With London 2012 on the horizon, there’s no girl more hip or urban than a Canadian Olympian! This week, we’re chatting with Rosie MacLennan, a two-time Olympic trampolinist.
Bonus: she’s been chosen by CTV as one of their Olympians to watch on social media during the 2012 Olympics and was recently named as a Canadian medal contender to watch by Bleacher Report.
What are you most looking forward to about this year's Olympics?
I’m really looking forward to being a part of team Canada and representing our country at the Olympics. It’s a huge honour and the entire experience of being a part of the Olympics is amazing.
I remember as a child being glued to the television during the Games and watching the team march in at the opening ceremonies, dreaming that one day, I could be one of those athletes. Now I get the opportunity, for the second time, to be on the Canadian Olympic Team competing in a sport that I love. It is amazing to be surrounded by athletes who share that passion and I hope that as a team, we can spread that passion to fellow Canadians.
You're very involved in social media - what made you start and what's it like to be someone in the public eye?
I was never really involved in social media prior to this year. I would follow some other athletes on Facebook and through blogs but never considered it until our sponsor, Springfree Trampoline, encouraged my teammates Karen Cockburn, Jason Burnett, and I, to start becoming more involved through Twitter, Facebook and our own athlete page blogs. Initially, I was hesitant because I did not think that people would be interested and I was self-conscious about blogging.
Once I learned about it more, I realized that it was actually fun to interact with other athletes and friends through social media. Also, I realized that other people had inspired me through blogs by sharing their thoughts and ideas and perhaps I could do the same. It also lets me share my journey towards London 2012 with family and friends who have helped me get there and share my appreciation for those who have supported me along the way.
What is your typical day like?
I do not necessarily have a typical day, it varies depending on what day it is. Currently I am training anywhere from three to eight hours a day on the trampoline, in a strength and conditioning gym and pilates studio. It might sound tedious but it’s a lot of fun. My teammates are amazing and because we spend so much time together and share similar goals and passions, we get along very well. It is like working with your best friends! When I’m not in a gym, or making my way there, I read, spend time outside, prepare healthy food for meals and spend time with family and friends. The time between trainings, I am focused on recovery so that when I start the next session, I’m at 100% and can make each-training purposeful and worthwhile.
Tell us about some of the cool opportunities that you have been a part of as a result of your job!
I have been really fortunate in so many of the opportunities I’ve gotten as a result of being an athlete, it’s hard to narrow it down! I think the main theme behind them is people and places.
With our team, I have traveled to every continent except for Antarctica. Through traveling, I have been exposed to many different cultures, city dynamics and ways of living. The more of the world I see, the more of the world I want to see and really experience. My favourites so far are Switzerland, South Africa, France and Rio De Janeiro.
I would also have to say (perhaps the obvious answer) is competing and being a part of the Olympic Games. It is very different from watching the Games on television. You are in this sport bubble for the entire duration. The village is a community with athletes as passionate and determined as you are. You sit and eat alongside athletes from all different parts of the world and from different sports. You get to represent your country in a sport that you love then cheer your fellow teammates on as they compete. The entire experience is magical.
Are there any disadvantages to your job that maybe we don't think about?
I do not think there are disadvantages to my job but there are aspects that are definitely challenging. First, it does not end when you are done training, it is 24/7. You have to constantly be thinking about your next training and vigilant in making decisions will put you in the best position to accomplish your goals. This means that you have to eat nutritiously and sometimes say no to going out with friends. Also, you’re constantly pushing your limits, trying to expand beyond your comfort zone physically and mentally. In order to make progress, you have to do things that scare you and push through fatigue and sore muscles. If you want to reach the top, you have to push yourself and stay focused on your goals no matter what challenge you face.
Who inspires you?
There have been a number of people during my life that have inspired me. One of the biggest inspirations was my Gramps. The way he lived and the values that he held, he spread to the rest of my family. He always encouraged us to follow our dreams no matter what they were but made sure that we appreciated the process. He lived as though there were no excuses, taking every challenge in stride and moving forward. Growing up, he never gave us any excuses when it came to trying things. He was humble about everything he accomplished and always focused on those around him inspiring those around them to be their best.
Where would you go on your dream vacation?
There are so many places that I would love to go on vacation! I think that Fiji would be at the top of the list. I went there after a competition in Australia with some of my teammates and it was amazing - a lot of small isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was great because we could relax on a beach but there were also so many things to do and see. I love being outside and active so any place that allows me to do that.
What would you tell your 20 year-old self?
If I could go back and tell my 20-year-old self some advice, it would be to try to really enjoy and appreciate the journey on the way to the final goal. It was (and still is) easy to get wrapped up in what you are trying to accomplish, that end goal. These experiences are what make you grow and learn and give you the strength to face challenges. The end goal is only one part of the experience, the most important moments are made of all the cumulative moments leading up to it.
What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
I think the best advice I can give is to follow your passions. It can be tough deciding what you want to do but you cannot go wrong if you follow your interests. This is not always the easiest path and you will encounter challenges along the way but don’t let these encounters defeat or deter you, learn from them and let them strengthen you. There were a lot of times that I did not know what I wanted to do next but have found that I am happiest when I follow my instinct and follow what I love.
Follow Rosie MacLennan as she jumps for gold on Twitter, Facebook & her blog!
Stephanie Fusco is a Toronto PR professional and blogger. Follow her on Twitter @stephaniefusco and check out her blog at www.stephaniefusco.com