Her Sweat Story: Olympian Naomy Grand’Pierre Talks Training & Swimming for Haiti

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On my cheat days: I definitely sleep in. I don’t really eat processed foods that aren’t good for you. If I go to a restaurant and I’m getting a really nice dessert then I’ll do that. I love Haitian food. My favorite is legume with diri (rice and legume), banan pezé (fried plantains) is my favorite. I love Haitian hot chocolate because nothing is as ever as thick and sweet as hot chocolate. I love Haitian macaron gratin. Whenever I go to Haiti, I get lumbi and lobster.

My least favorite workouts: They’re called croggle reps because you’re crying in your goggles. It’s a best average set— high intensity, high threshold, not a lot of reps [but] very hard grueling reps. Those sets are very painful and to get the best out of those sets, you need to stay at that pain threshold so you can increase your pain tolerance. You’re pushing your body to the limit.

My meals during training season: Strictly protein and only healthy food. In the morning, I’ll eat three scrambled eggs, ham, cheese and tomatoes. For lunch, I’ll have a salad with two pieces of chicken and for dinner, it’ll be pasta or another salad with hard boiled eggs. I’ll add fruit or orange juice but the centerpiece of each meal is having as much protein as I can.

My advice to young swimmers: One: get things in perspective. For me, there were a lot of days when I would wake up at 5 in the morning so exhausted from staying up late from the night before doing homework. I’m sore from lifting and I just want to snooze my alarm, but keep things in perspective. I’m getting up because I’m training. I’m trying to make a difference in Haiti. I’m trying to qualify in the next Olympic games. Keeping things in perspective helps you for the days you lose motivation, you feel like giving up and quitting. Having that perspective really helps you have the will to continue. 

My second piece of advice is to never give up on your dreams. There’s this quote that really spoke to me, “If your dreams don’t scare you, then you’re not dreaming big enough.” There’s nothing that’s too big that I can’t do. It’s just a matter of writing your goals down and figuring out the baby steps you need to take in order to achieve what you need to do. It’s funny because for a long time, I really wanted to go to the Olympics and everyone told me that it wasn’t possible and it was something that I couldn’t do and I was able to do the impossible. It’s just a matter of having that mindset and realizing that anything you want to do is definitely doable.

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