In 2006, at just 16 years old, Elena Hight represented the United States in the Olympics in Turin, Italy, where she came home with an honorable sixth place in Snowboard Halfpipe. She was again named to the U.S. Olympic Halfpipe Team in Vancouver in 2010 and placed 10th in the competition. The 2012 season was a huge success for Elena as she captured several podium finishes, including gold at the Grand Prix in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; silver at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.; silver at the X Games in Tignes, France; and gold at the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vt. In May of 2012, while training with the U.S. Snowboard Team in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., Elena landed the first-ever double backside alley-oop rodeo in a halfpipe by a woman. This trick has taken women’s snowboarding progression to a new level and will further challenge her fellow athletes as they look toward the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
What was the ah-ha moment that made you start taking your health seriously?
I sprained my ankle about six years ago and it didn’t heal for months, which kept me from doing all of the things that I love. That is when I realized that I really needed to start getting on a good program to get strong and healthy to limit my injuries as much as possible.
Do you have a secret habit that is part of your healthy lifestyle?
I drink a “green” drink every morning. I swear by it. It is all the nutrients I need first thing in the a.m. that keeps me going throughout the day.
If you could permanently get rid of one bad habit, what would it be?
Cracking my knuckles! It is such a bad habit!
If you could get a free pass forever with one bad habit, what would it be?
Eating sweets. I have the biggest sweet tooth. I wish that I could just eat them all the time without the after-effects of all the sugar!
What is your greatest health achievement or milestone?
I can’t say that I have one biggest health achievement. I try to work toward smaller goals throughout the year — such as upping my weights, increasing my sprinting speed and upping my jumps — that keep me going.
What is your biggest health hang-up in others?
Eating processed or fast foods. I think that the most important step anyone can take toward a healthier lifestyle is to eat more unprocessed, whole foods.
Run, walk, ride or swim?
Run. I find running to be the best form of cardio and stress relief. Plus, it is just so easy; you can do it anywhere, anytime.
If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind would you be?
I would be a pineapple. My favorite.
If you could superpower one of your five senses, what would it be and why?
Smell. Your sense of smell enhances all of your other senses so I think it would affect almost everything you do!
If you could break a world endurance record, what would it be?
Maybe the most snowboarding runs taken in one day? I have no idea what the record is, but I bet it would be a fun challenge.
If you could tell one thing to your adolescent self, what would it be?
Have fun. I think that trying to enjoy every moment is the key to life.