“FlyingFree” has come to mean several things to me. For one, it speaks to my journey to becoming the best female butterfly swimmer in the world. It also relates to my fun-loving, easy-going nature, a quality that I hope has come across in my blog posts and interactions with fans. And lastly, “FlyingFree” serves as a reminder – not so much to the success I’ve had in the pool but to the obstacles I’ve had to overcome and will continue to overcome in my journey.
From a broken arm in gymnastic, a torn ACL in basketball, back and shoulder issues in swimming, and a heart condition, my body has been faced with a lot. Moreover, until 2011, I had suffered from severe stomach pain due to complications from food allergies. As such, in preparation for the 2012 Summer Games, I switched to a gluten-and-egg free diet, a move that contributed to my successful run in London. Today, my past struggles are indeed a guiding force in my professional mission; I am both a proud ambassador for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign and an active member in the gluten-free community. I am now on a journey that revolves around health in its entirety
And so, here on “FlyingFree” you’ll get a chance to better know not only myself as the professional athlete, but also me the person. Along the way, you’re sure to come away with some insight into the lifestyle of an Olympic Gold Medalist and some great tips on how to stay healthy, happy and fit!
A little bit about me: In the above picture is my husband Andy! We got married on August 20th, 2011. He has completely changed everything about my life in a positive way! I use to define my life by my ability to compete in swimming, my school performance, my salary. Now I know that whatever I pursue, succeed or fail, my husband is supporting me and excited about all the years to come! He was also a successful swimmer at Stanford University and he continues to swim every morning on his own! We create a healthy lifestyle that is fun and an exciting journey to take together! He is currently a computer security consultant for iSEC Partners, I call him a professional computer hacker, and what he can do with a computer goes way over my head! Together we built this blog and it’s been a fun bonding experience!
I have an absolutely incredible family! My parents, Cathy and Les, and my brother Nick. We have always been a really close knit group and it’s hard being in California when my entire family is in my hometown of Granbury, TX. I talk with my family constantly and we do our best to stay involved in each others day to day lives.
My mom is a 2nd grade teacher at the elementary school my brother and I attended. She is absolutely incredible working with young kids! She was the swimmer, held New England records when she was little and was always there motivating me along the way! My mom has been the pusher in my life, always challenging me to be the best I can be. She was the one who carried the defibrillator to all my workouts when I went through my heart episode. I can’t remember too many swim meets when my mom wasn’t there cheering me on. She is the strongest woman I know!
My dad is a nuclear technician who travels around the country making sure the power plants operate appropriately. He is where I get my technical side! We were always out working on the cars, building the backyard deck, or remodeling the house. We love to come up with so many building plans together, even if some never get completed, the fun is in the process! My dad has had me thinking about my body and movements through the water in a very technical way ever since I was little!
My brother is my best friend! I share everything with him and he has guided me through many hard times in my life. He has always been my role model and did an amazing job protecting his lil sis! At just 16 he owned and operated his own karate studio and I have never seen anyone better at motivating young kids then him! I used to dream about being able to have the same impact that I saw him make everyday in their lives. Today he is our AP high school english teacher, humanities teacher and the swim coach. He is also an aspiring novelist, being more creative and well spoken then I could ever imagine being! Check out his blog: http://www.nickvollmer.com
I am so blessed to have a life filled with so many incredible people! Close friends that I have had since kindergarten, college friends I will never forget, and coaches who have led me in the right direction! As I embark on each part of my life I know I am always loved and supported, and it’s these relationships that matter most in my life!
Thanks for Reading!