In 2012, Cammile Adams completed her life-long goal of making the U.S. Olympic swim team. You might have watched her at the London games in 2012 placing 4th in the 200M fly or caught her on your screen in Rio in 2016. After retiring in January of 2017, Adams could still be found somewhere near a pool, if not in one.
Adams started swimming when she was eight years old, and had wanted to make an Olympic team, and worked hard ever since to meet that goal. Whether it was collegiate swimming at Texas A&M or professional swimming, Adams spent hours in the pool, doing dryland workouts, or having team meetings. Once she went pro, 26-28 hours a week turned into 35—basically a full-time job.
For anyone who has the goal of making it to the world’s biggest stage in sports, Cammile says, “The biggest part of dreaming big and wanting to compete at the highest level of our sport, you have to remember why you're doing it.”
While she doesn’t miss the intense workout regimen today, there are certain parts of the sports she misses, especially the community aspect it brought.
“Representing something so much bigger than yourself is just really hard to replicate into what I call real life,” Adams says. “You have similar things with work stuff, but it's nothing that even compares to being a part of Team USA.”
The day after she got home from Rio, she found herself in a 5th-grade classroom, it was the last thing she needed to receive her education degree. Since teaching in a classroom wouldn’t work with her training schedule, Adams deferred for a year, which pushed back her graduation date. She got into Orange Theory Fitness right away as her sister was doing it, and loved the community and competitiveness it offered.
“Like most people when they find out that I went to the Olympics, they watched me at Orange Theory, and they're like this doesn't really add up,” Adams says. “I am not a runner, I'm not a weightlifter, I was made for the water, but I love that about it. I'm not good at it.”
She goes to Orange Theory three to four times a week, but her passion for swimming never faltered. Being in the water became second nature for Adams, she never wants to lose her feel for it.
Along her personal fitness journey, Adams constantly challenges her body, and does things that aren’t natural for her. Adams says that after retiring from the sport, and completely changing her fitness regimen, she had to re-establish her body image and self-talk.
Being a former Olympian, Adams keeps up with her fitness in other ways, such as paddle boarding in the man-made lake close to her house, or parking far back in the parking lot when she goes to the grocery store. But, those healthy habits aren't limited to just exercise, it includes diet too 一 like eating a slice of cake in your fridge once a week, or occasionally having that glass of wine at dinner.
“I'm not able to eat an entire piece of chocolate cake every night anymore like I used to,” Adams says.
The journey to healthier living is comprised of long-term fitness goals, which are made up of smaller, more attainable goals that help us reach the finish line. According to Adams, it's all about making conscious decisions.
Adams believes that it’s important to show yourself grace and realize that on days that you waiver, it’s important to just take it one day at a time.
Documenting her progress is also something Adams finds helpful. She maintains a list on her phone, where she writes down those small wins. If she gets 10 hours of sleep a night, or goes to the gym and has a good workout, she’ll write it down.
On those days where she’s not feeling the most upbeat, she’ll look back at the list, and remind herself of all the times she was really proud of herself.
To this day, Adams is still passionate about the water and uses her free time to teach lessons. She started a program called SafeSplash or SwimLabs — depending on location — where she teaches all ages “the life skill of swimming”. She can’t imagine doing anything else.
Their slogan is “bubbles to butterfly.”
Adams tells Houstonia, she can’t imagine doing anything else. “I love sharing my passion of teaching swimming to the whole community of Houston,” Adams says. “It's been really fun for me to give back to a sport that's not just changed my family's life, but has changed so many people's lives.”