Expert Advice Before Your First Time Bobsledding

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

In This Episode

It’s definitely becoming tougher for many people to cope with stay-at-home orders and the requirements for social distancing. We totally get it. As a matter of fact, one of the ways we’re continuing to cope with what’s happening with the Pandemic is by researching all the first times we plan on doing once we can safely return to life outside our homes. One such first that’s on the list is bobsledding, so it was awesome to have our first Olympic athlete on the show to shed some light on what to expect.

In this episode, we took a look at the wonderful sport of bobsledding. 

The Guest Expert

Our guest expert for this episode was Lauren Gibbs, a 2018 US Olympic silver medalist in the sport of bobsled. She’s always been incredibly sporty, and started playing competitive sports at 8 years old. Lauren started off with soccer, and then moved on to track and field in high school, while also playing some softball as well.

One of the most notable sporting experiences she had before she began bobsledding was with volleyball. Lauren played volleyball in college, for Brown University as the captain of the team.

After this, Lauren was not heavily involved in sports until bobsledding came into her life. She started off with bobsledding at 30, in Colorado. Her friend introduced her to a mutual friend who was involved in professional bobsledding. 

Soon after this, she went on her first bobsledding ride and began training with the aim of making the Olympic team. From then on, she harnessed her skills and honed her abilities, and made an immense career in the process. She has just finished her 6th season, which resulted in a world championship in Germany. 

Lauren is the perfect expert to consult about bobsledding, and has plenty of fantastic experiences to share with people who are looking to do it for the first time. 

What You Need To Know About Your First Time Bobsledding

To start off with, one of the main things Lauren noted about bobsledding is that it’s an incredibly fast and hard wearing sport. It can take quite the toll on the body, and requires immense focus during the moment. It is also a lot of fun to take part in, though.

Newer people in bobsledding will often start out as a braker, and they can progress to being a pilot or driver if they wish to do so. They will go to driving school, then start working their way up through the racing ranks across the world e.g. starting off in nationals, moving to internationals.

There are currently different types of bobsledding, sorted by gender. For women, there is two-women bobsledding and mono bobsledding. For men, there is two-man bobsledding and four-man bobsledding. Lauren acts as a braker, and works with a pilot in her team. 

What Can you Expect

A bumpy ride!! Before you even get to a bobsled track, Lauren wanted to make you knew to expect a bumpy ride, albeit a quick one. Lauren notes that it doesn’t feel like a rollercoaster or a waterslide; you can reach anywhere from 2 to 5 g-forces and it goes by really fast. It can be turbulent and noisy, and Lauren advised people to prepare accordingly if they’re prone to motion sickness. She even said it’s best to not eat right before your first ride.

Health and safety is very important when it comes to bobsledding, and Lauren advised people to warm up and stretch beforehand. Wearing a helmet is must.

Experiencing g-force can be overwhelming for the first time, and Lauren noted that when she sits in the sled, it will make her feel like she is being pushed into it. 

As a ride along, you will fill the position of a Braker. However, DO NOT touch the brakes until told to do as the end of the run. Lauren was adamant that people should not pull the brakes during the middle of a run, as this could result in a flip, or tear up the track.

Where to Go

Finding a bobsledding track is not the easiest thing and varies a bit depending on where you are in the world. Lauren acknowledged that finding a track in Europe is a bit easier, as their are more tracks available in more countries. In North America, there are currently three bobsled, skeleton and luge tracks that are open for use. The tracks are in Lake Placid, New York, Park City, Utah, and Whistler, Canada.

Overall, Lauren encouraged people to try out bobsledding and see how they like it. It’s an incredibly unique sport, and is very fun for a lot of people.

Get In Touch With Lauren

It was wonderful speaking with Lauren about her experiences, and to learn more about this intriguing sport. If you’d like to get in touch with Lauren, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @LAGibbs84. 

Lauren can also be found hosting AirBnB Experience sessions, where viewers can see her Olympic memorabilia, ask questions and discuss successful mindsets.

How To Reach Us

If you’d like to let us know your opinions or thoughts on the show, we’d be more than happy to hear from you. Our show is centered around our audience, and we want to make sure that we’re always putting out the best possible content for you to enjoy. 

Is there something in particular you want advice on? Are there things you think we could be doing better as a team? Please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at today.

What’s Coming Up Next Time?

New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released every Thursday, and we’ve got a wonderful roster of guests lined up to give you more expert advice. 

Coming up on the 21st, we’ll be speaking with Jen McFarland about volunteering for the peace corps for the first time. After that on the 28th, we’ll be speaking with Nathan Hirsch about what you need to know about hiring a virtual assistant for the first time.

You can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us with our work, and every single review is appreciated .

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