This week we are high-fiving FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight: Sheila Hulsey! Shelia is a runner, yogi, cyclist, dancer, and gymnast! Whew! She loves all things movement and flexibility. She has been involved in athletics all of her life and says that her dad was her favorite coach (really cool story about in this interview!) We love Sheila’s super inspiring outlook and encouragement to athletes of all levels!
What is your fave way to train (running, yoga, CrossFit, weightlifting, dancing…)?
Running, yoga, gymnastics, spin/cycling & dance.
How did that become your thing?
I was raised in a super athletic family. I started taking ballet, Polynesian dance, cheerleading, and gymnastics beginning at the age of 5. I soon learned I was double-jointed and took to anything involving flexibility very quickly. By the age of 12, I started playing team sports like volleyball, softball, and soccer. During High School, I had a major passion for running, and during Junior and Senior Year I was a Torrance High School Softball pitcher. I have always had a competitive nature since I started sports at such a young age. I also learned to never give up and work with my teammates. I have never lost my passion for high endurance training and challenging physical activity. I am currently on a journey learning more about how I can push my mind and body to limit with yoga and daily stretching to keep my flexibility.
How has training physically changed you mentally or emotionally?
One thing I’ve learned is that athletic training is more about mindset than it is about physical strength and endurance. If you have a strong mind, you can push your body to do just about anything. Your body can do anything; it’s just your mind you have to convince! I workout every day not because I need to lose weight or look good in my bikini. I exercise each day because it keeps me balanced, gives me time to reflect on my day and my choices, and most importantly a healthy body means a healthy mind.
What is still hard for you about your training, fitness or nutrition?
Fitness is a never-ending journey. You have to find new and exciting workouts that keep you motivated. I remember loving to run for miles on the treadmill. Now I have to find cool trails or interesting settings to keep me motivated during a run longer than 5 miles. On the nutrition side of things, I’ve learned above all else; it’s important to eat when your body tells you, you need it. I always listen to what my body needs. Some weeks I need high protein and other weeks I go vegetarian. If I’m doing a lot of cardio, I let myself relax and take in more carbohydrates. I always try to stay away from sugar and I drink eight glasses of water per day. If you can fit in a green shake or protein shake each morning, go for it. That’s the best!
What is the mantra in your head that you hear most often when you train?
“We are hitting the mountain girl, let’s turn the dial-up and keep on pushing!”
What do you love most about your body?
The human body is amazing, and it’s a thing to be celebrated. I love everything about my body, from my strongest features to my flaws. I actually talk to parts of my body each morning in the mirror and give myself compliments and say positive affirmations. If you love your body, you have achieved self-empowerment. I could never choose a favorite!
If you have worked with a coach, what’s the most important lesson you learned from that person?
The best coach I ever worked with is my father. He was my pitching coach during my softball years. He was tough on me and pushed me to always get back up. During one afternoon at practice, I got hit in the face with a bat and fractured my nose. Everyone told me to take the month off, but we were in the championships, and I wanted to win with my team. I ended up pitching the very next game, and our team won. It was an experience I will never forget. My father always told me “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” His words stick in my head whenever I’m going through a tough day. I love him for that always!
What is your fave nutrition tip?
My best nutrition tip is if you are trying to build muscle you need to take in the right amount of protein! I love a good shake with mixed berries, spinach, banana, greek yogurt, and protein powder.
If you could tell only one thing to every woman who is struggling in her fitness journey, what would that be?
I would say take it day by day. Put on your Nikes, get in your car and get into the gym. Don’t mentally prepare for it, just get there. Once you are there, you WILL workout. After you see your body changing, the motivation begins. You push yourself harder, and you start to really enjoy the endorphins and rewarding feeling you get from being there and getting it done!
What goal are you going to crush next??
I’m going to Palm Springs next weekend to run a trail called “Bump & Grind.” It’s about 5 miles up a cliff and 5 miles back down. It’s one of the most challenging trails I have ever found. I try to kick it up a notch every time I go there. Sometimes I run with weights or other times I time my miles to see where I’m at with my endurance.
BIG thank you to Sheila for being our FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight!
You can connect with her on:
Do you know someone who should be featured on our FiTONIC’s Athlete Spotlight? Check out more information here!
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