I am in love with love. I’m also in love with fitness. And when you combine these two passionate, sought after ideals of beauty, strength, compassion and perfection, what do you end up with?
The most badass power-couple in the Western hemisphere.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you one of the first husband-wife professional athletes and teammates: Jessica and Brandon Phillips of the Phoenix Rise.
That last sentence was hard to write. How do you correctly put into words that not only do we have a brand new professional co-ed human performance racing sports league among us (Grid), but we also have two teams that drafted a husband-wife pair? For the first time in any sport?! The San Francisco Fire drafted Christy and Jamie Lee from Alamo California, and the Phoenix Rise drafted both Jessica and Brandon Phillips from Kennesaw Georgia.
As if that isn’t just flat out awesome in itself, to make it even better, I’ve got the inside scoop with two of these athletes about what it means to be married, on the same professional sports team, and literally work/play/live/eat/sleep together each and every day.
What a life! Or is it?
Q&A with Jessica and Brandon Phillips, Professional Grid Athletes
Jessica: Absolutely not, I wasn’t even going to go through the combines until I talked to a few people and they encouraged me to go.
Brandon: I never thought I would be a professional athlete–of course growing up you think about being in the MLB or NFL or for me, Olympic wrestling. I was never the absolute best but I worked very hard for all my coaches growing up and learned a lot about team work and how to push myself in training.
Jessica: So for the record, we met in Albany, GA at World Camp CrossFit during the “South GA Throwdown.” Apparently, I had a bad snatch and that caught his eye. 🙂 We actually didn’t speak until later that year when another event came along and we saw each other again.
My best friends and I came up to Atlanta for a massage and a girls’ weekend, so we asked him if/where we could workout, and so we all met up at CrossFit Kennesaw. Later that evening went out to eat. The next morning we woke up and headed home and I told them both that I was going to marry that man.
My heart is melting.
Brandon: I met Jessica at a fitness competition in Albany, GA and she came to Atlanta one night with her friends. I went down and met them for dinner and we’ve been together ever since.
Jessica: One thing we are both sometimes too good at is blocking our emotions. Yes, Brandon is my husband, but when it’s game time, he’s just another team member on the floor with me. We aren’t going to let each other or our team down, ever.
Brandon: When it comes game time and we have to focus on our jobs, I know it won’t matter whether we are a married couple or not. One thing sports teaches us is how to work together and to trust in the person(s) next to you and for them to do their job. As teammates and spouses, we know that we will give our very best and we trust one another in that regard.
Jessica: I think overall his biggest strength isn’t lifting or gymnastics but just being an all-around athlete who can fill holes and be anywhere he is needed at the time. I also think that experience and confidence plays a big role in the sport of GRID and he definitely has that as well.
Brandon: Jessicas biggest strength is speed, power, and explosiveness. She can also do every gymnastics movement thrown at her. As for weaknesses, she has none 🙂
Sigh. I love them <3
Jessica: Brandon signed up without telling me and then when he went away I talked to a few people at our gym to see if I should do it. My dad (my biggest fan) paid my way and was there to support me!
Dads supporting their daughters…heart melting again. Go Dad!
Brandon: Jessica’s for sure–I wasn’t even going to do it. I know Jessica has always wanted to do this for a living and I just wanted to support her.Well that didn’t quite match up the way I thought it would!
Jessica: A typical day for Brandon and I are different. We get up at about 7am, I feed the baby, he goes to the gym. I get back up around 8:30 and get Carson and I both ready, then workout anywhere from 10-2. I come home and eat lunch/relax for an hour then head back for my second training session.
Brandon: I wake up at 6:30am and head to the gym to do administrative work and coach classes from 7-10. Jessica shows up at 10am and I watch Carson (while doing more administrative work for the gym) while she trains from 10-12 or 1. Some days I get to train with her or I go home eat lunch and come back to train from 2-4:30 before afternoon classes begin that I have to coach til 8:30pm at night.That’s a heck of a lot of coaching!
Jessica: Most of the time we train at the same time but not always together.
Brandon: Some days we do and others we don’t.
Jessica: We don’t take many supplements besides protein, but I do threaten him when he takes extra scoops:)
Brandon: Not really, she takes her supplements and I have my own.
Jessica: Not always. We handle things complete opposite. He will PR and not even tell me and I PR and smile the rest of the day!
Brandon: She gets to celebrate a lot more than me. I can’t remember my last PR on anything. She PRs every other day.
Jessica: He is encouraging but never too pushy. I think I’m the one who always makes comments like, “Why are you going so slow?” No softness in this relationship or at the gym at least.
Brandon: When it comes to competition I think Jessica is the more fierce competitor. I like to be alone and focus on the workout. Jessica gets worked up and wants to start in the lead and finish in the lead.Sounds very familiar. I could just tell that I really liked her.
Jessica: I always schedule everything around Carson. He’s my number one priority and I’m not sure if I would be where I am today without him. He alone has made me a better person/athlete. He has re-motivated me in all aspects. I’m his only nanny 🙂 My advice to new moms/parents would be to never give up, let your child be the light that inspires you each day to be that better person or athlete. Chase your dreams and be an example for that child that looks up to you.Brandon: We just realize Carson is our number one priority over training and work. When he’s napping we’re training, and when he’s up we are focused on him. Just having your priorities and schedule set is the best thing for any couple wanting to stay in shape and achieve their goals, as well as realizing that some days you are going to have to sacrifice a lot to keep your child happy, rather than making your self happy by training.