WNBA Star Candace Parker On Being ‘Even-Keeled’

Candace Parker became a celebrity when she won the slam dunk contest at the McDonald’s All-American basketball game at age 17 in 2004.

A natural athlete, she dunks basketball as a high school senior. A successful college basketball career was the first pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, earning multiple awards and two Olympic gold medals.

In February, she welcomed a baby boy named Airr with Russian basketball player Anna Petrakova, with whom she’s married and an NBA analyst.

Also, the mom of Lailaa, Parker, is contemplating retiring from the WNBA and maintaining the responsibilities of motherhood.

Yahoo Life caught up with the 36-year-old, who is currently collaborating with “Muscle Milk’s Lifting Project.”

The initiative launches with a contest to become a certified Muscle Milk strength trainer with the resources to offer free strength, training classes.

According to Parker, sharing fitness knowledge she’s learned from her trainers has been beneficial, and the Lifting Project aims to make fitness more accessible to those in underserved communities.

Parker says, “I see the value and power in community access. We can uplift people in the community through knowledge — through a trainer.”

She does not subscribe to a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness and wellness. Her workout routine is based on her personal preference, even though she rides a Peloton bike most days.

Parker says, “Everything that works for me may not work for someone else; it’s about habits and commitments.”

Parker has also focused on her mental health – something she’s committed to but is still learning.

She admits, “Mental health has been a growing topic.”

She turned to spiritual thinkers and thought leaders such as Paulo Coelho and Jay Shetty to challenge her mental abilities and open her mind.

Parker says, “Usually, I read the same two books: The Alchemist and Blink before the season.”

Parker is most happy when she’s with her family and admitted that being overworked and overscheduled can make her stressed.