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Dalilah Muhammad is no stranger to the pressure that comes with the eyes of the world watching. In 2016, the 31-year-old track and field star from Jamaica, Queens won Olympic gold in the 400m at the Rio Games. Now, she's setting out to reclaim her title in Tokyo. Only adding to the anticipation of the much-hyped race is her recent loss to American teammate Sydney McLaughlin at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon last month. But as the last year and half has proved, setbacks only make Muhammed stronger.
"I’ve overcome a lot this year and I just want to show people that anything is possible if you put your mind to it," Muhammad, who suffered a hamstring injury and has battled COVID-19 twice, tells Vogue. "I think there are a lot of unknowns walking into Tokyo, and I'm excited to experience it. I think it will go down in history as being the most unique Olympics ever and it’s amazing to to be a part of that history."
Needless to say, training for the notoriously intense 400m race, in which runners have to demonstrate speed and agility while clearing ten evenly-spaced hurdles, has been no small feat. Think: Rigorous track and field drills seven days a week, with weight training to build strength five to six days as well. Of course, managing stress and staying clear-headed off the track requires Muhammad to take time to slow down, establish a routine, and practice mindfulness on her own terms. Here, Muhammad shares how she's found balance while training, from taking restorative baths to embracing her personal style (Yes, that was her modeling for the SKIMS x Team USA campaign).Hot or Cold, a Bath Always Does the Trick
I recently met the CEO of the brand Pursoma and have been really into her products, especially the bath salts. I love a good bath to wind me down and detox [the body]. After hearing about her story and journey, she definitely got me on to taking that personal time that we all need as humans to unwind and find our center again. I try to take a bath at least once a week, but even more if I can. When I want to unwind, I definitely always do a hot bath, but a lot of the time, especially when it's hot outside—I'm in Texas right now, and it's really hot—it’s more warm, like room temperature. I also do ice baths as well, but that's moreso for training purposes. After training, I'll hop in an ice bath to get my legs flushed and ready for the next day.
Pursoma Digital Detox Cleansing Bath Soak
Pursoma Just Breathe Ritual Eucalyptus Bath SaltsUnplugging Is Essential
I've been sticking to what I'm familiar with and [focusing on] not having too many outside distractions. Just kind of getting into my little cocoon, I would call it. It's what I do to block out the outside world just for that small period of time because when you're in such a nerve-wracking or a heightened state, the littlest things can take away your focus. So for me, I've been doing my best to stay off social media, stick to talking to the people that I speak to on a daily basis, and just follow my normal routine. It’s important because there are so many distractions, so many things in the media. There are so many races that are hyped, my race is definitely one that's been hyped up going into Tokyo, so I definitely want to ignore all of that and focus on me, and being physically and mentally ready.Photo: Courtesy of SKIMSBeauty Is Self-Care
I'm really into skin care. After practice, I give myself like a full facial—probably every single day. It gets the dirt and the sweat off, but also I just really enjoy it. That's been my thing for many, many years. I do switch out my products, but I'm also the type of person that when I buy a product, I like to buy the entire line. I mix and match. My go-to is always Dermalogica. They have this oil-based cleanser that I start off with and the special cleansing gel is my favorite face wash. Then I use The Body Shop Glow Revealing Liquid Peel, and that gets the dull, tired skin off. And then I follow up with moisturizer and a lot of serums—a vitamin C serum and hyaluronic acid.
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Revealing Liquid Peel
Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster
For hair, I've really been into braids this last year. I think that has been the easiest thing, especially with the pandemic. I wasn't able to get to a hair salon, so for me it was just kind of doing my own hair. Braids are the thing that I like to run in. I can do it myself and it lasts for a really long time, so different braided styles have been my go-to for the past year. My favorite product to wash my hair is TGIN—Thank God It’s Natural. I love all their products, but I mostly use their shampoo and conditioner.
TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo
TGIN Triple Moisture Replenishing ConditionerSimple and Streamlined Style, Always
On the track, I like to keep it simple. I like to be as clean as possible. Just keeping it really basic, nothing extra, nothing adding weight. I like the clothes to be really form-fitting, especially when I’m racing. I think that just makes me feel at my best and ready to go. I think I’m pretty similar off the track, too. Not too many accessories! But I do love a good handbag with minimal jewelry—either earrings or a watch. I love my Omega Speedmaster watch as a nice statement piece. I think it just flatters my skin tone really well and it always looks good no matter what, you can wear it with anything. I just like simple clothing, nothing extravagant—things that are tailored and fit really well.
Omega Speedmaster 38 Co-Axial Chronograph 38 MM
SKIMS Olympic Capsule Sleep Bra
SKIMS Olympic Capsule Ripped Boxer
SKIMS Olympic Capsule SocksWhatever It Is, Just Put Your Mind to It
I’ve overcome a lot this year and I want to show people that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. We all face so many challenges, but if we just stick to our goals and what we want to accomplish, anything is possible. I’ve had COVID-19 twice this year and came back from that. I think there were so many points where I was with my coach going, ‘I don’t know if this is even possible.’ But we just kept pushing me. I want people to know that story because we’ve come such a long way and just to be at the games is special to me. Now that I’m here, I want to win and just to see what the human body is capable of when you put your mind to something.Photo: Courtesy of Omega