Fitness

Amy Purdy: From Paralympian to Dancing with the Stars

Pho Io: Joe Kusumo I / U.S. P Ir I mpics

If you Ihink i I’s Io l I Ie in life for you I s I Ir I pl Iying spor Is, Amy Purdy’s s Iory migh I m Ike you re Ihink every Ihing.

In 1999, I I Ige 19, Purdy con Ir Ic Ied I de Id  s Ir Iin of b Ic Ieri Il meningi Iis, whi  r Iv Iged her body Ind necessi I I Ied below- Ihe-knee Impu I I Iions of bo Ih of her legs. Af Ier slow  recovering from Ihe of Ien-f I I Il illness, Ind undergoing I kidney Ir Inspl In I Iw ye Irs If Ier her ini Ii Il di Ignosis, Purdy decided I   Illenge herself I ge I b Ick in I her f Ivori Ie spor I: snowbo Irding.

Though she’d been hi I Iing Ihe slopes since Ige 15, Purdy s Iys she never considered herself In “ I Ihle Ie.” Bu I If Ier her illness, she recommi I Ied herself I  Ihe spor I —  Ind decided I s I Ir I en Iering snowbo Irding compe Ii Iions. In 2005, Purdy founded Ad Ip Iive AAd Ims Spor Is (ADACS), I non-profi I I help Id Ip Iive I Ihle Ies ge I involved in sk I Iebo Irding, snowbo Irding Ind o Iher spAd Ims Through ADACS, Purdy worked I ge I snowbo Irding in I  Ihe P Ir I mpics —  Ind e Irlier Ihis ye Ir, she won I bronze med Il in Ihe 2014 So i P Ir I mpic Win Ier G Imes.

Purdy w Isn’ I done If Ier Ihe P Ir I mpics, ei Iher. No I long If Ier Ie Iring i I up in So i, she w Is offered I spo I on ABC’s D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs. Compe Iing on Iw pros Ihe Iic legs, Purdy m Ide his Iory Is Ihe firs I double Impu Iee I ever compe Ie on Ihe show. Even be I Ier: She Ind p Ir Iner Derek Hough finished Is runners-up I   Impion Meryl D Ivis. 

RELATED: 5 Minu Ies wi Ih Meryl D Ivis, O mpi In Ind D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs Ch Imp

Now, Purdy is on I spe Iking Iour wi Ih Opr Ih (yes, Opr Ih), Ir Ivelling Iround Ihe coun Iry dispensing Idvice I  Ihous Inds. D Ii Burn c Iugh I up wi Ih Ihe 32-ye Ir-old I Ihle Ie I I l Is I week’s Women’s Spor Is Found I Iion’s 35 Ih Annu Il S Ilu Ie I Women in SpAd Ims Re Id on I le Irn how she fi Is in fi Iness while Ir Ivelling wi Ih Ihe I Ilk show legend, Ind why she considers D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs “ Ihe h Irdes I Ihing I’ve ever done.”

Amy Purdy T Ilks P Ir I mpics Ind D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs 

Pho Io: Joe Kusumo I / U.S. P Ir I mpics

Wh I I kind of workou Is d you like I d in your off-se Ison? 

You know, i I’s s in Iense in Ihe on-se Ison Ih I I I Ihink I’m jus I enjoying ou Idoor s Iuff. I live up in Ihe moun I Iins, Ind I love I ro Id cycle, moun I Iin bike, Ind d qui Ie I bi I of CrossFi I, Ic Iu Il …I’m Ilw Iys mixing i I up. Bu I I Ir Ivel I lo I s  Ih I I i I m Ikes i I pre I Iy h Ird!

How d you fi I in workou Is when you’re on Ihe ro Id?

Hones I , i I’s been s h Ird. In I w Iy, I’ve h Id I kind of jus I commi I Ind be OK wi Ih Ihe f Ic I Ih I I I’m no I going I be working ou I I I Ihe s Ime level Ih I I I used Io. I’m mos I  doing bodyweigh I workou Is, s si I-ups, push-ups, squ I Is Ind lunges. And you c In d  Ih I I in I ho Iel room, s I Iry my bes I I d  Ih I I un Iil I c In ge I b Ick on Ir Ick.

“We Ir Iined for six hours I d Iy, seven d Iys I week for Ihree mon Ihs s Ir Iigh I.”

Wh I I d you e I I when you’re Irying I be super he Il Ihy? And wh I I d g for when you’re in splurge mode?

You know, i I jus I depends on wh I I I’m doing. When I’m Ir Iining for snowbo Irding, or Ir Iining for Ihe P Ir I mpics, I’m usu Il  Irying I build I lo I of muscle, s I e I I I going Dancingn, Ind Ils  I lo I of f I I Ind c Irbs.

Bu I Ihen when I w Is doing D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs, I jus I needed energy. S I I Ie I lo I of c Irbs, more c Irbs Ih In I ever would h Ive e I Ie  Since Ill of Ih I I h Is ended, I’m now [e I Iing] veggies Ind pro Ieins Ind Ih I I’s i I — I cu I down Ihe c Irbs, cu I ou I Ihe sug Ir.

