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If you’ve ever felt like you’ll never be able to become a “real runner,” just imagine how admitted “terrible runner” Gal Gadot felt when she was told that as Wonder Woman, she’d be sprinting across a battlefield…in heels. If this superhero can learn proper form and develop a respect for—if not a love of—the run, there’s hope for all of us.
Recall the pivotal scene in “Wonder Woman,” the moment Gadot sprints across No Man’s Land to liberate a town—watch it again and remember that before filming, she could barely run a mile and when she did, it wasn’t pretty.
“I hated running so much,” Gadot says, laughing. “My entire life, I was a funny runner, with knees collapsing and feet going outward…Running doesn’t come to me naturally, but I had to learn for the movies. So when I started training for ‘Wonder Woman,’ they literally had to teach me how to run.”
To Gadot, learning proper running form was akin to learning how to walk all over again.
“And the cardio aspect of it… it was a lot,” she says. “All of that together, being mindful of how I place my foot and where my knee is and how high it comes up—it was just so much.”
Fitness has never been foreign to Gadot, however. Her first job was in the Israel Defense Forces, teaching the troops calisthenics. “I was there because I was a dancer and a basketball player when I was a teenager, and they put you where you belong in the army, which was a great match for me,” Gadot says. “I’m sure it helped me develop my workout routine now—but I wouldn’t know for sure because I never had it any other way.”
When she left the army, she entered another profession of long hours, difficult physical tasks, and daily make-or-break moments: acting. She realized that the army had given her discipline, which comes in handy as a 34-yeaer-old woman who’s a mom of two, juggling training, family time, and a hectic shooting schedule.
“I have two daughters and when I’m not shooting, it’s important to me to take them to school and be involved and be the first thing that they see in the morning,” she says. “When I’m not shooting, I’m also trying to prioritize them, and so I wake up before they’re up to have time to work out and get that out of the way. I’m a morning person, so it works really well.”
How do you become a morning person? Look at the benefits instead of the drawbacks.
“First of all, I really enjoy the quiet time—when you wake up before everyone else wakes up and it’s your time,” Gadot says. “You can drink water, drink coffee, just wake up slowly and gradually. I look at the benefits of being a morning person. You do that, and it gives you the ability to get your workout in. I can’t work out in the late afternoon or evening, I would be shattered. So starting the day working out just boosts my energy and helps me get through the rest of the day.”
Hydration is critical for Gadot (it doesn’t hurt that she represents Smartwater, either) to keep going throughout those long days.
“I focus on drinking throughout the day—when I workout, when I’m running around the set, when I’m traveling,” says Gadot. “I’m the type of person who will always have water with me in my bag.”
Another way to get motivated in the mornings is to change up your routine, Gadot says. If a workout starts to feel monotonous, she has not problem moving on to something fresh.
“I was going really hard in Pilates for a long time, and right now, being back in L.A., I’m taking hikes and being outside enjoying the fresh air; swimming, which is meditative for me; and getting back to the gym for strength training,” she says.
And the last element in Gadot’s hectic lifestyle? Finding pockets of calm in her hectic schedule. Sometimes swimming and hiking can provide that space and mindset, but if not, she seeks out other means.
“I also try to use guided meditation apps when I put my oldest to bed,” Gadot says, “we’ll fall asleep to those guided meditations together.”