My Life as a Professional Athlete: Falyn Fonoimoana
I met Falyn Fonoimoana through one of my husband’s good friends and suffice it to say, the woman is a force. It’s not just her height (she’s over 6 feet tall), it’s also her aura. From the moment you meet her, you know that you’re dealing with a kind, giving, empathetic person. And the more I got to know her, I realized she is also powerful, intense, and determined.
And it’s put to good use. She’s a professional beach volleyball player who is currently in the midst of an incredible comeback. After a brief hiatus, Falyn has been traveling the country, playing match after match. I don’t know a lot about volleyball, but I do know that she is serving something serious (pun intended).
I talked to Falyn about what keeps her motivated in her career as a professional athlete.
How old were you when you discovered volleyball?
I was born on a beach basically! My uncle played professionally for the AVP Volleyball (Association of Volleyball Professionals), and I used to be a ball girl for him. I fell in love with the game and the beauty of the beach.
When did you start taking it seriously?
I noticed when I was about 12 that I was taller than everyone else and that I had an advantage. I started to take it seriously around 14 when I won my first junior Olympics.
How do you stay motivated to stay on top of your fitness routine?
As I have gotten older you have to keep it interesting. Different ways of staying active keeps things fun, such as hikes, beach workouts, and different classes.
What are your career goals?
Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to go to the Olympics. That dream is still alive! I also want to continue traveling the world playing the sport I love.
How do you juggle motherhood and your career?
There isn’t a recipe for being super woman, but balance is key for everything! Starting early in the morning and making sure I create time for myself to prepare for my day. Organization seems to be the only way I get through most days.
There aren’t too many of women of color in American professional volleyball. What has your experience been?
There isn’t a lot of us at all. I am not only a woman of color, but my body type is not ideal for the sport as well. Having confidence in myself and what I represent stays at the top of my mind at all times.
You have fans! What is that like?
It is truly a blessing for people to love the way you play! To motivate people to go above and beyond what they thought they could feels incredibly humbling. I want my children to learn that it’s about how many lives you touch not how many awards you receive.
Thank you Falyn, and good luck in your next tournament!