Q&A with Tina Thompson
By Jennifer Azzi
Comets forward Tina
Thompson has accolades to take up this entire page and more. A six-time WNBA
All-Star, and WNBA Champion, Tina is one of the best shooters and most skilled
players in the game. In my brief opportunity to play with Tina on the National
Team, I gained even more respect for her winning mentality and the kind of positive
teammate she was. What I cannot believe is how fast she has come back from having
a baby this past May! It was exciting to talk with Tina about her inspirational
road back to the WNBA.
J.A.: How did you come back so fast after having a baby?
Tina Thompson, Houston Comets|
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
"I think the state of my body before the pregnancy helped a lot. I really
did not have bad morning sickness and everything went so well. I ate whenever
I was hungry since my metabolism was so high. My actual comeback was really pretty
remedial. For the first two weeks after the birth of my son, I would just walk
on the treadmill everyday. My body told me when I was ready to do more. So, I
started to add 5 minutes more of walking everyday. I would gradually increase
the incline, and the better I felt, the faster I went and I added more time. I
finally started to run intervals during my workouts. I would walk and then do
15 to 30 second sprints. I did maybe 5 sprints to start and I rested about a minute
in between each one. I steadily got better and my legs felt stronger. When I returned
to the court, I was able to get close to my comfort zone, but this was certainly
a gradual process."
J.A.: How do you feel now?
a baby gives you a much higher pain tolerance. I am much stronger now. Your body
goes through all kinds of changes. If you can give birth, you can do anything!"
In general, how important has conditioning been for your career?
was very important until my pregnancy. I did not workout too much during that
time. During other off seasons, I never let myself get out of shape, so when it
was time to go, I could take it up a notch without it being too hard. I never
let myself de-condition."
J.A.: What do you do for cardiovascular
"I love the elliptical machine. I never do just one level.
I always do a workout that is changing. I do a latter workout. I warm-up on level
6 for 5 minutes and every minute after that I go up a level to level 10, then
I work my way back down. Change and variety are great in a workout. After the
workout, I always cool down for a few minutes."
J.A.: What is your
weight routine like?
"I lift about three times a week. I go for
stability and endurance so I lift a higher number of reps rather than lifting
a lot of heavy weight. I tend to get tight, so lifting like this works well for
me. Plus, I stretch a lot to maintain flexibility."
J.A.: Do you
have any advice to share?
"My mom just started working out. She
had started feeling uncomfortable and knew it was time to make a change. I told
her 'Mom, you used to be active, so maybe that's why you feel like this.' After
I had my baby, I started eating right and my Mom did too. Even when I slacked
off, she kept it up. She has had five kids and never had "me" time.
Now, she gets on the treadmill and she is so committed and dedicated to working
out. Sometimes she does two-a-days! I think 'Mom, wow!' The change seemed to happen
overnight. If people just get up a little earlier and go workout even 30 minutes
a day makes a huge difference. It does not have to be an all out professional
workout, anything can make a big change."
J.A.: Do you have any
"Each person is different. Not everyone is going
to run a marathon. A small daily effort can take you so far. You gain so much
confidence in just making yourself do it 3 to 4 times. You can condition yourself
to exercise even when you may not want to. Stop complaining and make it a routine,
a part of each day. You may not enjoy it. I don't enjoy lifting weights, but I
see the results. If you know the rewards, that gets you through sometimes. You
can do it!"
Both Tina and her Mom, Lady Thompson,
are inspirational for all of us. The excitement in Tina's voice talking about
her Mom working out reinforced how much we motivate and get motivated by the people
who are right around us. Try to surround yourself with positive people who are
also trying to make positive changes. It can be contagious.
Tina's advice. The change is gradual, but you have to dedicate yourself to exercising
a few times even when you may not want to so that you can make it a habit. Start
where you are and go for it! The rewards are amazing.