A Day in the Life of… Selina Gasparin
The life of an athlete is often about routines: trainings mark the progression of the summer season with different blocks alternating until snow starts falling and it is time to go back on skis. This year, for Selina Gasparin, no day seems like the one before, because her body is changing with each dawn as the day her second child will be born is getting closer. Nonetheless, the 34-year-old Swiss athlete is not putting her training on hold; when we contacted her for this cross section of her life, she was coming back from a training camp with the rest of the Swiss team in Antholz.
“I’ve had 3 very nice days of training, joining my team in Antholz. This summer, I chose to train at home in Lenzerheide, where I moved 2 years ago to find the best condition. So, it was an exception to go there, but it was good to see my team mates and have some shooting training in Antholz: it is one of my favourite places and it’s where I dream of having my comeback next season, in January. That is obviously if everything goes well with the pregnancy!”
“There I did some shooting, obviously only standing, even though I had some prone shooting sessions at the star of my pregnancy, when I designed some holes in thick mats to allow me to shoot without putting weight on my stomach. But now my belly is definitely too big for this, so I am practicing my standing shooting only, which was anyway always a challenge for me, so I could do with some work on that! I am still doing it in combo with some roller skiing on the track. I have been doing classical up the valley and hiking to Kronplatz, enjoying the gorgeous Italian weather and eating ice cream, so it was definitely nice and successful.”
Morning Training with Husband
“My typical day at home is slightly different than on a camp, as I wake up at 7 and have breakfast together with my husband, Ilia Chernusov, and our daughter, Leila. Around 8/8:30, my husband and I go to training: we generally do the same and train a lot together, but now I am too slow, even if I use my fastest roller skis and he the slowest! But we still train in the same place, so it is good! Obviously, my training has changed from before and I can do half of what I used to, but I also have to be careful of what exercises I choose: for example, I do no intensity, no strength and no jumps and sprints. So basically, I can only work on my endurance, but since I am heavy and do most of my training uphill, it can be that my pulse goes up to 160bpm, so it still is a little intensity, but with a low speed. This way it is not too heavy on me and my baby. Sometimes I go hiking instead and I really like when we do so, because we live in a beautiful place and when you are always surrounded by these beautiful mountains, it is the best playground you can imagine for an athlete! The hiking is really good to manage the intensity, because I can slow down and choose the speed very easily and for this reason it is my favourite right now. I also love to do classical roller skiing on streets and mountain passes: we have plenty good roads around where I live… as you can see I have many options!”
Afternoon is for Leila, Gardening, Shooting and… Ice Cream!
“The hours I spend training in the morning influence also the ones in the afternoon, but let’s say that when I train up to 2 hours in the morning, I take the afternoon free. For this reason, a good lunch is important and when we come back after the morning session we have lunch at home with Leila and the nanny, who looks after her while we train. Then we generally all take a nap: we are very luck that our daughter sleeps in the afternoon, because my husband and I are fairly powerless after lunch!”
“After the much-needed nap, we wake up full of energy and motivation for the second half of the day: one of the good things of this pregnancy is that now I can spend more time with Leila in the afternoon and often we cycle around together or walk to the playground and play there or at home where we do games or painting… you know, the normal things that a 3 and half girl do! Then I go for the shooting session, which is very easy because I live 2 minutes away from the range.”
“Ice cream is something I really really love too and in these hot summer days it’s a routine in the afternoon… I have a dream to open a gelateria one day, for sure I know how the ice cream has to taste!”
“But it is not all: we also grow some vegetables in the garden and we like to do some work there to make sure we have good salad, apples and berries… but we mostly enjoy eating those vegetables and fruits we grow!”
Evening is for Bedtime Stories
“When it’s time for dinner, we try to lay the table outside to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and then spend some more quality time with my daughter: reading and telling stories is a big thing in the evening. We do this until we fall asleep and often it is me before her, but it’s anyway a nice way to end the day and have energy for the next day.”
Selina Gasparin’s day shows that an athlete never stops being one, and that a beautiful path like motherhood can still merge with that of a professional athlete, if we are willing do to so. The biathlon family wishes her all the best in these upcoming weeks for a serene pregnancy.
Pictures courtesy of Selina Gasparin