You have an extended high-level swimming career (awesome!). You are still racing, winning the 50 Free at the March 2009 Austin Grand Prix. What is it about swimming - or about you - that keeps you in the pool?
The fact that I love this sport and I'm still improving motivates me to keep going. Plus I love to race and compete.
What are your favorite pre and post swim foods or meals?
Before I swim I like to drink a Living Fuel shake. It provides me with a solid nutritional base that allows my body to work at its best day in and day out, and it gives me the energy I need to compete at the highest level. I also take Fitness Nutrition Amino Acids which help build and repair muscle tissue post-swimming.
Everyone these days (late 2008/early 2009) is talking about swim suits. I think most folks know that you held up an Olympic race to help another competitor when her suit malfunctioned. What's your take on the advances in "competitive swimming" apparel (I am trying to stay brand neutral here - you don't need to be).
In every sport there's going to be equipment advancement, that's just normal progression. The advancement wasn't as much of a surprise as the fact that they seemed to be three steps ahead and improved them probably five years earlier than what was expected.
How is your shoulder? Any other things that you have found to watch for/be careful with as you continue to mature?
My shoulder is great! After my second surgery, it's the best that it's felt in years. One thing I have to watch out for is arthritis in my knee. Outside of swimming, I also like to run and the pounding of my feet on the pavement puts incremental stress on my knees. Swimming really is the best because it's non-impact exercise.
You are a part of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) - cool. As your daughter moves through school (she is two+ years old now, so this is looking well down the road) how do you see yourself as a school mom?
I like to be as involved as possible in my daughter's life. My mom was president of the local PTA in Beverly Hills and I try to follow mom's footsteps, being a good role model. Even with a crazy schedule, I still keep in touch with Tessa's teachers and always am up-to-date with what's going on.
Dara, thank you for your time, congratulations on your successes, and all the best for your future.