With less than a week before game time, 2013 SoCal Regional champion Lindsey Valenzuela took some time away from training to chat about the more important things in life, including her fears, favorites and who truly pushes her in her training.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Honestly, I feel perfectly happy in life when I am spending time with my husband Arsenio, at home with my two dogs, relaxing. I really appreciate the time we spend together. I’m not a complicated person. I really enjoy the small things!
Do you get to train with your husband?
Yeah, Arsenio is at DogTown training with me every day he has off.
Who is stronger, you or Arsenio?
He is! He does my programming with me when we train together. It is good for me to be challenged by him when I can’t train with people like Sam (Briggs) or Ruth (Anderson-Horrell). He is good at different things than I am, so he pushes me in those areas, like chest-to-bar pull-ups and running. He’ll either do the same weight to push me or he’ll go heavier if he wants to, just depending on what result we are looking for from that session.
It sounds like your dogs are really important to you, too. What role do they play in your life?
Ace and Rocco, my English bulldogs, are a handful! But they are getting me ready for kids (laughs). I think Arsenio and I will be ready to have children in the next year or two for sure.
What is your favorite food outside of your regular diet?
I like the fiesta mix chips at the Mexican food shops! Being with Arsenio for almost eight years, I have come to love Mexican food. Authentic is the best. His mom cooks awesome traditional food. If you are eating with her, you can tell her you are full, but she’ll put even more food on your plate! I eat way too much on those days. I also think I love Mexican food so much because that was all my mother could eat when she was pregnant with me!
Who are you most looking forward to seeing, meeting, and/or hanging out with at the Games?
I always look forward to hanging out with Sam, Ruth and Lucas (Parker). Lucas is hilarious. We did a seminar together and I couldn’t stop laughing. I train with Sam and Ruth once in awhile, so I really like being around both of them any time.
Working out with Ruth and Sam has been some of the best times of my life. We all laugh and push each other mentally. I’m actually going to New Zealand in August to do a team competition with Ruth. It will be my first time out of the country. I’m waiting to get my passport in the mail right now.
What characteristics do you most admire in a competitor?
I think a good competitor is an honest competitor. I really admire that trait. When a competitor holds himself or herself to a high standard for everything they do, that is good. I also admire pure, hard work. It is neat to see people make it that have had to work at it. They have had to sacrifice and that is neat.
What are your fears and what makes you nervous about the Games?
I’m not really scared or fearful of anything. The only thing that is different at the Games this year is all of the new girls. Lindsey Smith said it best when she explained that the rookies will be afraid of the veterans because of their experience and the veterans will be afraid of the rookies because they don’t know the rookies’ capabilities. I am not fearful or scared, but the new competitors are a new factor.
Do you feel better prepared for the longer events this year?
Definitely … I think that all of my training has helped. I had the amazing opportunity of doing SealFit. That really helped a lot mentally. I loved it! It was a life-changing experience because it proved to me that I could endure anything. I learned that your mind goes before your body does, so if I tell myself I can do something, and believe it, I will overcome whatever obstacle I am facing.
Does anything bother you before you compete?
Not really, I’m stuck in tunnel vision! I don’t think of things until after I have competed, I am just focused on what I need to do at the time. I think I missed a high five from Dave Castro at Regionals, so I am sorry for that!
What is the best possible outcome that could happen at the Games?
My goals haven’t changed much from last year. First, I want to finish every workout, second, I want to make it to the third day and the final workout, and third, I want to be in the top 10. The last goal is to be in the top five. I really think that you have to set small goals to build upon, that is why my goals get tougher and tougher as the weekend progresses. I believe that if you set small goals, you can achieve that huge goal. That is how I live.