Episode 8: Zoe Hickel

Zoe's probably the hottest person we've ever seen lift such heavy weights before- she just doesn't know it. Our trainer, Walter Norton Jr, is always getting on Zoe to be more confident. Maybe it's because she's not screaming and yelling like the rest of us psychopaths during pull-ups or in between reps on the bike.

However, I wouldn't say Zoe lacks confidence, but rather is incredibly modest. Zoe is one of those people that just exudes humility. She's one of the strongest women I've ever seen in the weight room, but if I told you that in the lobby before you started warm up, you'd be shocked. (Unless you got a glimpse of her KILLER legs.) Any day you get to be partners with Zoe is a great day, because she'll encourage you on every single rep you do, and then you can stare in awe when it's her turn and she rips 225 lbs on trap bar squat for 8 reps like she's carrying stuffed animals. 

Oh, and did we mention that after we left, we saw she brought her mom to a workout, who from what we've heard she absolutely crushed it? Look, it took me two months to be able to survive Walter's 2 1/2 hour marathons without it ruining my whole day. Then Zoe's mother comes in on a whim when she's visiting and dusts it off like it was a hot yoga session. Now I know where she get's it from.

 There are some people who just win the gene pool lottery. There are some people who work incredibly hard. Zoe Hickel is both. 

SC: What part of your body are you most confident in? What are you most self-conscious of?  

ZH: I'd say I'm probably most confident in my legs (more so when I have some color!) I know I have big muscular legs but I've learned to be proud of them after all the years of training it's took to shape them and now these suckers keep me confident from training and games to throwing on a dress and strapping on heels for a night out. 

On the flip side sometimes I feel like my traps and shoulders get in the way of me wanting to wear dressier/feminine clothes without feeling too bulky up top - that's when I look to Sporting Chic for fashion tips on athletic bodies. 

SC: What do you like most about hockey?

ZH: What I like most about hockey are all the friendships we create and the memories we make. For as long as I can remember, I've been a part of a team and have built my closest relationships through my teammates growing up. The passion and love for the game combined with the competitiveness is what got me to level I am at now. Although playing internationally and professionally are big steps, I wouldn't say that it's scary as much as it exciting and fun. We work our whole lives to be playing at this stage, so once we get the chance to play for our country or even play professionally, it's an unreal feeling

SC: How do you see women's hockey growing in America and what do you think is the key to making it even bigger?

ZH: I think this is a great time for women's hockey and a great time to get little girls in the sport! We've been fighting for more on the women's side and with more attention toward our National team with the Olympics coming up and now with a professional league (NWHL) for girls to look up to, we have increased options for a future in women's hockey. I think this next Olympics in 2018 will be another huge opportunity to jump start another spark in our sport for increased growth. I really hope we can continue the momentum and build something so that little girls who look up to us now are able to make a good living playing the sport we love.