I AM…JESSICA SCHULTZ

AND I AM…ROCK LIFE

How much do I love curling, aka Rock Life?

Well, after leaving my folks and beloved Alaska to live in Minnesota – the curling capital of the United States – I used to practice at two o’clock in the morning. After working two jobs…the second one serving drinks during the late shift at the local curling club.

It’s this passion for curling that inspired me to create the “Rock Life” slogan, logo and apparel for Athlete Originals. I want everyone to know about curling. I want everyone to see all there is to love about curling.

Curling has given me a great life – including participation in two Winter Olympics – and it could do the same for you.

Whether you aspire to be an Olympian or not, taking up curling is a win-win proposition. Why can I say this? Because the curling community – no matter where you play – consists of many of the nicest people you will ever meet. You will make friends, have fun, enjoy a healthy lifestyle and – who knows? – maybe someday you could represent your country at the Olympics.

It’s not a Hard Rock Life. It’s a great life.

It’s a mission of mine to spread the word about the greatness of the sport of curling. Curling is all about camaraderie. The connection you feel with your teammates and the curling community is really incomparable. It’s also a sport in which people from ages 7 to 90 can really engage in.

Like golf (another sport people of all ages can play), curling can be humbling. That’s another reason why I love it. Every time you step on the ice, there’s always something to learn. Like a golf course that presents all different kinds of challenges, every game of curling has hurdles to overcome. It can be the ice conditions, the rocks, varying strategies, quirks of a new teammate or any number of possibilities. That’s what makes curling even more interesting and exciting.

When I moved from Alaska to Minnesota to fulfill my goal of becoming an elite curler, it wasn’t easy leaving my beloved family and home state. However, I found an extended family in the Minnesota curling community, which welcomed me with open arms.

To be successful in the sport, teamwork is essential. Your team consists of just four people, and communication is vital on and off the ice. Through my years of competition, my teammates have become my family. If I’m having a tough game, I know my teammates are going to pick me up. If one of my teammates is having a rough go of it, they know I’ll always have their back.

The key with curling is getting people to try it. At the physical therapy practice where I work, one of my clients is a 15-year-old gymnast. When I told her what I do in my “spare time,” she got excited talking about curling because she saw it on TV and it looked like fun to her. Now she’s giving it a try! I find that once people do, they see how incredible the sport is and always want to come back for more. Curling now has associations in 43 states in the U.S., so if anyone is interested, there’s usually a rink close by where they can sign up for lessons and to play.

You can find out more about where you might be able to play by looking up the United States Curling Association

It was eleven years ago when I was asked to join a team for the 2004-05 season. Coming in as the underdogs, we incredibly won the U.S. Olympic trials and represented our country in the Olympics in Turin. After failing to qualify in 2010, I knew I wanted to work hard, doing whatever it took to qualify for the next Olympics. Our team formed in the 2011-2012 season and set goals that would put us in contention for the Olympic Trials. We battled it out against other great teams and I achieved my dream of being in the 2014 Olympics.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to try to make the squad for the Olympic Games in 2018. I have life, school and career goals to juggle, but will have to make that decision in the next few months. If I choose to sit the next one out, I feel I still could qualify for more Olympics down the road. I’m only 30 and curlers have a window until their mid-40s when they are in their prime. With this in mind, I will be testing my hand in some mixed doubles competitions.

While working, I’m going to school for small business management. My business career goal is to open my own wellness clinic and incorporate everything I’ve learned about nutrition, physical therapy, healthy lifestyles and sports. No matter what lies ahead when it comes to the Olympics, I will always have a life in curling. I’ll volunteer, give curling lessons and do everything I can to bring more attention to the sport in the U.S.

After we won the Olympic trials in December of 2013, I came up with the theme of “Rock Life, ” the additional slogan of “Get Some Stones” (yes, it’s a play on “grow a pair”) and partnered with Athlete Originals on the logo. I hope Rock Life inspires you to get out there and live life to the fullest. And while you’re at it, try curling. You’ll be glad you did.

THE JESS FILE

Jessica Schultz shares some of her favorite things

Most admired athletes:

Denver Broncos tight end Vernon Davis – more for what he does off the field then on. He gets involved in his community and he has been an advocate for curling and was our honorary team captain in 2014. Vernon even hosted a charity event in San Jose that involved curling. U.S. Olympic hockey player Julie Chu – She has a ton of success as a female athlete and is definitely an inspiration. Through her success she manages to help coach and promote youth hockey. Julie is humble about her success and has a great character.

U.S. Olympic curler Erika Brown – She was my skip (captain) for the last few years. Through all the training and travel we did she was able to manage her career and family life as well. She has been resilient in her curling career and has been the definition of perseverance. Plus, she’s not afraid to put on an animal onesie and dance around on the ice to “What The Fox Say.”

Other sports to play:

Golf, running



Other sports to watch:

Hockey (go Minnesota Wild!) and occasional football and baseball.



Places to run and work out:

I work out in my living room or at the gym at work. I run around the neighborhood, lakes and a trail that is south of the city. For curling, interval training of running a series of 30-second bursts is very helpful.

Hobbies:

Love the outdoors, so running with my dog, hiking, fishing, camping, gardening (make my own vegetables)



Musicians:

This changes regularly, but currently Ed Sheeran, Lake Street Drive, Adele, Cole Swindell



Match-day meals:

Sometimes meals are challenging while on the road so I try to make sure meals are balanced, working in a good protein and some veggies.

Beverages:

Non-alcoholic — a nice cup of joe in the morning and generally lemon water. With alcohol –I’ve been into the cider beers and local brews lately.



Places I want to visit:

Domestically – Portland (both Oregon and Maine), Nashville, Austin and Charlotte.

Internationally – Australia, Thailand, Spain, South Africa, or anywhere else opportunity goes

Places I recommend to visit:

Homer, AK, Minneapolis, Duluth, New York City, Chicago, Fano (island in Denmark), Japan, Oslo

Actors and actresses:

Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl, Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler

Sports

Movies:

Miracle and Remember the Titans 

Movie

Old School 

Media:

Minnesota magazine and Women’s Health; apps I’m most on presently are ESPN Fantasy (trying my hand at fantasy football), Minnesota Wild and Twitter



What I love about Alaska:

The people, outdoors, wildlife, hiking with my bestie from high school, fishing and camping with my family.

What I love about Minnesota:

There are lots of opportunities for sporting events, curling, the fall weather, locally-grown produce, and it’s easier to travel almost anywhere from Minneapolis.

You can view all of Jessica’s most popular ROCK LIFE designs in her shop here –> Shop Rock Life

Newest Rock Life designs:

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