Meeting Garrett Weber-Gale

It’s not too often you get to meet and talk to an Olympic gold medalist, especially one involved in a race as memorable as that 400 freestyle relay last summer. Add in that he is a food and fitness freak, and that we just happen to  blog about that, it seems too good to pass up. So here is a brief story of meeting GWG and his advice for the fitness/food enthusiasts.

First off, a big thank you to Melanie Hauser for setting up the interview, as me, Austin and few other Sports J students had Garrett to ourselves for more than an hour.  And of course, thanks to Garrett for being so gracious with his time. If everyone was so honest and open during interviews, our jobs would be a lot easier and a lot more rewarding.

For those who don’t quite know who I’m talking about, Weber-Gale was one of the four swimmers (including Michael Phelps) who took the gold in one of the greatest races ever swam, the 400 freestyle relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Garrett’s two passions in life are pretty simple: swimming and eating, two things that when done correctly can turn anyone into an Olympic gold medalist. Not really. But you can improve your life with a few good changes to your lifestyle.

For GWG, that started with his diet. Early in his college days, he found out he had high blood pressure. A quest for healthy, delicious, low sodium food later, he’s now a budding chef who has studied under some cooking masters and makes food almost a big a part of his daily life as swimming.

Which brings us to the basic formula: eat healthy and exercise. And whenever possible, seek council from those who know.

“Seek the advice from the experts,” Weber-Gale said. Going to a nutritionist helped him realize how much protein he needed to keep or build muscle mass. “People don’t realize how protein they need. Eating healthy is all about little choices.”

As for the exercise, good luck trying to keep up. After an extended break following a disappointing World Championships outing in Roma, Garrett is back in the pool around 30 hours a week, with some time in the weight room for good measure.

We’ll have more tomorrow on Mr. Weber-Gale, including some healthy eating recipes, and maybe some water workouts, so stay tuned. Until then, get your GWG fix at his blog.

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