(DISCLOSURE: I have not been compensated for this post but I am working with Sprint to provide one really lucky reader the chance to go to a big NASCAR event in 2014! Scroll down for details on how you can enter.)
I’m always so excited to see how other people fit fitness into busy lives — that’s one of the reasons I call my site “Healthy Living in a Hectic World.” I’m thrilled to have had a chance to interview to Kim Coon, one of three women who work as Miss Sprint Cup in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and ask her how she keeps up with an incredibly crazy travel schedule, a job that literally has her running around and what she wishes people really knew about the action that happens off-camera.
KATY: What’s the biggest misconception about what your job is? Can you set us straight about what you do and share a few of the challenges that you face as a woman working in a male-dominated industry?
KIM: The biggest misconception about my job is that we are just “trophy girls.” Victory Lane is one of the most visible parts of our job, and most people recognize us from sharing the Winner’s Circle with drivers. However, our job is so much more than just that. We are the fans’ “friend on the inside,” which means we do everything we can to give fans a look at the sport they can’t get anywhere else.
We get behind-the-scenes access, allowing us to get unique info and pictures. Our social media following is huge – 1.3 million fans/followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We fly into the markets as early as Monday or Tuesday to do radio and television interviews promoting the upcoming races and events.
>We are also asked to do various appearances for tracks, sponsors, teams and other entities. Throughout the year, we do more than 800 appearances and media hits. The Miss Sprint Cups are usually the first ones at the track in the morning and the last ones to leave.
KATY: I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and dreamed of getting into sports coverage. What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you at work? The most terrifying? The funniest?
KIM: There are so many exciting moments, it is hard to pick just one. Any time history is being broken…those are cool moments. Like when Danica Patrick won the pole for the Daytona 500, becoming the first woman ever to secure a pole in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. And then she became the first woman to lead a lap. So awesome.
Or being in Victory Lane with Trevor Bayne in 2011 when he became the youngest driver to ever win the Daytona 500. If it gives you chills, you know you are witnessing an awesome moment!
KATY: You’re on the road all the time and that must make it really tough to make smart food choices and to fit in any kind of workout. How do you make it work and what’s your advice for others who may not have a typical 9-5 either?
KIM: As soon as I get to our destination city for the weekend, I make a point to stop at a grocery store. That way I can stock up on healthy snacks and food choices for the trip. I always ask for a mini-fridge in my room, if available.
Before I leave for a trip, I usually pack Epic protein bars and grass-fed whey protein powder (individual serving packets) so I can have quick high-quality protein options with me. Hotel gyms are very important to me. So much so, I rate the places we go by the quality of the hotel gym! Haha! Hotels get extra points if they have free weights and bars with plates. A few of the hotels we stay at have running agreements with local gyms, allowing hotel guests to visit the gyms for free. That is always the best scenario.
KATY: You grew up in Orlando, and while you’ve traveled all over, I imagine you still think of this as home. What are a few of your favorite spots in Central Florida for eating, working out or just re-visiting whenever you are in the area?
KIM: Some of my favorite restaurants in Orlando are Bosphorous, Ravenous Pig and The Rusty Spoon. If I want lunch or a quick bite to eat, I always find myself at Dandelion Café or Greens & Grille. I also love Chamberlin’s Natural Food Market for unique and hard-to-find health food items. I am a member of the YMCA in Charlotte. I love their AWAY program because it allows me to workout at any Y in the country. So, you will usually find me at the Downtown Orlando Y. Or, sometimes I will work out at Bodies by Mahmood.
KATY: What are your five favorite songs for working out and why?
KIM: Currently, these are my five favorite songs for working out.
- Black Skinhead by Kanye West; It’s got a great beat.
- Work B**ch by Britney Spears; It’s the perfect workout song. It’s like Britney is yelling at me, so it pushes me harder! Ha!
- Summertime Sadness Remix by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais
- Pop That by French Montana ft. Rick Ross, Drake & Lil Wayne; This song gets me pumped up.
- Hold On, We’re Going Home by Drake; I like to do a cool down run and/or stretch to this song.
OK — who wants a chance to see the Miss Sprint Cup journalists in action, along with some really fast cars? One winner will win four tickets to the Sprint Unlimited in Daytona Beach, Florida on February 15, 2014. IMPORTANT NOTE: Travel and other expenses are not included — the prize is for the four tickets only. Winner must be 18. Tickets will be mailed to the winner. The tickets are provided by Sprint and any issues that arise must be taken up with Sprint directly. Only entries made through the Rafflecopter widget below will be counted and the winner will be chosen at random after midnight ET on 12/5/2013.