Natalie Coughlin: Lifestyle Guru

Jul 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Natalie Coughlin of the United States waves to the crowd after placing second in the women's 100m freestyle swimming final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports Images

By Lillian Nelson, Swimming World College Intern

For as long as I can remember, Natalie Coughlin has been an idol of mine. I had the privilege of meeting her for the first time when I was a scrappy age group swimmer at Cal Swim Camp, and have been infatuated by her wholesome personality, relentless work ethic, and overall lifestyle ever since. As I got older, competing in the same meets as her every once in a blue moon were all incredible experiences. She always manages to drop some jaws with her races, and is nothing short of a sweetheart when speaking with others.

Coughlin has been a strong presence in the swimming community for some time now. Her incredible athleticism, commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and charming, well-educated persona is the perfect recipe for a lifestyle guru we all can look to for inspiration and motivation.

Coughlin’s Instagram is one of the best and easiest places to go to for a little daily boost of girl power, ideas for cooking up something that is both good and good for you, or just to put a smile on your face when you see a post of her two adorable pups.

With all of her success, culture, and experience, she is an excellent role model for swimmers..and all other athletes of all ages. Here are three things we can learn from Coughlin’s Instagram alone.

1. Girl. Power.

Cal Team Training Camp, 2016 #GoBears

A photo posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

Coughlin regularly posts training pictures, often of her 5’8″ self thrown in the mix with the Cal men’s team. She never seems to shy away from a challenge in or out of the pool, and this can-do attitude pays off in front of the whole world at her frequent international appearances in meet circuits around the globe.

Coughlin transitions flawlessly from hard training to competing at the top of her game. Her excitement and positivity for the sport of swimming and the opportunities it brings her never appears go unappreciated.

I, for one, am more than excited to see how all of her hard work and dedication comes into play as we get closer and closer to this year’s US Trials in Omaha and the Olympic Games in Rio.

2. No pain, no gain.

Laughing because it hurts so bad. Gonna leave a mark! #AthleteLife

A photo posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

Coughlin, having been an elite athlete for many years now, is well aware that the things you do outside of the pool are just as important as the things you do inside of the pool. Active recovery, eating right, and strength training are three things this superstar does correctly 365 days a year.

Friday circuit! Can't decide which station is my favorite… Either this one or handstands. ?? #GoBears

A video posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

Posts of her pushing her limits inspire athletes across the country to do the same every single day. She is extremely in tune with her own body, which was taken notice of by ESPN Magazine, as she was heavily featured in their most recent Body Issue. Coughlin is the perfect example of what treating your body as a temple looks like. She puts care into what she puts into it, and works hard to keep it healthy every day. Not only that, but in doing these practices, she has worked her way to becoming one of the world’s most iconic athletes.

Slow count pull-ups. My arms are going to feel so good in my swim this afternoon! (NOT!)

A video posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

If Coughlin’s weight room posts don’t make you want to push yourself to the next level, I don’t know what will. Nothing but respect for this incredible athlete.

Once she is done with her workouts and recovery sessions, she heads home to cook up an incredible, fresh, healthy meal. She takes pride in crafting meals, not only for herself, but she even cooks for her fellow athletes.

Finished product! Helped @sport_nutricia teach my chicken adobo to the @usaswimming National Team here at training camp.

A photo posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

Is she not just the coolest?? This woman is unstoppable.

3. Swimmers are more than just athletes.

Coughlin is a prime example of a swimmer who gives back. Our sport gives us so much more than we ever really realize, and it is so important to give back to it. We are shaped by the swimming community, and the habits and discipline it instills in us is something that will remain a part of our humanity for a lifetime.

Even if it is just supporting fellow swimmers, Coughlin is always very genuine in her interactions, and walks around with a smile on her face.

Ran into another team making their way to training camp. Good luck at camp ladies!

A photo posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

Not only are swimmers more than athletes and community contributors, we swimmers are family. The teammates you look to for support in the lanes next to you will most likely be the people you look to for support for the rest of you life. Swimming has a way of creating a special bond between people, one that is sturdy, able to withstand plenty of hardship, and last a lifetime.

Besties, Bears and a bride. Celebrating the wedding of one of my best friends with my favorite ladies.

A photo posted by Natalie Coughlin (@nataliecoughlin) on

So thank you, Natalie Coughlin, for being a rockstar both inside and outside of the swimming community. Keep inspiring young athletes, leading by example, and shocking the world.

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6 years ago

my fevered girl