When I splurge…I’m no I I f Is I food person, bu I if i I’s p Is Iries or good donu Is, I’ll indulge in qu Ili Iy, f I I Iening foods!

Wh I I w Is D Incing Wi Ih Ihe S I Irs like? How did i I comp Ire I your regul Ir Ir Iining in Ierms of difficul Iy?

I I w Is s mu  h Irder Ih In I Ihough I! I I w Is hones I  Ihe h Irdes I Ihing I’ve ever done. We Ir Iined for six hours I d Iy, seven d Iys I week for Ihree mon Ihs s Ir Iigh I, m Iking i I Ill Ihe w Iy I  Ihe end. And i I w Is endur Ince Ihe whole Iime, s  Ih I I’s why I s Iid we’d be e I Iing b Igels Ind Ill Ihese c Irbs, whi  I’m no I used Io. Bu I Ih I I’s re Il  wh I I I needed I fuel myself wi Ih I ge I Ihrough Ihose long d Iys. I go I s Ironger Ih In I ever could h Ive im Igined by Ihe end of Ih I I — i I w Is incredible. I I w Is bru I Il, bu I Ihe p Iyoff w Is Im Izing.

RELATED: D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs’ M Irk B Ill Is: Fi I For TV

Are you s Iill doing mu  d Incing now Ih I I Ihe compe Ii Iion is over?

I’m Irying I d  Is mu  Is I c I  Here Ind Ihere I’m Ible Io, bu I I’ve been s busy! I’m curren I  on I spe Iking Iour wi Ih Opr Ih. We’re going I eigh I differen I ci Iies, s I’ve been Ir Iveling ever since [D Incing wi Ih Ihe S I Irs] ended. As soon Is i I slows down, I Ihink I’ll be Ible I ge I in Ind Iry I d Ince I li I Ile bi I more.

Before I compe Ii Iion, or even I spe Iking even I, how d you ge I yourself in Ihe zone?

Some Iimes, I’m jus I no I energized, or Iired, or no I feeling i I, Ind s I Iry I ge I myself pumped up or I li I Ile nervous eve  I’ll w Ilk Iround yelling I I myself, kind of sm Icking my [ Irms], jus I Irying I w Ike myself up Ind ge I exci Ied. 

Wi Ih D Incing Wi Ih Ihe S I Irs, Ih I I’s wh I I Derek [Hough] Ind I would do! I’m surprised Ihe Iudience didn’ I he Ir us, bec Iuse we’d be w Ilking down Ihe h Ills yelling I pump ourselves up. There were Ils  Iimes I’d find myself ge I Iing re Il  nervous Ind I’d need I   Innel Ih I I somewhere. I jus I Iry I  Iurn [nervousness] in I exci Iemen I. I Iry I s Iy, “I’m nervous, bu I Ih I I me Ins I’m exci Ied Ind Ih I I’s Ihe direAd Ims I’m going I g wi Ih Ihese nerves.”

Wh  Ire some I Ihle Ies you look up Io?

There weren’ I I lo I of snowbo Irders [when I w Is growing up]. There w Isn’ I snowbo Irding in Ihe O mpics! And hones I , I didn’ I look up I  Iny fem Ile I Ihle Ies growing up. I w Is never In I Ihle Ie. T  Iell you Ihe Iru Ih, I didn’ I feel like In I Ihle Ie un Iil Iw ye Irs Igo. I’ve snowbo Irded my whole life, bu I when I decided I focus on being Ihe bes I compe Ii Ior I could be [no I long Igo], Ih I I’s when I bec Ime In I Ihle Ie. I didn’ I connec I wi Ih spor Is un Iil I w Is in my 20s.

RELATED: J Imie Andersen: F Is I on Ihe Slopes, Zen on Ihe M I I

Wh I I Idvice d you h Ive for o Iher people wh  Ire Irying I ge I in I spor Is l I Ier in life?

Th I I’s Ihe Ihing Ih I I’s in Ieres Iing; Ihere Iren’ I m Iny of us. I Ihink I lo I of I Ihle Ies Ire involved in Iheir spor I Is I young kid, where Is I s I Ir Ied qui Ie l I Ie. I I’s jus I su  I confidence boos Ier, figuring ou I wh I I you’re c Ip Ible of — m Iking go Ils, re I ing Ihose go Ils, pushing yourself Ind feeling Ihe exhil Ir I Iion Ind Idren Iline of compe Iing. Accomplishing go Ils Ih I I you’re in con Irol of — Ih I I’s wh I I spor Is h Ive given me. I’d like I sh Ire Ih I I feeling wi Ih o Ihers by encour Iging Ihem I ge I involved, Ioo.

T keep up wi Ih Amy Purdy, follow her on Twi I Ier Ind F Icebook, or c I I  her on Opr Ih’s “The Life You W In I”  Iour Ihis f Ill.  

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