Volleyball & Brunch with Kerri Walsh Jennings

|| image by LA Daily News ||

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember a few weeks ago I was invited to a meet & greet with Kerri Walsh Jennings, hosted by my partners at Almond Breeze.

At this little event, I was lucky enough to meet the women’s volleyball champion herself — as well as her amazing coach and personal trainer — AND have brunch with a small group of influencers, media, and some pretty awesome Almond Breeze employees.

It was a once in a lifetime experience that I feel so lucky to have been a part of. 

Almond Breeze Kerri Walsh

Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings works-out on the beach as she prepares for the Rio Olympic Games this summer. Walsh Jennings looks to add her fourth gold medal. Kerri hugs her coach Marcio Sicoli after a morning training session. Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Manhattan Beach, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer
|| image by LA Daily News ||

The day started in Manhattan Beach where the group and I caught the tail end of Kerri’s daily practice with her coach, Marcio Sicoli. After watching the three-time (and soon to be ๐Ÿ˜‰ four-time!!) world champion do her thing for about 45 minutes, it was OUR turn to “practice” some drills with Marcio!

And if your really know me at all — I am TERRIBLE at volleyball. Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely love it and say  at least once a week (usually when Nik and I go on a bike ride on the beach), how badly I wish I was good at volleyball. I’m going to blame it on the fact that I am vertically challenged…

We did some basic drills that Marcio still runs with Kerri every few weeks to keep her fresh and make sure she’s in top shape for her huge tournaments in the next few months.

A huge part of her training is revisiting even the most basic drills. Marcio like to work in phases, that always circle back and touch on older drills. This is one of the things that he thinks makes Kerri the best of the best.

He was also HUGE on making all us work as a team to accomplish a goal. We weren’t allowed to move onto the next drill until we ALL completed the first drill — this made us support an root for each other and help bring down the competitive nature of it. It made it SO MUCH FUN. (I wish sports were a lot more like this these days — we felt like an actual TEAM!)

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After the drills, we then had a sit down with Kerri and Marcio for a little Q & A.

My most favorite part of this was really seeing how relaxed, chill, and down to earth both Kerri and Marcio are.

Both are huge advocates for ALL-AROUND wellness — not just being great on the court. 

A huge part of their training is psychological and mindset training. I love this because, this means that some of the highest and most respected athletes in the world realize how important overall wellness (including mental wellness) is in performance — it’s not just about skill.

Seeing one of the greatest female athletes in the world (let’s also not forget, she is kicking serious ass at 37 years old), so down to earth and with such a great, humble mind is really refreshing. (Not mention, the waves crashing on the beach behind her, and a dolphin swimming by the Manhattan Beach Pier <–seriously not kidding! I kept asking myself “is this real life?”…lol!)

She talked about some of the most important things in her life, such as her family, her team, her gold jewelry (which she ALWAYS wears — even in tournaments!), and her LOVE of shopping — any, and all kind of shopping.

She showed us one of her favorite pieces of jewelry — this gold necklace with a hand-etched lion, for her astrological sign of Leo, and a wolf, symbolizing her “wolfpack” supporting her career and tournament wins.

Kerri Walsh 3

After the Q & A, we headed to a private Manhattan beach home where Almond Breeze had a chef preparing us all brunch.

Now, you ladies know, I LOVE brunch. So, this just took the day over the top!

We had SEVEN little mini courses of things from bruschetta, to pancakes, to salmon over mashed potatoes, to mini donuts with Chocolate Almond Breeze! (I swear, they must have noticed my absolute LOVE of donuts!) Everything was made with almond milk in some way — and, omg — so delicious in EVERY way!

While we were getting the star treatment, we had some more time to talk with Kerri, and we all got to know each other a little bit more. Seriously, one of the most funs days I’ve had since moving to LA — you ladies know I LOVE meeting new people!

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Then after we were all stuffed on some amazing food we headed back to the beach for a little more torture ๐Ÿ˜‰ with Kerri’s personal trainer and Pilates instructor, Kerry. (YES, they are both Kerri(y)’s!)

Trainer Kerry had set up a few circuit stations and demonstrated quickly each station. We paired up into partners to complete a mini workout that took about 20 minutes or so, doing exercises that Kerri does everyday to train muscles needed for tournaments and to strengthen her shoulder (she had surgery last September to repair a dislocated shoulder).

After the workout, we had another little Q & A with Kerri and her trainer, to learn a little more about what her workouts look like from day to day, and the corrective exercises she been doing since her surgery.

The most amazing part of the day was to see the teamwork that when into everything they did. From the drills, to workouts and mindset training, everything and everyone is so in-tune with each other, and everyone is on the same page to reach the end goal. WINNING the tournament!

Kerri Walsh Jennings
|| image by LA Daily News ||

After meeting Kerri and her team, I have no doubt that she will be coming home a winner in this year’s tournaments, and can’t wait to watch her over the next few months kill it on the courts.

Thank you again, so much, to Almond Breeze, for this experience — it was truly once in a lifetime!

[signoff]

 

Disclosure: I was NOT compensated for this post. I was invited to this event by my partner, Almond Breeze, and all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting The Live Fit Girls!

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