When Sara and I began our model search, there was one image we kept coming back to. A friend of Sara’s (talented photographer Krescent Karasso) had just taken some incredible photos of a woman holding her new baby… with a sizable snake wrapped around her neck. We were both really captivated by the power, the ease, and the beauty of the model. We knew nothing about her, but we were decided- we pursued Catherine Fox. Turns out, the combination of grace and strength that we saw in her went beyond the realm of just taking a good picture.
As a young child, she remembers often pretending she had won a gold medal during her make-believe games. She was a competitive swimmer in high school, practicing all strokes except the breaststroke. She recalls that she “sort of fell into training for the Olympics at that time.” She went on to win two gold medals at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta at the age of 18. She was part of a 4x100 Freestyle Relay team that set a new Olympic record in 1996.
Beyond her world-class athletic abilities, she’s a graduate of Stanford University, majoring in human biology and studio art. Catherine lives in San Francisco with her partner, Zach, and their two children, Judah and Asha. (Asha is the sweet baby in our product images.) Catherine is a body work therapist, currently studying for a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine degree (DACM).
Parenting has it’s tough moments- even for Olympians - and Catherine says her biggest challenge is “not having enough arms!” She often jokes with her son that she isn’t an octopus, so she asks for him to “please be more patient,” adding, "he seems to like the joke.”
Here’s the rest of our Q & A with Catherine:
What’s your biggest challenge within the breastfeeding relationship?
My biggest challenge has be producing what I feel is enough milk for Asha and Judah. Now being in graduate school I have discovered how powerful Chinese Medicine is, and have used acupuncture as a tremendous resource to promote lactation. It has helped me understand the process much better and has taken an enormous amount of stress off me.
What’s your biggest reward within the breastfeeding relationship?
The best reward is the oxytocin!
What helps you get through the day as a parent? Any favorite products?
My favorite parenting item is a wrap to carry my baby that I devised out of a long length of fabric. It is easy for me to put on and seems super comfortable for my little one.
Biggest change in parenting from your first to her second child?
I was a little more insecure, although still following my natural instincts with my first child, Judah. I listened more to those who doubted my decisions than what felt natural to me at times.
With my second child, I now feel much more confident and happy to follow my natural instincts and mother how I see fit. Ask as many mothers as you can the questions that you have, there are so many answers and children are so different how they respond.
Never feel that your decision at that time is wrong, and then change things when you have to. Over all both experiences have been similarly amazing. But it's great to feel more confident the second time.
Pre-motherhood strength and confidence vs. post-motherhood strength and confidence. What has changed?
Pre-motherhood I felt very athletic and was able to get training in at least 3x a week. I was involved in many performing circus arts including hand balancing acts, floor contortion acts and arial contortion.
Post-motherhood I would say my most prized strength is my ability to apply my discipline and perseverance from training to the daily challenges of parenting. I thrive on juggling my busy schedule and family successfully.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given on motherhood:
Go with what ever works for you as a mother and your family. Read the books, take advice from others, but all with a grain of salt. Carry no guilt about what your instincts tell you as you move forward into motherhood - there are no wrong answers!
Any thoughts on having confidence in front of the camera?
I studied photography in college and did a large number of self portraits. I focused on the abstracting the human figure. I now find myself very comfortable behind and in front of the camera.
How do you describe your personal style?
Whatever is comfortable and easy with a little edge of sexy.
How do you wind down after a busy day?
Honestly, the occasional cold IPA, my books for school studies and all the snuggles I can get from my kids and partner!
Thank you, Catherine, for being the face of The Lucu woman- powerful, self-possessed and graceful. In honor of Catherine's two gold medals, enter TWOTIMEGOLD at checkout for 20% off of The Lucu Nest, now through midnight EST at the close of Olympic games (Sunday, August 21).
For More on Catherine:
See her rope contortion routine here— and prepare to have your mind blown:
See her record-setting relay in the 1996 Olympics here:
Just one of many news articles about her:
Get more "behind-the-seams" at Lucu on Instagram: