We are thrilled to welcome Michelle Parker to our KAMU family! As she gears up for her next season (winter), KAMU products have become an integral part of her daily ritual, keeping her in top physical and mental condition.
You may know world-class Red Bull multi-sport athlete and badass freeskier Michelle Parker from her dozens of ski movie appearances. She took home Best Female Performance at the Powder Video Awards in 2013 and 2019 and at the iF3 Movie Awards in 2013 and 2020.
A Tahoe native, Michelle is no stranger to the demands of a busy winter ski season. She started skiing at age one, participated in the Mighty Mites program at Squaw Valley as a kid, and was on the pro skiing circuit for 18 years before her focus shifted to freesking.
The grueling physical and mental requirements of the freeskier lifestyle had a real impact on Michelle early on. “I started to realize how much health and wellness fit in to being at the top of my game as a skier.”
Although ski season preparation is in full swing with the Sierra Nevada just receiving their first measurable snow falls, Michelle carved time out of her busy schedule for a quick chat with us at KAMU.
We’re just coming out of the warm season and getting excited for snow. What are your favorite ways to stay in shape in the summer months?
I love spending as much time as possible outside doing activities that I love. Thankfully, riding my bike has proven to be a great way to have fun and maintain lower body muscle and function. I like heading into the season in good cardio condition. There's nothing that's going to get you in perfect skiing shape other than skiing, but all the prep definitely helps.
Hiking is also a great way to get ready for the season. My favorite excuse to go for a hike is to catch the sunrise. Hiking consists of slow moving, uphill cardio, and it’s hugely beneficial if you are interested in hiking uphill once winter hits. It’s so important to keep your lower body fit so you avoid injury when ski season starts.
While skiing certainly focuses a lot on the lower body, it's a full body sport and for injury prevention, I love to build up strength in my upper body as well. Yoga is a gentle way to do this. Holding certain poses for a while helps increase strength and mobility in the upper body. I also love to climb as a really fun activity to help maintain upper body strength.
Do you intensify your workouts in the fall, as we lead into winter?
I do this really simple lower body workout to get ready for the season:
10 squats, 10 jumping squats, 10 lunges, 10 jumping lunges - this circuit obviously focuses on the legs. I try to get through three rounds, but be careful! While it may seem easy at the time, it can leave you pretty sore the next day. Start with one or two rounds and then increase intensity and reps as your body adapts to the new movements.
Staying limber as the weather gets colder has always been key for me. Drinking a lot of water and tea has proven to keep my joints feeling lubricate. Checking in with myself for at least ten minutes every morning while taking KAMU Vitality keeps my mind clear and ready for anything.
Aside from the body, I always like to start my ski season well brushed up on avalanche awareness. Education and knowledge in the mountains is a key component to coming home safely.
As you said, skiing is a full body sport which includes maintenance of your overall health. How do you ensure you’re staying healthy all winter long?
Routine! It’s so important. As an athlete, much of my work is done while on the road. Incorporating routine into my daily life is one element that helps me maintain peace of mind and a balanced lifestyle. Because of this, I've been thoroughly enjoying using a few KAMU products on the regular which have made a noticeable difference in my health.
Can you give us an example of your routine?
My morning routine, whether I’m at home or on the road, includes setting an intention for the day and taking KAMU Vitality, which is a nice little immune booster. It's a moment that I can set aside for myself at the start of each day and pay attention to what I want to accomplish; it's a daily check-in and I love adding Vitality as part of this exercise.
I also really love the KAMU Recover Balm. The ingredients are extremely high quality. When my muscles are sore at the end of an active day, I like to quiet my mind and use Recover where I need it. It’s a nice post-workout meditation, and I notice and feel the difference right away, mentally and physically.
Do you tend to wake up fresh for your morning routine? With all your traveling, sleep must be hard to come by. What’s your work around for this?
When I’m on the road my hectic schedule definitely can impede a healthy night’s sleep. I usually read before bed and lately I’ve been incorporating KAMU Dream sleep aid drops in my evening routine. They are fast and effective, live on my nightstand at home, and are always with me on the road. Taking a few drops before I begin reading calms my mind, and before I know it I’m ready to sleep.
And while I’m not a big drinker, on the rare occasion that I do have a couple glasses of wine, I have been so surprised how well KAMU Revive works to rid a possible hangover! When taken before bed after a night of drinking I have woken up feeling 100%. In fact, I have a Whoop band that tells me my recovery when I wake up. Even with one beer, my recovery is down in the morning. With Revive, even after two glasses of wine, my Whoop band shows me at full recovery, which is absolutely incredible.
With so many companies selling similar products, why KAMU Labs specifically?
There are a lot of CBD companies out there. KAMU is the only one where I notice actual benefits. Their full spectrum ingredients balance mental health and clarity. From their packaging to the way it tastes, you can tell they really care. Their products instill calmness, and this sets KAMU’s line apart from other CBD products. In fact, I’ve never thought about partnering with a CBD company until now because I’ve never actually felt the benefits until KAMU! Plus, all of these blends taste incredible.
Getting stoked for ski season isn’t limited to health and wellness. A wholesome dose of inspiring ski films is also required. Be sure and check out Matchstick Productions’ “Huck Yeah” which is also Michelle Parker’s latest ski movie feature that came out September 2020, and also features Hoji, Sam Kuch, and Bobby Brown.
We’re also excited about Michelle’s film in production, “The Mountain Why.” Release dates coming soon.
When mind, body, and stoke are aligned, your ski season is off to a great start. Create your routine, tone up those legs, and get ready for a healthy, action-packed winter.
Thank you, Michelle! We’re so happy that KAMU has been able to help you stay on top of your game. We wish you the best this season!
All photos courtesy of Aaron Blatt, @blattphoto.