Face, Embrace, Defy, and Conquer Any Challenge with Inspiration from Paralympian and Dancing with The Stars Contestant Victoria Arlen
Though every day is filled with new challenges, staying passionate about your goals can see you through even the most daunting tasks. When you are fired up about something, nothing will get in your way. We recently met Paralympic gold medalist, “Dancing with the Stars” contestant and ESPN on-air personality Victoria Arlen, who is one of the most passionate young women we’ve ever met. She has been on an incredible journey of transformation driven primarily by her own will and desire to own her everyday.
At age 11, Victoria was diagnosed with two illnesses that left her in a comatose state for four years. She relearned how to talk and walk after years of intensive recovery and credits her disciplined daily routine and personal mantra “Face It, Embrace It, Defy It, Conquer It” for allowing her to own her everyday, every day.
Now she’s partnered with California Almonds to share her story. With videos, tips and more, Victoria hopes to foster a discussion about what motivates people to be their best. Since healthy eating has been a pivotal part of her recovery, Victoria always reaches for almonds as her go-to snack. She is a huge fan of almonds because their four grams of protein and six grams of fiber provide her with the energy she needs to sustain her recovery and juggle her roles as an ESPN correspondent, foundation president, athlete, model, actress and more.
“I’m a firm believer that every morning brings a new opportunity for me to conquer the day,” says Victoria. “Since my days get crazy, I am in love with almonds and the protein and fiber they provide—you’ll always find them in my bag!”
We sat down with Victoria to learn more about what inspires her and her commitment to helping others. Catch a glimpse of a day in the life of this busy go-getter and her approach to life in the “Own It” video below.
Own It with Victoria Arlen
Victoria’s positivity and gratitude powered her through her recovery and continue to give her the strength to face each new day. When life gets busy, Victoria chooses almonds to fuel her through morning workouts, day-long photo shoots and anything life throws her way.
Victoria’s Tips To Owning Her Everyday
Victoria loves inspiring others, so she’s provided us with her best tips for seizing every moment and owning your everyday, every day.
Learn to love the mornings
Mornings signify new beginnings, and you have the power to place yourself in a positive mood. If mornings aren’t your thing right now, try doing a happy dance after you get out of bed. It helps me! When you wake up with gratitude and joy, you set yourself up for success the rest of your day.
Eat a filling breakfast
Breakfast is the meal people often forget about or are “too busy” to have. I can’t imagine getting through the day without breakfast! My go-to breakfasts are oatmeal with sliced almonds or almond milk chia pudding with kiwi, strawberries and sliced almonds. Eating breakfast gives me the energy to conquer anything the day might hold.
Exercise every day
Although I no longer need a wheelchair, I am still working on my recovery on a daily basis. To keep my legs from going back to their paralyzed state, I have to exercise every day. I often start my day with a spin class at 5 am—I find that it puts me in a great mood and helps me focus on how I’m going to own my day. After a great workout, I love to sip on a green smoothie with almond milk or enjoy an acai bowl with almond butter.
I am constantly on the go and travel multiple times a week. I always carry a baggie of almonds with me to keep hunger at bay between flights, media interviews, and meetings. I love almonds because they give me the protein and fiber I need to power through my daily routine and avoid hanger.
Life can get crazy, and there are always hurdles to face. Positivity is key to owning your everyday, every day. Keep in mind that things can always be worse and know that you have the ability to conquer anything thrown your way.
Keep your bag stocked with essentials
I never leave my house without my go-to items – it’s a little thing, but it makes me feel like I can handle anything from “hanger” to an impromptu photo shoot! In addition to the basic wallet/keys/phone, my essentials include lip balm, lipstick (it’s a good way to always look the part!), headphones, almonds and mints.
Consider the example you set
Each of us can provide a positive example to others in our lives, and that’s powerful. When I visit those with difficult health conditions, I do my best to provide them with positive motivation because I know I was so inspired by people who showed support for me.
Keep a realistic to-do list
Since there are so many tasks to do in a day, it can feel overwhelming to try to tackle everything all at once. Focus your to-do list on three to five main priorities that need to be accomplished that day. When you take life day by day, you’ll find owning your day easier—and more enjoyable!
More about Victoria Arlen
Victoria Arlen is a Paralympian and motivational speaker who lives by the motto “Face It. Embrace It. Defy It. Conquer It.” Arlen was 11 when she contracted two rare viral diseases that left her in a vegetative state for four years, leaving her trapped in her own body and unable to move or communicate with her loved ones. Against all odds, she regained consciousness and relearned how to speak, eat and even swim. She continued to defy expectations when she qualified for the London Paralympic Games in 2012 and won one gold and three silver medals. Arlen is currently an ESPN correspondent and was a semi-finalist on “Dancing with the Stars,” where she dazzled millions with her routines and inspiring story. When she’s not working or enjoying a spin class, Arlen is focused on her role as president of Victoria’s Victory Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships to individuals and organizations that provide support and training for overcoming obstacles and making lifestyle changes that will have a positive impact. For more information on Victoria, visit VictoriaArlen.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.