Jaime Penedo: Finding Joy On and Off the Field

People will probably give you a puzzled look if you say having fun is one of your goals in life. I look at it differently: truly enjoying what you do can be the starting point to achieving greater things in life.

I got started in football as a kid because it was so much fun. But growing up to be a professional athlete transformed what the sport means to me. Today, I’m driven by the enthusiastic crowds and the pride that people feel when I defend their team or country in a match. Being able to bring that feeling of joy and brighten up their day with a victory is absolutely rewarding.

As goalkeeper, I’m the team’s last line of defense — the outcome of the game can literally rest in my hands! To prepare, I focus on specific exercises that emphasis quick reflexes, strength training to
increase power, and body control.

And good nutrition is just as important.

Thanks to the coaching of our sports nutritionists that started when I played for the LA Galaxy, I’ve learned that being hydrated and well nourished can be a great advantage against competitors. Herbalife Nutrition products allow me to optimize my diet, prepare my body for high-level competition and recover quickly. My favorite products include the H24 Rebuild Strength protein shake and the CR7 Drive drink for hydration.

Being happy with what I’ve achieved on the field got me thinking about how could I spread that joy to children in need. The Jaime Penedo Foundation provides children with the physical and mental training that will allow them to seize life opportunities through sports. I believe winners are forged, not born so I want to help kids become healthier and happier, to be whatever they dream of through education, physical activity and good nutrition.

Football is an integral part of my life: it shaped my character and provided me with useful skills such as discipline and teamwork. But I think the greatest lesson football taught me is to be passionate about a cause. Everything in life has a beginning and, sometimes, taking that first step may be difficult, but it’s impossible to start if you’re not passionate about the cause. So whatever your own personal project is, approach it with a clear idea of what you want, make a plan to get there and work toward achieving your goals  based on that strategy. Most important of all: don’t forget to have fun!