Compression Nation - Ambassador Danielle Lao

Compression Nation - Ambassador Danielle Lao

To say that my recent partnership with 2XU has been exciting would be an understatement. This compression brand has opened my eyes to taking caring of your body at another level. When first approached by Randy Becker their marketing representative and now my good friend, I figured that 2XU was another undergarment and/or thermal brand that was trying to compete with the likes of Under Armour and Nike Compression. When Randy explained to me 2XU products were specially made medical compression, I was curious, but not completely convinced that it would make as big a difference on the typical athlete as he said it would. After Randy sent me a few samples to embark on the compression experience, my thoughts and opinions did a complete 180 and I myself could not believe what the product was doing for me.

Fighting a nasty plantar fasciitis and the typical aches and pains of a professional athlete logging in endless hours on the court and in the gym, I needed 2XU. 2XU not only helped me fight my tendonitis in my foot, but it aided my recovery from everyday strenuous activity. I love the product so much that it has become routine to throw on some sort of compression whenever I can. Whether it is my recovery tights right when I jump out of my shower, recovery leg sleeves midday, or the compression arm sleeves for the beginning of my practice, I am constantly thinking when and where I can apply compression.

I keep a full set of my compression gear in a pouch that I have and it is the first thing I throw into my suitcase when I packed for my first leg of 2014 tournaments on the road. I am certain that utilizing my recovery gear made a difference in my performance the following day after long matches. Having done this “tennis thing” for so long, I have a relatively accurate idea of what my body should feel like after a certain day’s work. In my most recent events, I can honestly say that my body was feeling much better than I expected it to the day after very arduous matches, because I added 2XU to my warm up and recovery regiment.

My most relevant story though that I want to share is a day when I was scheduled to play two singles matches in a day. (Who does that anymore at the professional level?) At 5’3” 120 lbs, I am considered smaller built in comparison to the majority of my competitors. With my small frame, I myself get anxious when it comes to the physicality of the sport, because there is only so much abuse and pounding my smaller body can withstand. Nervous about how I would cope with the physical task of playing a second singles match (given I win the first one), I brought my compression leg sleeves along to put on right after my first match. I figured (other than God/supernatural powers) that was the only thing that had a chance of helping me get through the potentially rough day.

After winning my first match, I put on the leg sleeves as I had planned and proceeded to eat, hydrate, and relax before my next round. When it was go time, I slipped the sleeves off, took a couple deep breathes, and walked onto the court facing one of my toughest opponents (in my opinion), who has beaten me handily for the past 3 years. The first 6 games was the most physical tennis I have ever played, and I thought that for sure my legs would give out if I had to keep that intensity up for the rest of the match. To my surprise though they stayed afloat and I came out with the W. When I walked off the court, I at first could not believe I pulled off that win and was not quite sure how I did it mentally and physically. A few minutes passed and then it was all a little clearer to me how it all happened. I can go into how I mentally got through that match, but that will be left for another blog post. As for how my body got through it, I got my hard work, preparation, AND 2XU to thank for helping me snatch a win that I may not have, had I not found a way to give myself the extra edge.

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