Olympic gold medalist and water polo player Caroline “KK” Clark doesn’t have a lot of time to relax. “When the team is in full-time training, the day begins when my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m.,” says KK, who lives in nearby Hermosa Beach and starts the day with her go-to bacon and egg sandwich with avocado, spinach, tomato and cheese.
“Where we are in the season determines what the weight training session looks like,” she continues, “but we run, cycle, use free weights, do Olympic lifts. Usually by 8:45 a.m. we’re changing into our swimsuits and jumping in the pool for a conditioning-focused swim workout.”
The adjustment to life after the Olympic Games has been very challenging for KK. “The more athletes I speak with, the more I realize it’s not just me that has gone through a sort of ‘Olympic depression,’” she shares. “The life I had been used to, with a very controlled schedule and training regime, came to an abrupt halt. That, mixed with coming off the emotional high of an Olympic gold medal, was a bit paralyzing.”
KK decided there is life after sport, and she’s eager to explore what that will be. “It will be difficult to say goodbye to international competition and playing with Team USA, but I look forward to being a beginner again and starting a new career from scratch. I will always have my ties to water polo, and I look forward to using what I’ve learned the last four years with the National Team in whatever it is I do next.”
When she isn’t working out or in the pool, KK is likely reading a good book or dreaming of an escape to her favorite Hawaiian island, Kauai. But for a spa day or a weekend getaway, she prefers Terranea Resort. The newly launched wellness retreats for guests staying at The Bungalows feature rooms stocked with yoga mats, foam rollers and exercise bands, along with a personalized fitness consultation and evaluation.
“Having lived in Los Angeles the last 10 years of my life, I’ve learned it’s not always easy to get anywhere quickly,” she shares. “Planning a weekend getaway or even a nice dinner out can become much more work than necessary. What I love about the resort is that while being close and accessible, once you check in, put your bags down and look out the window upon the views of the ocean, you are transported.”
KK started off her day with The Spa at Terranea’s new Mediterranean Muscle Relief body treatment. “This is relaxation at its very best,” says KK. “From the professionalism and kindheartedness of the staff to the soothing elements of the room, I became lost in the deepest moment of relaxation. The sound of the waves crashing onto the rocks adds even more to the already sensory-rich experience.”
About her treatment, KK says it was “like nothing I’ve experienced before. I was first massaged and exfoliated with freeze-dried lava. After that was buffed off, I was then covered with clay and wrapped in foil until it set. I then was placed in a warm bath until the clay soaked off my skin. The treatment finished with a full-body massage, and I left the spa feeling completely rejuvenated.”
Lap of Luxury
The Spa Pool at Terranea lends itself to so many activities. Guests can engage in a swim workout while others lay poolside catching the rays of the sun. “The peaceful environment is all you need to rest, recuperate and recharge the batteries,” explains KK. “For lunch we dined at the Spa Café just next to the pool. I ordered the summer salad, which was by far one of the highlights of my day. The colors and the tastes were so delightful.”
KK’s Top Fitness and Wellness Tips
I think learning to be aware of your mind, your body and your surroundings is so important. You cannot be expected to reach your goals if you’re not in tune with the context you’re aiming to achieve them through. It’s far easier said than done, but there are ways to improve your ability to be present and aware. Everyone is different, but I’ve found that guided meditation is helpful for me.
I heard a great quote once: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” I love it. If you’re anything like me (a bit of a perfectionist), I become really anxious if I’m not hitting all of my goals and completing every task on my to-do list. I can get overwhelmed with the smallest things, so it’s important to give yourself a break.
Life is more than one thing, and while I was training for the Olympics, it was about more than water polo. You have to nourish your friendships, hobbies, the things that make your soul feel good. It’s not always easy to maintain balance in your life, so be gentle with yourself when you realize it might be time to change what you’re doing.
Have a Mantra
Our coach, Adam Krikorian, repeated “fitness is a lifestyle” to us throughout our four-year journey. And I always hate admitting it, but he was right. While we were hard at work in the weight room, Adam would be running miles for time outside.
It continually struck me that our coach talked the talk and walked the walk. He expected a standard of physical effort, ability and endurance from us that he too strove to reach.
Upon being back from the Olympics, it hasn’t been easy adjusting from the hours we spent training. Working out has become voluntary, as opposed to what I did for my job. By accepting that fitness is a lifestyle (not something I should do or have to do), I’ve found myself embracing the notion that working out is not only good for your body but your brain as well.
For more information on The Spa and wellness offerings, please contact (855) 416-3928.