Having seen both success and heartbreak during her professional athletic career, Canadian Olympic hurdler Sarah Wells feels especially passionate about overcoming obstacles. Since finishing as a 400m semi-finalist in the 2012 Olympic games, Sarah has started a youth based program called the Believe Initiative. Focused on inspiring youth to push through adversity, Sarah sat down with us to reveal the impact that creating healthy habits has in both athletics and daily life. Having battled with low iron levels, Sarah explains how our little iron fish has helped her both maximize workouts as a professional athlete and inspire youth to surpass their wildest dreams.
What was your journey to competing in the Olympic Games?
I started track and field as a high school athlete. Initially I didn’t love it, but went out for the team anyways. Within 8 months of training, I made my first national team and the World Youth Championships in Morocco. From that point on, I thought to myself OK, this is something I’m good at, so I kept training and made team after team. My high school coach that I started with actually stayed my coach for a decade up until I went to the Olympics in 2012.
What is the Believe Initiative all about?
The Believe Initiative is a program powered by RBC that I started a year ago. It’s a youth campaign that talks about the importance of resilience and the power of believing in yourself. I wanted to share my journey to the Olympic games and how Olympic athletes fall down just like everyone else. It’s important for youth to understand that it’s normal to make mistakes on the path to success. It’s not a matter of getting it right the first time, it’s about getting back up. Every month we focus on a different theme, and I encourage youth to write to us with their stories that relate to that month’s theme. We take some of those incredible stories and showcase them, making those youth our Believe ambassadors.
What response have you experienced so far?
It has been an amazing experience and incredibly energizing. Although it’s been difficult at times to train and run this program, the kids are all so inspiring that they make it worth it. So far I’ve been to 60 schools across Canada, spoken at conferences and community events, and talked to over 75,000 youth.
How does this month’s theme relate to Lucky Iron Fish?
This month’s theme is the power of habit, and it stems from the fact that we are what we repeatedly do. It’s a matter of making daily decisions that will allow you to achieve your goal, like getting into a habit. Health is very important to me, and one of my health habits is using the Lucky Iron Fish. I need to make sure I’m giving my body the nutrients it needs so I can give my best to my training and have the energy to go on stage and inspire youth through the Believe Initiative.
How do iron levels impact your training specifically?
I know that at times when I’ve been iron deficient, I’ve felt exhausted and it’s been a struggle to be myself. Especially as female athletes are at an increased risk for low iron, I’ll notice that when my levels are deficient, I simply can’t hold on with the same aggression at the tail end of a workout. When I keep up with the habit of using the Lucky Iron Fish and making sure that I’m getting the appropriate rest, I’m able to push through and get every last drop out of that workout. Even with recovery, I notice that when I come back the next day and my iron levels are at an appropriate state, I can recover far faster and maximize the workout.
What’s your favourite way to cook with the Lucky Iron Fish?
I use the fish in the simplest way, which is drinking it. I always just make a big pot of Lucky Iron Fish water and keep it in the fridge. I’ll refill my water bottle throughout the day with it and keep that as my water source. That way not only am I maintaining my daily water intake, but I can monitor how much extra iron I’m getting and feel confident that my levels will stay normal.
For more information about the Believe Initiative, visit www.believeinitiative.com. To receive 10% off your Lucky Iron Fish order, apply the discount code IronSarah at the checkout.