Today’s a big day.
We’re welcoming Anna Weis of USA Sailing to the Tribe as our newest Athlete Ambassador.
She’s a total badass hailing from Fort Lauderdale, FL and is currently in New Zealand prepping for Worlds, the first half of Olympic trials for sailing, which will begin on November 29.
Anna reached out to us after reading about the Snow Monkey story and we instantly knew we had to share her story with the rest of you. She’s a true example of what it means to take life by the reins and make your dreams reality through hard work, dedication, and straight up hustle.
We’d try to tell her story ourselves, but obviously she’s much better at it. So, we sat down with her (and by “sat” we really mean collaborated on a Google Doc because she’s off doing casual things like trying to go to the Olympics) to ask a few questions about her journey as a professional, female sailor, her take on health and wellness, what keeps her motivated, and much, much more.
Where are you from and where are you currently living/spending your time? I am from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Because of my competition and training schedule recently, I have been moving all over the place, but I head to New Zealand soon and will spend two months there.
How and when did you get into sailing? I got into sailing when I was about 7 years old. We lived right near a yacht club, which still to this day has one of the top sailing programs in the country. My older brother started in the program and of course me being the little sibling, I needed to do everything my brother did. I got hooked and had amazing coaches and friends that I am still extremely close with today. I grew up playing tons of other sports as well, however something special about sailing is that the friends you make will be with you for the rest of your life, which now looking back, I never really felt in other sports. I think the friends I made were what really kept me engaged, especially at a young age.
You studied at Boston University for 2.5 years before taking a leave of absence to pursue your dream of becoming an Olympian. What was it like to make that decision? How did you do it? The decision in itself was extremely easy for me personally. It was funny. Riley, my teammate, actually asked me to sail with him during my final exams. I immediately called my parents and started talking about sailing and doing this Olympic campaign. They kept telling me to hang up the phone and study. It’s safe to say I was very distracted in finishing up my exams. All of my coaches and advisors at BU were very supportive of me taking a leave of absence and I am extremely grateful for that. I knew school would always be there, so I had to take the chance to pursue my dream. Packing up my whole dorm last minute was probably the most stressful thing!
What advice would you give to someone who is in a position where they have an incredible opportunity to pursue their dreams, however taking that opportunity also comes with potential risk? The sailor in me would say “send it!” Life is too short to not take risks. If you want something, you should go after it. My dad always taught me that there are going to be risks with everything that you do. I’ve learned the more you commit to something, your once dream or goal will become reality. Go for it!
In order for the body to perform to its best ability, it needs to be properly nourished. But what many people forget is how important it is for your mind to be well taken care of, too. What do you do to maintain your mental focus? How do you take care of your body AND your mind? I think the mind is just as important as the body. Maintaining mental focus is very challenging and something I am trying to fine tune everyday. I have my jobs every day that I need to get done to make sure I am fully ready for sailing that day. Ticking things off of that checklist helps me stay focused and ready to go mentally. Knowing that I did things that are in my control really helps me get in the right mindset. At the end of the day, alone time allows me to relax and unwind and reflect on the day, so I know what I need to do better the next day. Also, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep is very important for my body and mind. I’ve found the more well rested and hydrated I am, the more I am thinking clearly and keeping my mind sharp.
What is it like to be a female athlete? Being a female athlete is pretty darn cool! I feel like there will always be this stigma that women aren’t as strong or fit as men. As a female athlete sailing in a mixed gender boat, it is really cool to be competing against other teams where men have the same job as me. I have kind of always embraced this stigma and have used it as motivation to keep getting stronger. I think it’s so cool to be super strong and powerful and to be able to fully tackle any physical or mental challenge ahead of me. When it comes to girls in general, I still feel like I’m going against the grain by wanting to lift weights and be as strong and fit as I can possibly be. I hope this perception changes because it’s rewarding and empowering to be a female and an athlete.
Why did you want to partner with Snow Monkey? I wanted to partner with Snow Monkey mainly for two reasons. One the product itself. It tastes amazing and is just straight up FUEL. Second, what the brand represents. I want to promote my belief that we should all be living a healthy and active lifestyle. I am inspired by the Snow Monkey founders’ determination and enthusiasm of creating a company that is so much more than just a delicious, nutritious product. Snow Monkey’s mission of strength through accessible, healthy living is everything I stand for. I am so excited to be a part of the Tribe!
Tell us something you think is important. What do you think the whole world should know? This might sound cliché, but I think it is so important to just be kind. I have a hard time wrapping my head around how some people treat others. I feel it takes more energy to be mean/rude. No one’s perfect but in a general sense I think just trying to be a nice person is one of my top priorities in life and something I believe is extremely important.
And now, for a few rapid fire questions.
What does your training regime look like? We usually have 3.5 hour training sessions on the water. A typical block would be four days on, one day off but it definitely varies (sometimes we do longer blocks; five or six days). After the on the water session, I will try to get in a gym session. Sailing is extremely physically and mentally demanding so the gym doesn’t always happen especially if the water training was very physical.
What is your favorite moment in a sailing competition? To date, standing on top of the podium at the PanAmerican Games and hearing the National Anthem. It was a feeling I can't put words into.
What’s next on the agenda for you? I head to New Zealand October 15th to begin training for our Worlds at the beginning of December which is our first half of the Olympic Trials.