Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cheribundi Ambassador: Olympic Rower Esther Lofgren

Coming Home with Gold
by Janine Frank

Many of us dream of it, very few achieve it. But Esther Lofgren knows what it’s like to win Olympic gold.

“It’s the best feeling in the world!” she says.

Lofgren achieved that remarkable triumph at the 2012 Olympics in London last month where she competed in Women's 8 Rowing. The race itself lasted just 6 minutes and 10.59 seconds, but the sweet victory was years in the making and now a memory that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Lofgren, a 27-year-old from Newport Beach, California, first started rowing when she was in high school. She was playing volleyball at the time and needed a way to cross-train. But she got hooked on the sport and eventually switched over to rowing exclusively.

Lofgren describes rowing as an endurance power sport. “Besides balancing in a long, tippy boat, a race is equivalent to power-lifting as quickly as you can for 5 to 7 minutes.” She says a lot of the training that goes into rowing is logging miles and miles in the boat to build up the lungs and muscles for the more intense challenge of racing.

During training for London, Lofgren discovered Cheribundi, a drink that she says is ideal for those in endurance sports. “I drink Cheribundi about once a day, especially after endurance cardio workouts when I need to replenish glycogen stores and get antioxidants in my body.”

Lofgren says the Whey Cheribundi with added protein is very similar to the home-made recovery drink she used earlier in the year before she discovered Cheribundi. “But with the bonus of taking zero prep and being really easy to toss in my gym bag,” she adds.

And since she’s a national team athlete, she appreciates how wholesome Cheribundi is. “I am subject to random drug testing and it’s really nice to have a supplement that is quality tested so I don’t have to worry about contamination. It’s just a wholesome product that’s great for recovery and is what it says it is,” Lofgren explains.

Rowing may come somewhat naturally to Lofgren considering her parents were also elite U.S. rowers. She says they’ve been her biggest inspiration. “My mom was actually the last woman cut from the 1984 Olympic quadruple sculls, a boat that went on to win gold,” she explains. “I was cut from the 2008 boat that also went on to win gold.”

But she was determined to go to the Olympics and continued with the sport hoping for a 2012 opportunity. When it materialized, Lofgren felt deeply grateful to those who helped her get there. “As soon as we crossed the finish line, I was totally overcome. I thought about all of the people who’d believed in me, who’d supported me through all of the training it took to win gold.”

So what’s next for someone who finally achieved her lifelong goal?

“I’m not sure. Right now, I’m looking for a job. I’m giving the real world a shot for the next several months, but I’m leaving the door open on whether I want to keep rowing.”

With Lionel Richie in the green room of the Today Show.
Even though she’s won a gold medal, Lofgren says she still has a couple more athletic goals she would like to achieve. “I’ve just started road biking and I’m getting ready to do a century ride: 100 miles! I love running and am also working towards running my first marathon this fall.”

After winning gold it could be hard to stay motivated for new challenges, but Lofgren says that’s not the case. “In life, I go by the mantra “Trust the Journey.” All of the ups and downs I have been through in rowing and in life make the great things that happen that much more special. I don’t ever wish for things to be easy, only worth it.”

And as for 2016? “Everyone keeps asking about Rio, which is way too far away to think about…but man! Who wouldn’t want to do this again?”

Janine Frank lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her husband, two sons and golden retriever. She writes about fitness, natural products and the great outdoors.


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