Achieving Health, Being Active and Seeking Competition Post-Retirement

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Achieving Health, Being Active and Seeking Competition Post-Retirement

When you grow up playing sports and are lucky enough to turn that into a career, you never really imagine what life will be like without that sport. After playing on the US Women’s National Field Hockey team for over 10 years, I officially retired from the team in June this year. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.

Throughout my career, I often got asked what I wanted to do when I was done playing hockey. My response was always the same: “I don’t know and I’ll figure it out when I get there.” My thought was to just live in the moment and focus on the next tournament and what I can do to make the most of where I was right then as an athlete. Being a professional athlete is demanding and you have to commit your whole lifestyle to being at your best physical, mental, and emotional state to succeed. In the back of my mind, I did think from time to time the scary thoughts of what would come next, and I couldn’t find much that didn’t include hockey or sports.

So here I am. I miss hockey. I miss the thrill of victory, and yes, even the agony of defeat. I miss the competition, with my opponents, my teammates and myself! I have lived and breathed hockey for almost my whole life. So, my reality is that I couldn’t leave the sport. I have turned my efforts to coaching and growing the game in my home state of North Carolina. The sport still has so much room for growth and I have gained a new passion for teaching the next generation of players.

And although that fulfills much of my love for the game, it really leaves a void for the physical demands that I enjoy: challenging myself day in and day out, actively pushing my body to its limits. This can be difficult without a big goal (such as Olympic Gold) to drive you. What keeps me accountable today? What pushes me to do that one extra sprint when I feel like I can barely walk anymore? To some extent, it is just ingrained in me. Yet, at times, it is still a personal self-talk just to be better in the moment. I am trying new things and am able to enjoy sports that I never had time for while training. I definitely enjoy golf outings with my family! But at the end of day, I still yearn for the competition, so my next adventure is Spartan Races! I am excited to test my limits and compete in a plethora of physical challenges! I am looking forward to travelling a bit again and finding my next challenge.

Throughout my career and as I continue forward, living a healthy lifestyle outside of sport is super important to me. Fueling my body right with the right nutrition and supplements are key to performing at my best every day and reaching my potential. Hydrating, sleeping right and limiting stress are all vital as well. I rely on Klean products to give me that extra edge, whether I’m competing or recovering!

You can follow Michelle on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and her website.


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