What does taekwondo's Karine Sergerie's 'Lord of the Rings' tattoo say?

The Canadian athlete from Sainte-Catherine, Que. tells us the advice she'd give to her younger self and what she does for stress relief

Karine Sergerie fighting in Taekwondo match

Paul Chiasson/CP Images

Age: 27
Sport: Taekwondo
Trains: 4 to 6 hours a day
Hometown: Sainte-Catherine, Que.

Taekwondo means the art of hand and foot fighting. And on the mat, Karine Sergerie is one fast-footed artist. The Olympic silver medallist is Canada’s first female world champion in taekwondo.

Why this sport:
“Martial arts opened my eyes to discipline and determination. It made me a better person.”

Top workout tip: Building up your mind muscle is just as important as strengthening the other muscles in your body. “That’s why I see a sports psychologist every week.”

Watch out for: Her front kicks with her left leg.

Her advice to her younger self: “‘Working hard pays off. So, good job, keep going.’ But I’d also say, ‘You’re allowed to be young! There’s nothing wrong with a life outside taekwondo.’ I thought I had to be a robot when I was younger, as if that would make it impossible make mistakes.”

Stress relief: “I love a good supper with friends, especially when we can share a nice bottle of wine.”

She feels strongest when…
“My body and mind work together and my emotions don’t get in the way.”

Pre-game jitters: “Before my first match, I’m so nervous. I try to stay grounded, but there’s nothing I can do to calm myself until I start the fight. Then I’m in the zone.”

Her motto: “I got a tattoo last year that basically says: ‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’ It’s from The Lord of the Rings.”

Her award-winning advice: “Be in the moment. The more you focus on the now, the more success you can achieve.”