Candace Parker joins Muscle Milk to lift underserved communities, interview

Candace Parker for Muscle Milk, photo provided by Muscle Milk
Candace Parker for Muscle Milk, photo provided by Muscle Milk /

Candace Parker is a legend both on and off the basketball court. While she has earned numerous accolades, her presence is more than just one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time. She has used her platform to show that an athlete can be a voice for others. With her partnership with Muscle Milk, the Lifting Project is more than building individual strength. It is a way to create a foundation with communities.

Many times, it is referenced that women are strong. Regardless of whether a woman can bench press hundreds of pounds, it is that that combination of mental and physical strength that is a force of nature. It might sound like an exaggeration, but few people should doubt a woman’s inner power.

But, there can be a juxtaposition in the world. While women can do it all, the visual of a strong woman can have a different impact. Even though many people spend hours at the gym, it is more than being ripped. There is a sense of confidence in that hard work.

Unfortunately, many communities do not have access or opportunity to explore building that physical strength. The Lifting Project, from Muscle Milk, looks to rectify that situation. The hope is that underserved communities can build more access and start the journey to embracing a strong, active lifestyle.

Candace Parker talks personal strength and community connection

Muscle Milk provided this fact , “Households with the lowest income in the US report inactivity rates of more than double the rate of households that earn $75,000 a year or more.” While many people might appreciate that being active adds to a more fulfilled life, it is more than just words. When the opportunity to take that first step comes with a barrier, people are more willing to stay still.

When asked about the importance of community support, Parker reflected on her own personal experiences. In her youth, the Naperville community offered that foundation. Even as she discovered weigh training during high school, she appreciated that strength is more than just putting the hours in the gym. It is about having that supportive team. Whether it is trainer who guides each rep or the person cheering on each subsequent accomplishment, the end goal doesn’t happen in a bubble.

Parker was very clear about the “need to pass on knowledge” to others. For her it is more than just appreciating the need of taking care of your body but giving people the access. From information to the tools to achieve, the Lifting Project looks to open the doors to those underserved communities.

As seen in the recent Own Your Strength Muscle Milk campaign, Parker is joined by her daughter. That willingness to be an example for others is a key component to getting people excited about learning how to make their bodies and minds strong.

For Parker, it is more than just being an example as a professional athlete. It is about encouraging everyone to be healthy. Regardless of the visual image, the goal of being healthy is paramount. The choice to move, be active and appreciate that it is a lifelong commitment should be the first part of the healthy lifestyle conversation.

At the same time, Parker encourages everyone to appreciate that life should be balanced. While being strong can be empowering, it is just one facet. From conscious food choices to stretching to mental strength, all of those items come together to lift a person in a positive way.

From there, people, not just well-known figures like Parker, can set an example for others. While Parker appreciates that she inspires others, it is the community that can foster that lifestyle change. Empowering the community is key to this whole process.

Whether it is being accountable to that trainer or giving underserved communities the resources, those items are key to lasting success. The hope is that the Lifting Project starts the conversation and makes lasting change which will transform those communities.

Once Candace Parker referenced that time would tell her story. While her celebrated basketball career is secured in sports fame, her impact is more than championships and gold medals. When asked what she meant by that comment, Parker’s response was a simple one.

Parker looks to have an impact on people. While she might have made a huge impression on thousands of people due to her basketball skills, it is more than that. Impacting one person, who impacts another, who impacts another is a legacy that lasts far longer than the confetti drop on a championship court.

That legacy and that sentiment is one that anyone, even a person who doesn’t know a layup from a charge, can apply to their own life. One person can impact change if they are willing to take that first step.