Former Olympian and 2012 hopeful talk motivation, training and London

Three-time Olympian Michael Gostigan and Olympic hopeful Julie Culley tell what motivates them, how they train, and what they are looking forward to most at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Michael Gostigan, U.S. Olympic Modern Pentathlete, will not be competing in this year’s Olympic Games, but continues his career as a trainer and physical fitness enthusiast, calling himself a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” The Pentathalon consists of five sports --equestrian, swimming, shooting, running, and fencing.

“I love the feeling of competing and training; it’s a great life being an athlete -- the endorphins you get from exercising every day, it’s a healthy thing.”

He also jokes that he works out so he can “eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream every day.”

Olympic hopeful Julie Culley is set to go to the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in June running the 5K, a race she won in 2011 for the National Championship title.
“You know, you watch [the Olympics] on TV ever since you were a little kid and you never think that that’s something that could actually happen to you, so I pray that it is something that happens to me,” Culley says of the Summer Games.

Lending some of his advice to those competing at this year’s Summer Games, Gostigan says, “just accept passion and keep doing it day in and day out.” Words of wisdom he says also applies to the everyday person trying to get fit.

“My motto is motivation follows action. So don’t wait to be motivated. Do it and get it done.”

The U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials take place June 21-July 1, when Culley will take her mark in hopes of knocking seconds off her 2011 national winning time of 15:39:70 for the win and a ticket to London.

“It’s going to be a dogfight -- everyone is out there putting years and years of ups and downs into that one race, so it is going to be a very intense moment and hopefully a successful one,” Culley told

Culley hopes to finish in the top 3 to make the Olympic team. “You know it’s a crazy time; you put so much effort and it really comes down to one day, one race.”

She says she thrives on the excitement over the Olympics, saying there is nothing like it. “I’ve competed at World Championships for the U.S. and I think being with all the other athletes, all the other sports teams at the greatest event in the world that is only every 4 years, makes it that much more significant.”

Gostigan will be rooting for his friends competing this year, some in events that are not mainstream American sports. “ I like a lot of the sports we don’t get to see except every four years, like water polo. I love archery.”

The 3.1 mile race Culley is gearing up for is something she says she has been preparing for with intense training, including “lots of strength training, lots of running, and some ElliptiGo-ing as well.”

Both athletes have incorporated the ElliptiGo into their training regimen.

“It helps me to recover a lot more than just slugging through a secondary run, especially when building mileage -- it’s definitely something that has helped me bridge the gap and take my workout to another level.”

The ElliptiGo is a low-impact cross-training machine alternative that pedals like a bike and emulates the running motion.

Gostigan uses the running bike as his main means of transportation around New York City, where he resides. “I use the ElliptiGo exclusively, that’s all I do except for some strength training.”

Gostigan says the ElliptiGo helps with his cardiovascular conditioning, saying, “I can ride this multiple times a week and do interval training and recover very quickly, which I can’t do if I run.”

Bryan Pate, ElliptiGo co-founder, says this is the reason why athletes have gravitated toward it. “They were already cross training, but they were either stuck in a gym or running in a pool. This is a way to keep the psychological benefits of exercise and running in a way that doesn’t create the pounding and doesn’t beat them up.”