Amy Bream has the ultimate excuse for not going to the gym. Born without the majority of her right leg, Amy has used a prosthesis since she was old enough to walk. But this didn’t stop her from excelling in her workouts and challenging herself to learn how to kickbox. We got to talk to Amy about how she learned to turn her excuses into motivation.
Q: What were some old excuses you would tell yourself when you didn’t want to go to the gym?
A: I used to have so many excuses. My biggest excuses were the fear of failure and the fear of embarrassment. But then I came to the realization that everyone fails. You’re going to fail and you’re going to be just fine. So, I say do it anyway. And as for my fear of embarrassment, I realized people actually don’t care that much – and I mean that in a good way. I had this mindset that everyone was looking at me, but people really weren’t, and the few that were weren’t worth worrying about.
Q: How did you silence those excuses?
A: I was able to silence my excuses by spending time with someone who held me accountable. I told her my goal, that I wanted to go to the gym and be less afraid, and she kept me to that and showed up every day with me. I also silenced my excuses by reciting positive affirmations. I realized the power of my words, and that just saying simple things like “I can do this” or “you’re going to finish this” really affected me over time. I started to believe those things and live them out.
Q: What is the definition of motivation to you?
A: To me, motivation can be confused with a feeling, and motivation isn’t about a feeling. Motivation is really a mindset. I train because my reason for training is so much bigger than anything physical. So when I don’t feel motivated, I remember why I’m doing this. It’s about overcoming my fears and pushing past what I think are my limits. It’s about being consistent and showing up every single day.
Q: What’s your advice to someone who wants to start training in a gym?
A: I get asked all the time about what to do or how to start. I think you can look to other trainers or even online to see what they do as an example as a start. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone isn’t perfect at first. Don’t let that stop you from starting your training journey.
Q: What if they want to start but are intimidated by the gym?
A: I would say that it doesn’t really matter what you look like, and also that everyone feels a little intimidated at first. I think the best way to overcome that intimidation is really reminding yourself and deciding for yourself why you want to work out in the first place. Because the “why” will always be bigger than the fear. There’s a lot of things that I still am afraid of doing or trying, but my “why” is still always going to be louder than my fear of failure. If you have a “why” that’s important to you, everything else will fade away.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about your fitness journey?
A: One of the biggest misconceptions is that I’m someone who wants to workout every day and that I’m excited and amped to do it every day. There are actually very few days that I feel extremely motivated to workout. But I’ve seen the importance of consistency and I’ve seen the positives of what working out has done for my life beyond just improving my physical well-being.
Jared Hazen is not your typical runner. Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, he ran track and cross-country in high school specializing in the 3200m. Following his graduation Jared decided to forego college and instead moved to Teton National Park to begin training. Rather than competing in 5k, 10k, or even marathons, Jared runs in ultrarunning competitions regularly going 50+ miles in events.
Now partnered with HOKA, Jared trains every day in the mountains and is looking to become one of the top runners in the world. His training regimen is intense, and after each session Jared does several cool down exercises to ease his body back to reality and help recover before his next workout. You can check out his favorites below and make sure to add them to your training.
Find a step. Stand on one leg on that step with your knee slightly bent.
Slowly lower your other leg until your toes hit the ground.
Should take about 10 seconds.
Stand next to a wall with your hip almost touching.
Raise your inside leg in a running-type motion. Place a towel between your leg and the wall.
Swing your leg back and forth in a running motion keeping the towel in place.
Turn around and do the same thing for the other leg.
Lay on your back.
Bring your knee to your chest.
Grab the back of your thigh and continue to bring it closer to your chest.
Do the same thing for the other leg.
You can follow Jared’s journey by checking out his Instagram @jared_hazen. If you’re looking for some high-performance running gear be sure to head to Eastbay and shop all the best HOKA gear.
A.J. Andrews is known for her dynamic flair on the field, and eye-catching fashion off of it. She is recognized as one of the most exciting softball players in the world and is the first woman to ever win a Rawlings Gold Glove award. Off the field, A.J. is a motivational speaker who promotes women and girls’ empowerment and works as a special guest at softball clinics around the nation.
A.J. also preaches that one of the most important skills to work on in softball is hand-eye coordination. And we got an inside look into one of her favorite drills that focuses on exactly that. Watch the video and follow the steps below to improve your hand-eye coordination and elevate your game.
Step-by-step Drill Instructions
Grab some tennis balls or softballs.
Get a friend, teammate, or parent to toss you the balls.
Start the drill in position like you would in the field of play.
Have the individual tossing the balls stand 5-10 yards away facing you.
To start the drill, have the individual toss one ball at a time in the air in different directions. For example: As soon as you catch one ball to your right, have the person throw another ball to your left.
Repeat the process back and forth from right to left.
Mix it up by having the individual throw the balls from front to back as well as side to side.
A.J.’s specialty is making spectacular plays on the field with ease. Check out the full list of products she uses to stay at the top of her game by clicking here or going to eastbay.com.
Tamera “Ty” Young is a 12-year WNBA veteran and CEO of TY1 Gear LLC. She was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, and the first female from James Madison University to ever get drafted. She also embraces being more than an athlete, and speaking on the racial and social justice issues that impact the country today. Check out her thoughts on how women’s basketball players have always been actively involved and on the forefront of change.
Q: Women’s basketball players have been extremely active in driving awareness to racial and social justice issues this season. Have you noticed this, and what are your thoughts on the subject?
A: Yeah, women’s basketball players have always been at the forefront, fighting for justice and fighting for equality. And there’s still things that are happening where we have to continue to try and bring more awareness to the issues. It’s not something that just happened either. It’s something that’s been happening, but because there are issues we’re still facing, whether that’s racism or whether that’s equality, we’re still having to fight for it. I think that the quality of social media is also helping bring more awareness to the issues, but overall women have always been at the forefront of this fight. It’s something we’ve always had to fight extra for too. We’ve already been fighting for our own rights, and that makes us more aware and makes us want to be in a position to use our platforms to fight for it.
Q: What did you think about the WNBA’s decision to dedicate this season to addressing these issues?
A: I wasn’t surprised by it. Because, like I said, women have always been at the forefront of these fights. We’ve always been finding ways to fight for social justice, for equality, to fight against racism. So when I saw that happen I thought it was amazing. But I wasn’t really surprised by it the way others may have been surprised. I just feel like women have always been using their platform for good. Women are the most marginalized group, so we have to fight the hardest.
Q: What do you thinks needs to be done by athletes and people in this country to spark substantial change?
A: To really spark the change, I think we all have to fight together and stand together. Not just athletes, everyone in general, and especially Black people. When you’re all together on something, it’s harder for people to be against you. We can put pressure on companies that we work with to take a stand. We have to lead the people who look up to us.
Q: What about the people that think who athletes shouldn’t speak on social or racial injustice issues?
A: Those people are part of the problem. You’re telling someone, just because they’re an athlete, that they need to “shut up and dribble.” But the majority of these athletes are Black. So how can you tell them not to fight against racism? If an athlete educated themselves, then they should be able to speak on what they know and believe.
Q: You’ve inspired so many young girls to be unapologetically themselves. What advice do you have for the next generation of female athletes?
A: I’ve just always been self-motivated to fight for what I want. They were my goals and dreams and I never wanted to just do what others thought was best for me. I am a firm believer of hard work, being a good person, and being myself. That took time, of course, but playing sports helped build my own self confidence. Throughout my whole journey, the three things that remained constant were to work hard, be a good person, and make the sacrifices that needed to be done for whatever future endeavor I had. So for the girls, I always tell them to be themselves, believe in themselves, and prove the doubters wrong. It’s hard for others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself first.
Jaliyah Manuel is a basketball prodigy, all-around athlete, actress, and philanthropist. She has taken the social media world by storm with her unmatched skills and hard work ethic. Jaliyah is known for being an extremely talented, multi-sport athlete, but one of her most impressive traits is how well she can handle a basketball at her young age.
Lucky for us, she shared some of her favorite drills that she uses to improve her ball handling skills and the benefits each drill provides.
Drill #1 – Improve Your Handles
This drill focuses on handling the ball quick with a pop-up defender in place. The defender or pad is used to give you less space to work so you become more efficient with the ball. This also helps you learn how to retreat out of your moves and then go back into them quickly. The dribble move Jaliyah is working on here is out, through the legs, behind the back, snatch behind the legs, but the drill can be used with any dribble combination.
Drill #2 – Improve Your Strength and Control
The point of this drill is to work your hands and build strength in your fingertips while working on controlling the ball with precision. Jaliyah uses the POWERHANDZ Anti Grip Weighted Gloves to give her hand muscles a little extra resistance. The key to this drill is to focus on staying low and moving your feet as fast as possible when going from cone to cone.
Jaliyah works tirelessly to perfect her craft, so she needs the best gear in the game to keep up with her work ethic. Check out her top basketball product picks here or visit eastbay.com
Shawna Gordon is a California native who has loved the beautiful game of soccer since she was four years old. She played in college at Long Beach State, and also professionally in the United States, Australia, and Sweden. Shawna now owns a non-profit called ‘Football For Her’, and her mission is to educate, motivate, and develop confidence in girls on and off the pitch; helping them reach their goals regardless of economic standing.
When Shawna is out on the pitch, she knows how important precise footwork is. Check out some of her favorite drills to improve your touch and dribbling skills.
Drill #1 – 3 Cone Drill
For this drill, you will need to set up three cones in a line with one step in between each cone. From there you will be working on the following touches using Shawna’s technique in the video below.
One touch passing
Behind the back half volley
Inside thigh, opposite foot volley
Chest, inside volley
Drill #2 – 8 Cone Drill
For this drill, you will need to set up eight cones two steps apart from each other. Using all surfaces of your feet, you will be working on getting more comfortable moving the ball in different directions without losing control. The moves you will be working on are as follows:
The L Turn and Drag Touch Up – Start by working through the same side of the cones then alternate to the other side.
Outside/Inside Same Foot Touch – Make sure you’re in an athletic position and you only take one step with your opposite foot every time you touch the ball.
2 Bell Roll – Roll the ball across your body and immediately take two inside touches, forcing you to alternate feet each time through.
Traditional Roll – Start with your inside foot on top of the ball. Without taking your foot off the ball, roll the ball outside and then across your body. With the opposite foot, roll the ball across your body and through the cones. Lastly, take a touch forward with your opposite foot and then repeat, starting with your other foot.
Additional Footwork Drills
These are a couple additional drills that you can do in succession to help strengthen footwork on the field.
One Touch Passing Drill – Get a partner and set up three cones in a line with about a yard between each. Start with a longer one-touch pass then move on to a short one-touch pass, ending with an L turn to bring you to the other side of the cones. Repeat with the opposite foot and do this drill faster with each rep to improve footspeed.
Resistance Band Drill – Use a resistance band while driving your knees and arms as hard as possible. Remember to lean forward slightly, keep your core tight, and go as fast as you can.
Ladder Dribble Drill – Use a ladder and step in with your closest foot. Then, take a step out with your initial starting foot so both feet are outside of the ladder and alternate direction. Remember to use the figure 8 motion and dribble back to the top of the ladder as quickly as possible.
Shawna also depends on the top-performing soccer gear to keep her footwork on point. To see her favorite product picks click here or visit eastbay.com.