You’d think Olympic athletes would be super high-strung and stressed out all day every day between hours-long training sessions and the pressure to win, but then you come across freestyle skier Ashley Caldwell, and you realize these competitors are just like us: working hard to do their job and survive everyday things like early mornings in the process.The 24-year-old Team USA competitor is certainly one to watch, but before she can take home that shiny, gold medallion, Ashley Caldwell’s morning routine comes first, and believe me when I say this girl’s secured an a.m. agenda that can set anyone up for greatness.
There’s truth behind the saying “change your mood, change your world,” especially when it comes to how you approach your mornings. Early riser or not, how you choose to spend the first few hours awake sets you up for the rest of the day, and Caldwell understands that waking up on the wrong side of the bed isn’t an option if she wants to come out on top at this year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. It’s that unyielding drive and motivation to succeed that inspired Caldwell to perfect her morning routine down to the minute details to keep her happy, healthy, and able to make it through the day ahead.
According to Caldwell, the key to becoming a morning person is simply to find a routine that works for you, and stick with it.
In an interview with Huffington Post, the aerial skier made it clear that she generally considers herself a "very good morning person" — as long as everything goes according to plan. When her schedule’s off, she admitted, she can get “very cranky,” and, personally, I can relate.
Like Caldwell, I consider myself a creature of habit. Blame it on my perfectionism, but I find comfort in structure. I wake up every morning and wash my face. I pour myself a cup of tea, and leisurely prepare a healthy breakfast to graze on during the first half hour or so of work. If I sleep too late, or book an early appointment that overlaps with my morning routine, I feel the effects of the shift for the entire day. So, we agree, following a set of guidelines really can make a difference.
Caldwell really is just like us, and she makes sure she covers the basics in her morning routine, like brushing her teeth and eating a healthy breakfast.
It doesn’t matter who you are, or how many gold medals you’ve won; brushing your teeth should be at the tippy-top of your to-do list in the early a.m., and it just so happens to be Caldwell’s top priority all day every day.
In fact, not only does she tend to her oral hygienic needs first thing every morning, the Olympic skier told Huffington Post she's “notorious” for keeping her pearly whites pristine, and she apparently carries a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste in her backpack everywhere she goes. I guess now we know where that gorgeous smile comes from.
I know myself, and I can admit that once in a blue moon, I'll slip up and forget to brush my teeth in the morning, but this is definitely one detail you want to try your absolute hardest not to skip. According to Dr. M. Steven Saunders, DDS, brushing your teeth before breakfast will eliminate bacteria and leftover food particles from the night before. Additionally, adding tongue scraping to your morning routine will set your immune system up for optimal digestion throughout the day. I know it sounds gross, but it definitely has its benefits.
Once that’s taken care of, Caldwell moves on to her most important meal of the day: breakfast. In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, Caldwell says she "pretty much eats the same thing every day," topping a piece of toast with two eggs, spinach, and cheese. She washes down her meal with a cup of hot coffee and a chocolate Rockin’ Protein to generate an energetic buzz that's both satisfying and gets her into the habit of making nutritious choices when it comes to snacking and meals as the day progresses.
What really makes Caldwell's morning routine so unique is how she clears her mind and pumps herself up for the day ahead.
Once her teeth have been brushed, and she's enjoyed her breakfast, Caldwell focuses on clearing her mind of brain fog and getting motivated for her training sessions or a competition on a mental level. How does she do this, you might ask? Through none other than a solid jam sesh. Caldwell told Huffington Post,
Every season [when we’re traveling or competing], I make a new playlist and overplay it until my roommate hates the songs, then I play it more and she eventually loves them. Right now it consists of a lot of Imagine Dragons, Walk the Moon, X Ambassadors and an occasional Bruno Mars song.
I don't know about you, but I'm absolutely going to take that as an Olympian stamp of approval to moon-walk in my pajama bottoms and lip-sync to "24K Magic" every morning to start my day on the right foot.
I'll put it in perspective for you: Caldwell is a professional athlete who has competed, placed, suffered from a series of knee injuries that benched her for over two years, and still trained like a beast to qualify for this year's Winter Olympics. Clearly, she's doing something right, and we should all follow suit.
Erin Jackson is an inline skating world medalist and roller derby MVP. She dreamed of skating in the Olympics, but to do that, she had to get on ice. She took her first steps on a long-track course in 2016 and started training professionally in September 2017. Four months later, she qualified for the Olympic Winter Games. Check out Elite Daily Insights' video on Jackson's incredible story: