Need a little extra motivation to hit the gym today? Well, here you go! At 45 years old, Dara Torres is as motivational as they come. She’s training to make her sixth Olympic swim team at London’s Summer Games, despite just recovering from a major knee surgery, losing her swim coach to a rare blood disorder, and even being the oldest female Olympic swimmer – ever.
In a recent interview with Health, the swimmer revealed what it’s like to compete with a much younger crowd, how she’s been preparing for the race, and how she got those killer abs!
What it’s like knowing she’ll be the oldest female Olympic swimmer ever (if she places first or second in the U.S. Olympic Trials):
“Not many things psych me out! [Laughs] I just try to have fun. I mean, I definitely have aches and pains that most middle-aged people have. What’s funny is that I listen to music before I swim a race and while I train. And I’m surrounded by teenagers—everything is hip-hop for them. So I’ve really gotten into the hip-hop scene! I’ll always have my classic rock—the Rolling Stones, the Doors, the Who—but I’ve made some other playlists with Kanye West, Rihanna, Jay-Z…”
Her Olympic diet:
“Women are going to hate hearing this, but I just have a really good metabolism. So did my mom. I used to take advantage of that and eat whatever I wanted. It’s different now. This is my last Olympics and I need to give it 100 percent. But I told myself that this summer—when I’m done training for good—I’m going to go back to drinking Coke Slurpees.”
Her secret to those killer abs:
“OK, the first thing is genetics. My brother and I, our body types are exactly the same: ripped abs, big arms, skinny legs. And the second thing is my training. As far as ab sets, the most I do is maybe 30 reps, but there are always some kind of rotational movements using my core while I’m working out. And I train extremely hard, so that’s why my abs are so strong—I use my core in almost every exercise I do.”
What motivates her these days:
“I don’t think I have to prove anything anymore. It’s just the fact that I love challenges, and this is a huge one I’m taking on—much more so than four years ago. My coach and I had spoken about taking on this challenge before he passed away, and I want to finish what we talked about. Plus, the fact that so many people come up to me and say I inspire them really gets me going. I want to still give people hope that they can do the things that they thought, maybe, they couldn’t do.”
photo credit Matt Jones