Peggy Exume began dancing during high school and now is captain of the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers. It's her fourth year with the team, which is preparing for the upcoming hockey season, and she maintains a full-time job with a law firm. To do it all, she has a workout routine that cardiovascularly might be tougher than what the Panthers themselves do. And she relaxes occasionally with a glass of red wine.
Why do you keep fit?
In order to stay healthy and also to maintain my figure. Being a Panther Ice Dancer, sometimes you have a calendar photo shoot, and for games we wear a short top and a really short skirt. It's imperative to keep your figure.
What's your workout routine?
We audition in August and after auditions begin practices immediately. Hockey season begins in October, so from August to October we're just practicing as much as we can, getting the routines down.
Ice Dance practice is very rigorous. We start at 7 p.m. and end at 10, after working a full-time job or [being] a student for some girls.
We practice Tuesday through Thursday and sometimes Mondays. We start with sit-ups and stretching and some toning like push-ups and squats. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Then we start with dancing. We try to go through maybe 50 dances, each a minute. I would say it's 50 percent memorizing and 50 percent pushing yourself as hard as you can. When you perform the one-minute dance, it's like sprinting for one minute straight, kicking legs as high and with as much force as you can to get it up to your face. We have a lot of dances with kick lines.
After our calendar unveiling, usually after November, I keep up with fitness by running two or three times a week on a treadmill at a gym. I don't do weight training, just running. And I like to do the elliptical. I love yoga and Zumba, do them often. On Sundays, I like to run around my neighborhood.
Do you work out during hockey's off-season?
In May, when season is over, I'll take a week or two off. Then I'll take a couple dance classes.
Have you played competitive sports?
In middle school, I was a basketball player. I also ran track and field. When I was in high school, I started dance with electives.
Do you have a personal fitness motto or philosophy?
Discipline is one day at a time.
Does your family keep fit?
My dad was a professional soccer player in Haiti. He wakes up at the crack of dawn at 4 a.m. and goes running. My mom likes running and Jazzercising. My brother was in the Army, so he likes to keep fit by working out and running.
What's your typical daily diet?
I know it's really bad, but I'm not a breakfast person, although sometimes I'll snack on almonds or have scrambled eggs or boiled eggs.
For lunch, I love chicken salad. I love anything with chicken in it. And sushi. I love veggie and broccoli soups and all that. I love steak. It's not that healthy, but I like it.
Dinner is the same as lunch: mainly veggies and chicken. I love Subway sandwiches. And once in a while, I'll indulge in their raspberry cheesecake cookie.
I love popcorn. It's considered a healthy snack. I eat it every single day. All kinds: buttered, kettle, "smart" popcorn.
What do you drink typically?
Water. I don't like juice or soda. It's a waste of carb intake. If you're going to have carbs, you might as well have a sandwich. I love red wine on weekends. And I drink coffee in the morning, sometimes at work.
Do you take any vitamins or sports nutrition products?
Where did you acquire your fitness and nutrition knowledge?
I do a little bit of research on the Internet. And talking to friends, girls on the dance team. They'll do certain things that work for them and I'll try it out.