge or maybe the army or a big meeting, preparation is absolutely key because when it comes to those big moments, sometimes you can wander.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that, but in a big moment, like at the Olympics, for example. I was talking to my buddy, my teammate and he said that he got on the handles. He stated that he sat down on the ice and his mind just went blank and his body just took over and did it.
He ended up taking second place and he said that he did not know if he wasn’t prepared for the moment. I told him that I think he was so prepared for the moment that he didn’t have to think about doing something. His body already knew what to do.
So for me, I really try to imagine something so vividly at that moment. So when I was at the Olympics, I had imagined myself at the Olympics and what I was going to do from start to finish on every corner so many times, that when I actually got there, it wasn’t so much pressure.
On the track, I already know what I’m going to go do and I executed that as well as I possibly can, but it’s not so much a huge pressure moment. Because I think that’s what a lot of athletes can feel in those big moments is the pressure.
They start thinking outside of the task that they have to do and for me, especially with luge, because we don’t get that many runs on a track. It’s not like basketball where I can go shoot a thousand layups. I have five to seven runs on a track before I have to put two excellent runs together in a World Cup or four runs for the Olympics.
So with us having a limited amount of runs, it’s very important for us to visualize it in our heads and go through it and try to make it as in-depth of visualization as you can. So when I was visualizing it, I would think what I was wearing, how I was feeling, the air on me, the crowd, my coach, my sled, everything I could possibly think of so vividly, that when I actually got in that moment, it clicked.
We have a limited amount of runs, so it’s very important for us to visualize it in our heads and make it as in-depth of visualization as you can. So when I actually got in that moment, it clicked.
It was like horse blinders were on and it was just easy to do. So I would urge people to do that in any scenario, whether it’s going to talk to your boss for a promotion or if you’re presenting a thesis or a paper or something important to you, visualize it. Really get it in your head and know exactly what you have to do and execute it.
How training and competition develops mental strength
Christian: I saw in an interview, you mentioned the mental strength that is developed through training and competition is often underestimated. So now my question is, of course, you are an athlete and you train every single day, most likely. How would you advise someone who’s not an athlete to develop that kind of mental strength?
Taylor: Developing mental strength is difficult. It took me a lot of years to do it and maybe it’s because I was younger that I didn’t do it as fast. I believe repetition and in-depth visualization of things of that nature, that’ll help at least to prepare you for those moments.
Developing mental strength is difficult, I believe repetition and in-depth visualization help to prepare you for those moments.
But having mental strength rather than mental preparedness is very different to me. So the mental strength, it just comes from, I think experience to start. But before you have the experience, how you would think to build mental strength is complicated.
I think finding yourself a mental health coach can really help. There are a lot of athletes especially those crumble under those difficult circumstances. It’s not just because of preparedness, but it’s also not living up to their expectation or feeling slighted.
I see it all the time, especially in pro athletes that something didn’t go their way and they have a difficult time getting over that. Talking with somebody who knows what they’re doing with mental health is a huge component of mental strength.
I have a sports psychiatrist that I would speak to on a weekly basis just to talk about how things went, and how I felt about it. It just gives you an honest gauge of how you feel and how the circumstances really are.
Because sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into that where you know you want to point your finger at other people and it’s their fault and at some point, you have to take accountability for your actions, but being able to do that with a mental health coach, a psychiatrist, a sports psychiatrist, I think that will help you build that that mental strength.
I have a sports psychiatrist that I would speak to on a weekly basis just to talk about how things went because sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into that you want to point your finger at other people and it’s their fault and at some point, you have to take accountability for your actions.
Christian: And then the work with the psychiatrist that you are doing is mainly the outside perspective that helps you?
Taylor: Yes, I think just having somebody else who you can breakdown the scenario that you’re having trouble with and someone that you can confide in that isn’t going to take it personally. Because there were times that I was absolutely furious with my performance, with how I was doing and where I was in the world.
There were times that I was absolutely furious with my performance, with how I was doing and where I was in the world.
I was missing my family, my wife and whatever it was. There were some times that I was just so fired up and he’s just like, “Okay, let’s bring it down, take some breaths and just talk about what is actually going on.” Because it’s so easy to have so much negativity.
