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by them until her husband, Laird, dropped in with a single comment: “You are there.” That statement offered her a sense of freedom and an ability to look outward. Reece firmly believes children “kind of are who they are. If we just do our jobs and love them and tell them we believe in them, and not stay out of their way, but kind of stay out of their way, I really believe they have their path.”

In a very self-aware fashion, Reece says that every time she sees her children doing something awesome, she reminds herself that she had very little to do with it. In making time for herself, her needs and her own successes, Reece makes her workout routine a top priority. She has a beautiful, strong, athletic body that has graced the cover of hundreds of magazines. Preserving her body as a tool to carry her into the years is important. When asked if she works out with her husband, the answer was surprisingly humble. Reece is unabashed when she states that her husband is at a level of intensity that most others can only dream about. She admits that at times she may go and see him working out and just watch, “because Laird’s level is inspiring. Laird is super creative” about his training. His ability and work capacity is at a “whole different level.” We all at times wish for our

former 20-year-old or 30-year- old self (more often than not I am wishing for my 10-year-old self without a care in the world). Sometimes men and women find it tough to mourn that which once was and will continually seek that out for themselves or worse,

To see Reece, one’s immediate thought is that she is so fit she must have a torturously rigorous diet. Yet she gives the same well-thought-out, balanced approach to eating as she gives to the rest of her life. Reece has a sensible approach to nutrition by living a 90/10 philosophy. When at home and in control, she eats clean, and finds herself increasingly cooking vegan meals “that taste good.” If she finds herself without time and ease to incorporate that lifestyle and unable to obtain the food that is purely fuel, she will allow herself the freedom to eat what is convenient. If that means a Chinese restaurant is the only option after a child’s late night soccer game, then she states, “I am OK with that.” It is that flexibility that makes her life sustainable. “When I can’t get what I need and want, a healthy home-cooked meal, I am OK with that. If I can be successful 90 percent of the time, and 10 percent have the flexibility to do what has to be done, it is successful.” Eating is a family affair, and Reece and Hamilton stress to their three daughters that food is fuel versus viewing food as fun. That said, she recognizes that if she wants something she will not deprive herself. Like most of us, Reece recognizes that once you make something taboo, or off limits, you only want it that much more. “I try to teach them [her daughters] the difference between food and fun,” but she doesn’t make anything “forbidden fruit”.

Gabrielle Reece

though their children. As a former pro volleyball player, you might assume that Reece may pine for those days. She does sound wistful as she recognizes that part of her life was truly amazing. Yet Reece is candid in her belief that perhaps the best way to honor that is by letting it go. “There is something very sweet to me about that time of my life, and I feel like the best way to preserve that is to gracefully move into different spaces.” Does she miss that communal team spirit? Yes, but five years ago, she began teaching her own dynamic fitness group. In that community, she is less of a team member and more the rigorous coach demanding the best from her team. The fitness class proves to be both motivational and fully functional from top to bottom. Other than the class, Reece has also added more stretching to her routine, because she asks herself, “Where are the weaknesses?” Can someone in such great shape have weakness? Reece admits she does. The sheer act of lengthening her muscles is tough for her. She has incorporated yin yoga into her routine. “yin yoga requires holding a pose for a longer period of time,” she explained. “I know that is what my body needs. I have a very powerful body, so I need to invite that slow stretch. Vitality is mobility, and mobility is vitality.”

Giving and service is part of Reece and Hamilton’s life as well. GabbyAndLaird. com is the joint venture of this super-healthy, super-fit couple, and it shines as a labor

of love. Reece states it was a place for the two of them to hopefully indirectly motivate and inspire people. On the site, the couple shares all their imperfections, and at the same time show viewers that they don’t let imperfections hold them back. has daily updates, recipes, exercise tips and fitness demonstrations.

While Reece embraces being a modern, strong woman, there are also some wonderful old-fashioned dynamics in her family that actually make it flow. She enjoys being a home maker and serving her family. She is straightforward and unapologetic in saying, “When you serve your family and your husband, you are not being robbed of your power; it’s your choice. And for women, it’s good to nurture that side of ourselves even though it’s more work. It’s good for us as women; it’s a dance.”

My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper, a must read for every female in a relationship or ever planning on entering one, is available at and most major bookstores.

Kelly Martinsen is publisher of Natural Awakenings of Long Island.

natural awakenings May 2013 19

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