01 July 2008

Dara Torres: insane body at 41

Some of you might remember Olympic gold medal swimmer, Dara Torres. She was one of the first athletes to pose alongside models in Sports Illustrated and has been known for her amazing comebacks, first retiring at 25 and then coming back 8 years later at the Olympics in Sydney to win more medals. Now, at 41, and with a 2 year old daughter, she is trying for a spot on the American squad for Beijing.

Her body is amazing (and slightly unsettling). Having to compete with much younger athletes has caused her to devote obsessive attention to her physique. She kept up her insane fitness regimen even when she was pregnant and very soon post-baby:
"At the time, she began swimming again for exercise, because, she says, she had terrible morning sickness and she’d “rather throw up in the pool gutter than next to the StairMaster.” But predictably, Torres soon found herself racing “whoever the middle-aged guy happened to be in the next lane,” even when she was noticeably pregnant. Three and a half months postpartum, she raced at the Masters World Championships. Fifteen minutes after nursing Tessa in the bathroom, she swam the first leg of the 50-meter freestyle relay in 25.98 seconds — fast enough to qualify for this week’s Olympic trials. "
While Torres is an athlete and understandably, she has to train to succeed and her body needs to be conditioned, a recent article featuring Torres in Women's Health says in it's opening sentence:
"This diehard Olympic swimmer is proof that (1) your body can be rock-hard at 40; (2) a baby doesn't have to slow you down; and (3) when it comes to any goal, it's all about how bad you want it"
I think Torres' regimen is pretty unreasonable for the average mum who is just getting back into shape and should in no way aspire to look like her. I don't think the article emphasises enough that Torres is a professional athelete; that she HAS to be lean to do her job. I mean who cares if your body is 'rock hard' at 40 if you don't depend on your body for your livelihood (like a celeb or an athlete)? Go for your life if that is important to you but seriously, it's just another not-so-subtle message that if your body is flabby or you're 'old' then you suck as a woman and a mother.

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