Negativity just speeds, especially when you’re on the road and you only have your 10 teammates and you’re in 8 hours ahead of your wife, so you can’t call her because it’s 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning for them. So having somebody that you can talk to you that can really break down the situation and give you the direction of how to correct how you’re feeling can be a huge component of that mental strength.
His role model
Christian: Who’s your role model and why?
Taylor: I have two role models and my first one’s a sports role model and his name is Michael Johnson. He ran the 200 meters and the 400 meters at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. He had the world record for a very long time.
I had a huge poster of him in my room with his gold shoes and I was five years old at that point. I had just turned five and I watched the Olympics and I saw him run it and I looked at my mom and I told her that I want to be that guy. She asked if I was sure and I told her yes and she was fine with it.
I saw him run, I looked at my mom and I told her that I want to be that guy.
So from then on, at a very young age, I knew that I wanted to go to the Olympics. I didn’t know how I was going to get there, but I had started running track and I had stopped eating fatty foods. My nutrition was just through the roof for a five-year-old.
My mom would bring home a doughnut or cookies and I would ask my mom if Michael Johnson ate these things. When she said no, I’d take it and I’d slide it down to my little brother and told him that he can eat it, but it wasn’t for me.
I didn’t like milk. I saw him on a “Got Milk” commercial and I told my mother that I needed milk. I wasn’t even thirsty. I just needed milk because I just wanted to emulate him as best as I could. So he was my sports role model.
Then my dad is my role model as a normal person, I guess you could say. But he’s just super dedicated. He’s always had my back, he’s always done the best for his family and he’s somebody that I look up to every day and still think that I wish I could be him.
Why Luge is a European dominated sport
Christian: Your sport luge, it seems to be very European dominated if you look throughout history. Why do you think that is?
Taylor: Luge is very European-dominated, mainly because they got a head start on us. They started 20 to 30 years before us. Also, in reality, they just have access to more tracks and since it is a European sport just in general, they have more funding for their organizations, especially Germany.
They got a head start on us, they started 20 to 30 years before us.
I know Germany just has a ridiculous budget for their research and development. They have four different tracks within Germany that are only eight hours apart. Yet for us in North America, I’ll even speak for the Canadians, we only have four tracks in North America and they’re on opposite sides of the continent.
So it’s difficult for us to test different things and different items that we’re trying to pursue on our sleds for the technological factors when we have to fly back and forth into all these different tracks. Because every track is different and being able to have a set of steels or runners; things that are in contact with the ice for every single track would be super difficult for us in North America.
But the Germans, the Austrians, and Italians, all the other European countries they’ll just have easy access to those things and so I think that’s really where they beat us on the technology side. Then since they do have so many tracks, they have a lot of mini organizations at those tracks.
So they’re starting to bring up these kids, sliding on the track set six to eight years old. I didn’t even know about luge until I was ten or eleven and that’s when I started and so they already have a five to the six-year head start of knowing what they’re doing on the sled before I even hopped on a sled.
The best advice he received
Christian: What is the best advice you received and who gave it to you?
Taylor: I feel like I’ve received a lot of really good advice, but the best advice I ever got was from my grandfather on my mom’s side. He said, “Remember who you are”, it really rang true for me because there was a lot of times that it would have been easy to get caught up in being an elite athlete or using that as a status of something.
My grandfather told me to remember who I am.
But remember who I was; my family and my friends, my community, at home and just remembering that I’m still me. I’m just doing awesome things. I think that that was the best advice my grandfather gave me and possibly just anybody in general, was just always remember who you are.
A typical training day in the life of an Olympic Luge athlete
Christian: How does a typical training day look like?
Taylor: When I was competing, because I’m not competing anymore, it was a pretty strict schedule. I’d wake up at 7:00, I’d have a little bit of food, like maybe some toast and a banana before going and warming up in the gym. I’d hit the gym from 9:00 to 11:00 pretty much.
