Chantae McMillan is a Professional track and field athlete. Competing in the heptathlon for the past 10 years, her greatest accomplishment thus far is being apart of the 2012 United States of America Olympic team. Her personal best in the heptathlon is 6326 points. Over the next 4 years she will focus solely on making the next Olympic team in the javelin. As a certified personal trainer, she will also focus on becoming a certified nutritionist to help others live a better lifestyle.
Chantae grew up with both parents in the Army, moving from Tennessee, Texas, to Missouri. She then received a track and field scholarship to the University of Nebraska, where she received a degree in Education, with a focus on art.
Training for the Olympics brought Chantae to Dayton, where her coach is from. In her free time she enjoys being with her two dogs, a great dane named Moose and an American bulldog named Benny. She also finds creative outlets by painting and creating DIY projects. Check out my interview with Chantae McMillan!
1. What got you started running track and field?
In 8th grade I started running track and field with my friends because that year we couldn’t play soccer. Then, freshman year of high school came and I chose to run track, while all my friends went back to playing soccer. I made that decision based off the marks I put up as an 8th grader being competitive enough to place at state. Also, possibly reward me with me with a scholarship to college.
2. Did you realize at one point that you had the potential to be as successful as you are?
I can’t recall really having the goal of being an Olympian. I honestly didn’t know what the heptathlon was until I started competing in it! After getting better at the heptathlon every year at Nebraska, going to the Olympic trials and attempting to make the team became reality.
3. What was your experience like at the University of Nebraska?
I’m so happy I went to the University of Nebraska and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love the city of Lincoln. I love my team, my coaches and my friends. I love the experiences I had and who they made me. Nebraska made me a heptathlete, which helped me become an Olympian. I also left with a degree in Education, with a focus on art.
4. How did the heptathlon come about?
The heptathlon came into my life my second year at the University of Nebraska, I was originally recruited for long and triple jump, but then asked the coaching staff if I could make the change from 2 events to 7. I wanted to do the heptathlon because I wanted the challenge and I also never wanted to triple jump again after a bad ankle sprain. My coach was happy and will still tell me that he originally wanted me to be a heptathlete right out of college, but I was stubborn at first!
5. How was your experience at the Olympics? Do you have a favorite memory?
My experience at the Olympics was of course amazing! I enjoyed meeting so many amazing athletes from all different sports and competing with the best heptathletes in the world! My favorite memory was walking out onto the track for the first event of the heptathlon, the 100m hurdles, looking around at the stadium full of people! I also enjoyed just hanging out with friends at the Olympic Village and venturing out with them around London.
What do your workouts consist of?
Lately, training for the javelin, my workouts have changed a little from when I was training for the heptathlon. I am focused on getting stronger in the weight room with Olympic lifts, such as squats, hang cleans, and jerks. I also put a large amount of focus on my mobility for my arms and back. Making sure my shoulder and core stays strong, yet very flexible because of the amount I am asking my body to perform. I can still spend 4 hours a day working out.
I will spend two days a week throwing the javelin. I am in the weight room every day, doing the Olympic lifts as well as general strength routines for my whole body. I try to spend time daily doing mobility, such as yoga routines or pilates. It’s always fun to throw gymnastics and crossfit workouts into my training as well.
7. When you’re not working out, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy making art and DIY projects, as well as hanging out with my puppies! I’ve always been pretty artistic, so I love being creative as an outlet. Painting with oil and acrylic, as well as making wood projects lately, from tables to wall décor. One day, I hope to have a hobby farm because of my love for animals!
8. What is your diet like?
My diet is always varying. I love playing with my diet and seeing if I can tell the difference in how I feel! I love fresh, non-gmo fruits and vegetables always! I also think it is very important to get the right amount of good fats through out my day, such as avocado, coconut oil, salmon, olive oil, flax seed, and fish oil! Of course, proteins and good carbs too. It is important for me to eat a certain amount of calories throughout my day to help me meet the goals of retaining muscle and gaining muscle, along with the amount of calories expended through my workouts. Also, I stay hydrated with regular plane-jane water and coconut water, sometimes maple water!
I supplement my daily workouts with coffee, with coconut milk in it. Protein and branched chain amino acids for recovery, as well as krill oil, Onnit’s version of fish oil, to help with my joints through workouts!
9. What are you currently doing now?
Currently, I am still training for the 2020 Olympics in just the javelin, not the heptathlon. I also am in the process of earning a certificate in nutrition to help others out with their daily lifestyles.
10. Who is your role model?
My role models have always been my parents because of their amazing work ethic that they taught me to have.
When it comes to athletes, I have always looked up to Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, Ray Lewis, and many more. I tend to feed off of the energy that football players bring to their workouts and games!
11. Do you have a favorite quote?
I have a few phrases that come to mind daily.
“Everything happens for a reason”-Helps me remember things may not be going my way, but I still need to “trust the process” –Continue to do everything I need to for my ultimate goal without doubt.
12. Do you have any advice for aspiring track and field athletes?
My advice for aspiring track and field athletes is to always give your all. There is no point in doing a practice with half effort, with expectations of being great. You are wasting your time if you’re not putting forth full effort. Create your goals and chip away at them daily with your efforts and love for what you are doing.
Be sure to keep up with Chantae on social media!