(Living Well With)

Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn Says Self-Care, For Her, Involves Lots Of Sleep

It’s her beauty secret.

TZR; JC Olivera/WireImage
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As a champion alpine skier with eight World Cup season titles and an Olympic gold medal, Lindsey Vonn has spent the majority of her life in training, competing, and generally surrounded by people at all times. But, these days, the athlete is finding joy in the more mundane aspects of life, like catching up on sleep and spending quality quiet time with her three rescue pups, Lucy, Leo, Jade (who you can follow on their dedicated Instagram account).

“I, for a long time just wasn't getting what I needed,” explains Vonn on a Zoom call with TZR, referring to the lack of rest she was experiencing in the years leading up to her 2019 retirement. “I think everything came to a head when I retired and I was forced to address it. I actually went to a doctor and I was prescribed Quviviq, and it's been helping me sleep more. [Now] I'm more rested and I have more energy. I wish that I had had that as an athlete because I think it would've done wonders for my recovery [from various surgeries and injuries] and how I performed, but at least I have it now.”

Over the past few years Vonn has been much more intentional about listening to her body and giving it the balance it needs. While she still skis recreationally and dedicates much of her time to her namesake foundation, which empowers underserved girls via camps and scholarship programs, things have certainly slowed for the Minnesota native — and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Ahead, read on as Vonn talks health and wellness and how she practices self-care in this new chapter of life.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I take my dogs out. There are not many mornings where [my dog] Lucy doesn't abruptly wake me up before my alarm to remind me that she has to go to the bathroom. My other two dogs could probably sleep until mid-morning without having to go, but Lucy's a bit of a high-maintenance diva. That's definitely the first thing I do when I wake up. And then I kind of start into my routine, wash my face, and make breakfast. If I'm lucky, I'll have the time to work out or go skiing. Now, that I'm sleeping better, I'm able to do those things in the morning. Before, I was too tired and I would always procrastinate my exercise until later in the day, because I just didn't have the energy in the morning. But now I can do pretty much everything in the morning.

When you have the chance to treat yourself, what do you do?

I mean, honestly, my ideal day off is just being at home, on the couch, putting my phone away, snuggling with my dogs, and watching my favorite show. I just don't get that many opportunities to just unplug and not see humans. As much as I love people, I also love to not be around them. Just being around my dogs and not talking. That, to me, is the most resting and relaxing thing I can do.

What’s your favorite show? What are you watching right now?

I'm a big Yellowstone fan. I mean, I've loved Kevin Costner since The Bodyguard, and obviously, Harrison Ford because of Indiana Jones. So, now, I'm into 1923. I've been holding off the [newer] episodes because they keep coming out [weekly] and I like to binge. I don't like to get done with an episode and have to wait for the next one.

One thing you can’t live without is...

My dogs.

Where are you dreaming of traveling to? Why?

I've been in the mountains my whole life, so whenever I get an opportunity to be on a beach somewhere, I take it. I don't have any plans yet, but on my bucket list is Fiji and the Maldives, places like that. I used to spearfish a lot and I want to try to do a vacation where I can do that. I don't know, if I get the opportunity, I will definitely take it.

I love free diving — it's very meditative as well. It's one of those things where you have to be so focused. Kind of like skiing, where you're focused on one thing, but it's physically very demanding as well. There's a lot of precision that’s involved. I don't know. I love it. Being in the water is very quiet.

What’s your go-to secret weapon when you want to look and feel good?

I mean, honestly, the most important thing for me has been sleep. I have the worst bags under my eyes and I'm not good with beauty routines in the way that most of my friends are. The more I sleep, the better I look. I don't have as many wrinkles under my eyes when I sleep better. But also, I'm getting into more face oils. I've actually not been wearing any type of foundation or concealer lately — just a lot of oils and it's given me a really glowy look. I'm sticking with it. It's also less maintenance. I don't have to put on makeup, just some mascara and I'm good.

Do you have a favorite workout/wellness practice?

If I have a short period of time, I think just a quick 25-minute interval session on the bike will usually be what I gravitate towards. But, for me, I've been in a routine my whole life, following a program that I was given by my trainer. I like the freedom of being able to go to the gym and do whatever I want to do. But, definitely 25-minute interval sessions are some of my favorites. Doing some squats or things that make me feel strong, that’s what I love to do.

What’s a healthy meal you always make/order?

I'm super boring. I have learned to enjoy cooking, but I'm just not great at it, so my menus are pretty limited. When I'm home, I eat mainly salad with salmon or chicken. I've gotten in the habit of making stir-fry for lunch with some type of kelp noodle or something like that. Breakfast is pretty basic. It's eggs, avocado, maybe an English muffin with some butter and jam. But, again, I don't mind the monotony because it's something that I can rely on. There are so many variables in my life, that just keeping it simple actually makes things a lot nicer for me.

Do you remember your first big splurge? Do you still own it?

It was a car. I always borrowed my parents' car and then I had a Tahoe. I drove quite a bit from Colorado to Utah for training. It's a six-hour drive, so I would go back and forth all the time. But, I don't really spend money. When I had the money, I just waited until I could get a nice car and that's what I did.

What are you saving up for at the moment?

I really want to get a boat because I live in Miami most of the time now. My dogs love the water. I was borrowing my friend's boat last summer, and it was just so nice to be able to go and pull up to one of those little islands. My dogs would just run around and I’d throw balls to them in the water — it's just so fun. I think if I had my own boat, I would go and spearfish a lot more. Just having that quality time with my dogs and friends, and things like that I think would be really nice. I'm saving up for that.

One thing you want to go back and tell your younger self?

I wouldn't give myself any advice because I think a lot of my mistakes taught me important lessons in my life. While they were all pretty painful, emotionally and sometimes physically, I think that they were all a really important part of the growing process and figuring out who I am. I think being able to survive some things made me a much tougher person. So, I'd just let myself run into the wall and pick myself back up again.