I’ve known Annabeth Gish for over a decade, a friendly acquaintance through mutual friends. Two things have always stuck out to me about Annabeth. The first is she’s just about the hardest working gal in Hollywood, who goes from project to project without a lull. She’s a busy actress and mom, but ABG always rattles off a long list of projects she’s currently working on. When I recently asked what she had coming out, the answer was impressively long and included her current Quibi show, #FreeRayshawn, co-starring Lawrence Fishburne.
The second thing that has always struck me about Annabeth is that she’s the kind of friend you always want more of. She’s not the usual Hollywood star who has a deep desire to suck up every inch of air in the room by talking about herself.
Annabeth has a real girl reserve. She is cautious about who gets in to her inner circle. Her husband, director and star-Hollywood stunt man Wade Allen, and her two young sons, are her world. Her career and work ethic matter deeply to her. Annabeth is incredibly selective about who gets the very small amount of her that remains.
In between pre-quarantine flights to Canada, Annabeth took the time to give me some of her very precious time. We talked about why she thinks student-athletes should stay in college, whether or not she’d allow her sons to play tackle football and how she keeps that killer bod, which somehow seems to get better with time.
Let’s get physical with Annabeth Gish.
The Luxury Of A Midwest Upbringing
“Growing up in Iowa, I grew up loving the Hawkeyes. College football was where it was at. Bratwurst and tailgates and all of that growing up. And the luxury of growing up in a small Midwestern town was I could play every sport. I played volleyball, basketball, I ran track, I was a cheerleader. I did everything. I never broke any records. I was never a state champion, but I was a teammate. I was a team player. That’s how I grew up.”
Sports Mom 101: Advice To New Sports Mom
“I believe in physical activity. It’s important for mothers to support our kids’ individual tastes. Lead your children to lots of sports, but let them choose their own. Let them lead their own way in terms of what they want to play. Both my kids played soccer, but neither took to it. It wasn’t their thing. We gave them opportunity to find their groove and find a sport they like.”
On Letting Her Sons Play Tackle Football
“My son is 13. He is his own being. The only things I’d forbid my kids to do would be take drugs. I believe in letting our children discover their athleticism. “
On Making A Healthy Lifestyle A Priority
“My kids know that working out for my mental and physical health is a priority. We all go rock climbing as a family. We ski. We scuba dive. My children are starting to now out-pace me. They want to go deeper, and ski faster, and climb higher. It’s beautiful to see when your children start to actively excel beyond you.”
The Fitness Game Changer
“My Peleton changed my world. I don’t have to park. I can make dinner and workout while it’s cooking. I can workout whenever I want. We can parent and workout in our home. Even with that, I do yoga. I hike. We take our dogs for a work all the time. I workout 4-5 days a week, not every day. Having the time to workout is a luxury, but we also make it a priority. “
Fit With Food: My Food Rules
“If someone tells me I can’t eat something it triggers me. I have adopted plant based, but also if I need a steak or hamburger I will eat.”
The Most Annoying Fitness Trend
“If we’re in the middle of the class and someone’s Instagramming the class, that one gets me. “
Fitness Advice To Other Women
“Celebrate every inch of our miraculous bodies and curves. It’s important for women to be confident and to celebrate our unique shapes and bodies. And to eat food. Confidence and curves are sexy. “
How To Educate Boys About Women’s Sports
“I’m so proud that my sons admire female athletes. It’s almost a given for this generation. I don’t have to advocate for it. They see the beauty in physical strength. I’m so proud of that. Their generation already sees that. Their friends are playing intense levels of soccer and lacrosse and water polo and beating the boys at the mile at school. To their generation, there’s not a gender discrepancy. “
On A Defining Childhood Sports Moment
“Growing up my brother was on his high school basketball team. They had these sweatpants and they have four letters going down the side: “M, T. X E.” They stand for mental toughness, extra effort. And I bring that into everything, my professional endeavors, even creatively. I believe in that philosophy of being mentally prepared and smart. And, effort. Effort and enthusiasm go a long way.
Mental tough, extra effort. Mental toughness, extra enthusiasm.”
Free Rayshawn is now streaming on Quibi. Follow Annabeth at: @annabeth_dish.