Saturday, April 12, 2008
From PaperDoll Magazine
Have you heard the one about the brilliant scientist researching breast cancer, who’s also a Ravens cheerleader? It’s no set-up. Talmesha Richards, a 26-year-old graduate student in cellular and molecular medicine at Hopkins, logs lab hours toward her Ph.D. by day and dances the field at night. The completely demanding routine feels familiar to this super-fit overachiever—at UMBC, the Meyerhoff scholar balanced her math and chemical engineering major with dance-team duties to graduate Phi Beta Kappa. All right!
What do you do now to stay in shape?
We [cheerleaders] practice twice a week for a total of six hours. We begin our practices with conditioning which usually consists of a three-mile run or a boot-camp-style workout with lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and sprints. Outside of practice, I vary my workout by taking aerobics, Pilates, yoga and dance classes, and running with my dog.
What is your diet?
I boost my metabolism by eating a healthy breakfast and eating four to five smaller meals per day as opposed to three larger ones. I eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and limit fried foods.
Do you vary your workout routine a lot?
I feel it’s very important to vary my workout routine. I try to modify both the type of workout and the intensity. I take yoga, Pilates, and dance classes that push the limits of my comfort zone. This way I can also vary the muscle groups I’m working out.
How do you treat an injury?
You always have to listen to your body. Not following doctor’s orders can lead to prolonged injuries. Whether it’s cheerleading practice or my own personal workout, I stretch both before and after. I also stretch every morning to improve my flexibility.
Do you have a fun memory from a recent performance night?
Every game-day experience is fun. All of the hard work the team has put into both mandatory and optional practices comes together on that day. What’s especially exciting to me is seeing my family in the stands.