Jennie Finch - Olympic Gold Medal Softball Player

Q.Jennie, please clear this up for me: what's the difference between softball and baseball?

Basically softball is a bigger ball and we play with smaller dimensions. We pitch underhand while baseball pitchers throw over hand.

Q.Did you ever dream you'd make it to the Olympics? It must've been surreal for you!

Wearing USA across my chest was something I dreamt about for a long long time! Its the biggest stage in sport. A true honor!

Q.At what point did you feel you had really made it as a female baseball star?

There was a moment when I was in college and was asked to pose with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling for a photo that I just couldn’t believe it was happening. But I have to say that standing alongside my idols like Lisa Fernandez on the gold medal podium in the 2004 Olympics, that was a huge moment for me.

Q.You became somewhat of an athletic sex symbol as you rose to softball stardom. Flattering or not?

For me it was always about being the best athlete I could be. It was going after goals and playing the game that I love. I always tried to bring any attention I received back to my team and the sport.

Q.And when you finally retired...was it a shock to your system?

It was a relief in a way to step aside from my competitiveness. It definitely loosened me up. When competing, it's about holding up that expectation and not letting competitors see the different sides of you as a person. There can’t be any sign of weakness.  

Q.What about favorite workouts for loosening up while maintaining your svelte physique?

I love running. All you need is a pair of shoes and you can go. I’m lucky enough to also have a Timex GPS, so it’s even easier for me. I just head out and it tracks my distance, pace, heart rate and everything. I love the simplicity of it!

Q.You ran the 2011 NYC Marathon for Timex and raised over 30K. What made you want to run for them?

Timex partnered with Amani Toomer in [2010]. And I’m competitive, so I wanted to do at least as well as he did!  It was a great way to raise awareness for a good cause--New York Road Runners Youth Programs.

Q.Are you into fitness fashion and what gear can't you live without?

I love it! I wear Mizuno whether I'm on the softball field or in the gym.

Can't go without my Timex Run Trainer with GPS watch. It really helps me get through my running workouts by focusing on the little goals within the big goal. Can I run a faster pace this mile? How has my heart rate improved over time? Those kinds of things. It also makes it really easy to communicate with my coach when she's not around. I just upload the data and she can take a look.

Q.Pre-workout snack before you run?

I like a banana pre-workout. And I'm on this peanut butter pretzel kick right now. Good protein and some carbs!

Q.Let's talk about your book called "Throw Like A Girl". What inspired it?

In Throw Like A Girl, I wanted to share my message of having dreams and believing in them! You can do anything if you want it bad enough. I share my failures, struggles, and trials. It's for parents and coaches too, to help them see from an athlete’s perspective.

Q.How is it different than other active lifestyle guides?

Throw Like A Girl is less of a guide, and more just me sharing my experiences to help encourage others. Hopefully it helps inspire others to dream their own dreams and go after them!

Q.Would you ever consider doing a fitness dvd? Do you ever work out to them?

I would love to do a fitness DVD! Yes, I’ve often used them when I’m traveling. I love variety in workouts, and fitness DVDs are part of that.

Q.Thoughts on the growing number of fitness stars on TV and online?

We need more people positively encouraging others... We need more people to be active, it's awesome! That's the best part about what I do--encouraging girls to play.

Q.Who inspires you to keep aiming for gold (even though you kind of already won it)?

As a mom of 2, it's all the working moms out there raising a family and still finding a way to be active and fit! So many amazing women out my marathon coach, Susanne Davis. I’m so inspired by her. She’d just come off an Ironman in Hawaii a few days before where she’d broken the amateur record, and here we were running 8 miles in the park like it was nothing for her. She’s a mom with kids, too, and to be that physically fit is just amazing.



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