Training differs, depending on whether you’re in sliding season or if you’re on the off-season where you’re really trying to build up your muscle, your explosive strength and your quick-twitch muscles type things. But for the summer, you’d wake up, you’d eat, you’d go to the gym, you’d hit your workout and then you’d go have a little bit of lunch and recovery.
It was a pretty strict schedule, but training differs, depending on the season.
Then for luge, we’d go do sports-specific workouts, which is working on our paddles. Working on our compression is what we call it. With luge, you have these two handles on the side and you push yourself back as far as you can. So you’re really putting yourself, kind of like a suitcase.
You’re just closing it and opening it up as fast as you can, so we work on things like that. Then we also had an indoor start facility and that start facility had three different levels of ramps that would mimic different start ramps around the world.
So we had access to a really great facility in that sense and so we’d go do that for an hour and a half or two hours and then it’d be dinner time. For me at that point, I was doing school, so it was pretty much full day every day.
Christian: I read in an interview or in a profile, you train 50 to 60 hours a week?
Taylor: Yes, it was pretty close to that actually. Given there were some differences, depending on the season, but especially when you’re in season for luge and you’re competing, I would say that my training day starts right as I start eating because my nutrition is part of my training and then you go to the track and it takes you 15 minutes to get to the track.
You’re warming up for 30 minutes before your three runs or two runs that day. You have an hour and a half of sliding. You’d come back, you’d eat and then you’d go to the gym. So those days were really roughly eight to ten-hour days. Some of them were even longer than that, like ten to twelve hour days that you’re putting in.
Why he started a digital marketing agency specialized on attorneys
Christian: Okay. Bonus question – actually two questions. You have an agency for digital marketing that is specialized on attorneys. Why or how did you get interested in the expertise in digital marketing and why attorneys?
Taylor: Well, first I got interested in digital marketing because I’m pretty tech-savvy in general. But I mainly just wanted to start something for myself. I think digital marketing was an easier route for me to start something myself. Coming from so many years of competing, I never really had a job that when I came back and I got a job, and I hated it.
I hated working for somebody else because the harder I worked, it didn’t matter. It just looked good and I wanted to be rewarded for how hard I worked. So when it came down to it, I decided that I could not be anybody else’s employee. I had to be my own boss and I needed to figure out how to do that.
I wanted to be rewarded for how hard I worked, I had to be my own boss and I needed to figure out how to do that.
So I have a couple of friends that do digital marketing. I asked them a few questions. They gave me a book. They told me to read it and if I have any questions I was to let them know. Off I went and so digital marketing has been my main source of income for nine months now since I had started.
I picked attorneys because in my family I have three different attorneys. My grandpa on my dad’s side, my dad and his brother are all attorneys. So I understand their language, their needs, their wants, their pain points.
I know that attorneys seem like they don’t really need much help because they’re making good money and people are coming in and out. But there’s a lot of them that when you’re not in a big organization that has a whole lot of marketing budget, that they struggled to make it off the ground.
I felt that attorneys were very underserviced in that sense of “how can I help them create a bigger firm, a bigger business for themselves” and I had seen it in my own life with my family that sometimes it’s hard to find enough clientele to keep the doors open, let alone pay for your bills, food for the kids, things of that nature. So I took it upon myself that those are the people I wanted to take care of.
His interview nomination
Christian: Do you want to nominate someone to be interviewed?
Taylor: I was thinking about that, Christian and I don’t have anybody off the top of my head, but I would really like to because I think it’s really interesting for somebody to share their entire story in a condensed version. So off the top of my head, I don’t, but I will give you somebody.
Christian: We can ask Michael Johnson.
Taylor: Oh, that would be awesome, honestly.
Christian: That would be really awesome.
Taylor: Oh, that would be epic. I would definitely be in on that.
Where can you find Taylor Morris
Christian: Where can people find you?
Taylor: So you can find me on Instagram. It’s tmorris 91 and then Facebook if you want to look me up. I don’t really go on there much, except to keep my grandma updated on how old my kid’s getting. My Facebook is pretty dead, but my Instagram handle is TMorris91.
Taylor Morris Social Profiles
Christian: Thank you for your time.
Taylor: Thank you very much, Christian. That was a lot of fun.