“We’re human beings, not robots,” says Olympic swimmer Sasha Touretski, “hitting the reset button is sometimes more productive than forcing the body to go over its limits.” That’s one of the many mindset messages Sasha reminds us of in our interview. From the art of resetting to the small ways we could change our diets and approach to our workout routines, learn from the mindset and habits of a dedicated athlete and elite swimmer.
We heard that your personal motto is: "Everything is possible." Could you share with us why this became a motto for you and how it guides you in your daily life?
I like the motto of “everything is possible“ because it has the positive word „possible“ in the sentence, which is basically the only thing our brain really comprehends. Meanwhile, in the phrase “nothing is impossible” the brain listens to the words “nothing” and “impossible“. The motto itself might seem a cliché, but frankly the only limit a human has is the one the subconscious mind sets it out to be. The more often we feed our brain with the correct choice of words such as this positive motto, I believe, the more likely what you desire will happen.
You are a role model for many people. Could you share some of your story about how you became an elite Olympic athlete?
Between the age of 16 to today, Sasha created a name for herself in her sport and a following online for her physical strength. We asked Sasha how she maintains her physique with her workout routine and nutrition, which consists of regular, smaller meals and a mix of workouts inside and outside of the pool.
Your extreme physical power is also an inspiration for many of us. Could you give us any insights into or advice about how your nutrition supports your training and builds your strength?
My approach to nutrition is to keep it simple. The key factor is the regime of your food intake. Rather than three meals a day, I would eat six, in smaller portions. This way my blood sugar levels are always constant. I also learned to treat myself with whatever, whenever I like, in moderation. I feel that if you restrict yourself from certain foods, you’re most likely to binge and develop an unhealthy perspective of eating habits.
What is your workout routine like throughout an average week? How many hours do you train and what different activities do you focus on?
I have nine swimming sessions a week and three gym workouts. Over the years I have neglected mobility training a lot. I have added a new form of mobility and stretching exercises from a coach I was very lucky to have met, which introduced me to his area of expertise. I try to focus on short term tasks throughout the session, not getting ahead of myself and just being in the moment, which, with my personality, is easier said than done. By setting small goals or tasks for a particular session, helps to keep a cool head and execute a great session in the end.
Small goals, large ambitions: Sasha reminds us that we can achieve what we desire if we break it down into chunks. By focusing on the present and what is right in front of us, we will reap the rewards later. There’s no need to swim in the fast lane right from the outset. Approach your next workout routine with this mindset.
How do you stay dedicated to your sport and daily workout routine?
I love what I do and always remind myself how grateful I am to have a healthy body that is in sync with the career path I chose to pursue. I think that if someday I were to wake up and be in doubt about what I’m doing and why, I would have to shift my interests elsewhere and do something else. My love for swimming has always been my main drive.
What keeps you motivated on the days when you are feeling fatigued or demotivated?
I slow down and try to listen to my body. We’re human beings, not robots. Taking a step back and hitting the reset button is sometimes more productive than forcing the body to go over its limits. Recovery is a very powerful tool, when used correctly, “demotivation and fatigue” are rarely an issue.
What guidance can you offer to our wellness community so that we can all better maintain the spirit of dedication that you embody as an Olympic swimmer?
I believe in the balance between consistency and simplicity. Do what makes your body feel good. Ideally it’s best to do a small workout everyday, maybe if it’s just a walk in the park. Once you find your ideal regime, a workout will become more of a healthy habit, rather than an obligation.
Do you have any daily rituals? If so, what are they and what value do they bring into your life?
I don’t have any specific rituals, because everyday is different and I try to adapt to each given situation independently. But before going to bed and if I have time, when waking up, I like to set a quick mantra for myself, which my dad wrote for me. It’s very personal, about gratitude and power.
The key to success is consistency and simplicity. We needn’t overcomplicate our lives with what others have told us is best for our bodies and countless rituals that don’t work for us. Part of creating a healthy lifestyle is finding what works for you. Take it from an Olympic athlete.
At Seela, we advocate a sustainable way of life that is mutually beneficial for our environment and our own health. We always ask ourselves: How can we lead a life that is kinder to ourselves as well as the planet? Could you share your own views on this question?
To me, when a workout is a way of life, it’s extremely important to be conscious about what goes into your body, may it be from nutrition, or what you wear. Knowing the idea behind Seela, it truly gives me peace and a feeling of responsibility, knowing something which I use every single day is not harmful to me or to our environment.
As an advocate of Seela activewear, Sasha shows that maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes beyond simply changing what you eat or how regularly you exercise – it is about working towards more intuitive ways of living in every area of life. Along with a community of other conscious women, Sasha chooses to wear our activewear because it is free of the harmful toxins that damage our body and the planet. All Seela activewear is made from castor oil, which is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have used for thousands of years for its natural health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory, bacteria-fighting and moisturising properties. In every decision we make about our activewear, we aim to take actions that cultivate that feeling of peace and sense of acting as one with nature that Sasha describes, because that’s exactly what our bodies — and the planet — deserves.
What would you like to say to someone who isn’t exercising right now and maybe needs some encouragement to get back on their feet and nurture a more healthy lifestyle?
Take it easy, one step at a time. I feel like starting with something as easy as breathing exercises and meditation, can slowly, with time, shift your energy and willpower. As I mentioned earlier, doing something small everyday, will paint the bigger picture.
From Sasha we learn that simplification is often the answer. Be mindful of your body and give it exactly what it needs. No matter whether you are training as an Olympic athlete or as a complete beginner to a sport or exercise, this will always be true.