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Off the Ice with Peggy Fleming

This cold and flu season, Robitussin® is providing Simple Acts of Relief by touring the U.S. with mobile relief stations providing free massages, beverages, and phone charging stations, among others things.

You can enter the Instant Win Game & Sweepstakes for a chance to win prizes such as free Robitussin®, pre-paid gift cards, and more. Every time you play, you’re automatically entered for a chance to win the $100,000 grand prize.

Olympic and World ice skating champion Peggy Fleming has teamed up with Robitussin® for the campaign and I had the pleasure of catching up with her at Chelsea Piers' SkyRink last month to discuss boys, wine, and our colorful last names:

Jill Seiman & Peggy Fleming

What a great partnership. Why were you interested in joining Robitussin® for the “Simple Acts of Relief” Campaign?

I was really brought in to celebrate people who have my kind of last name…that sounds like one of the symptoms that Robitussin® treats.

Did I tell you my last name is Seiman?

{Wild laughter}

That’s NOT one of the symptoms!

There was a joke that went around after the Olympics because I wore a costume at the Winter Games in '68 and my mother made it in chartreuse green. The joke went around, "What’s green and skates? Peggy Fleming." I didn’t repeat it very much but now I’m embracing it.

We’ve had our fair share of colds and flu and we’ve turned to Robitussin® for relief. If you have congestion or a cough, it’s fantastic. We have 2 boys, all grown up, and three grandsons, so we’ve passed on the message. Sometimes you have to keep going. When I’m working, often times I have to work through being sick. It’s great to have an over-the counter-medicine to help. They've repackaged Robitussin® so that whatever your symptoms are, you can look on the packaging and clearly see which one is the right relief.

Robitussin® is also doing Simple Acts of Relief and giving away 100,000 prizes and $100,000.

That’s major relief!

I understand you have a winery out in San Jose where you reside.

Yes! We’ve been a bonded winery for 7 years. The winery is called Fleming Jenkins. Jenkins is my married name. My husband is a retired dermatologist and we planted a vineyard 12 years ago as a landscaping project. We had an extra acre and one thing led to another and we got more interested. He retired from his practice, had spare time, and simply wasn’t ready to slow down. It’s been a very interesting and fun business. Very friendly too. People share ideas and it’s great. A little bit more work than we thought but it’s worth it.

We ship to New York too and donate $2 of every bottle of Victories Rose to Breast Cancer Research. We've donated $56,000 so far. I’m a grateful survivor and we’re making so many advancements in medicine, techniques, and awareness and we’re saving a lot more people and that’s what all these wonderful campaigns are all about.

You look amazing. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling so well. Do you still skate? What do you do to stay in shape?

I don’t skate regularly. I just do it for recreation and different events but I don’t perform. I host a lot of skating shows but mainly I just workout. I do my cardio, I do my weight training, and I try to do it at least 4 or 5 times a week. If I do it just 3, then that’s still great. I just try to be consistent and always watch what I eat because I can exercise till the cows come home but if I’m not watching what I eat I’d never see the results. It’s common sense and a balancing act. Life is a balancing act. Being a mom and having a career and still being yourself and finding time to take care of yourself. I just learned over the years how to do that. My schedule used to be even more crazy than it is now and somehow I was able to do that. It’s prioritizing and having a standard by which you live. Being healthy is a lifestyle. It’s not a crash diet. It’s not, “Next month I’m going to get into shape.” It’s something I think about on a daily basis.

Any advice on creating that balance/standard?

I think you always have to have time for yourself. You can be a better wife and mom if you really take care of yourself first. You’ll have more energy and you’ll feel good about yourself. Just keep exploring who you are and other interests. Your kids will be proud of you. They want to see you take care of yourself. You’re a role model to your kids and how they should take care of themselves. I think kids really respect that. They’re absorbing everything and learning. They see more than you think they do. Taking care of yourself sets that standard for them.

You were a World Champion at such a young age. What happens to that competitive spirit when you move on ? How do you harness all that energy?

I always want to do the best with everything I do from keeping my house neat, to being proud of my groceries! I still explore who I am and try to inspire my kids and my husband and myself and friends and share that with other people. It’s how I’ve always been. I’m interested in life. I’m still exploring. I’m having fun and I’m still growing.

You have a lot of men in your life: two sons and three grandsons. They must all adore you. I have a 2-year old son and a male dog so my household is pretty testosterone driven too.

We specialize in men and they’re adorable. I’m from a family of four girls. I’m number 2. When I had my first son, I thought, “What do you do with a boy?!” I learned and it’s been great. He lived in Vermont for awhile but has since moved to Colorado. He’s in the snowboarding industry.

Wow, you guys sure know winter sports! The Winter Olympics must be a very big deal for your family.

I took him to the Vancouver games. He was working for Burton back then and on Shawn White’s line of clothing. It was fun for me because skating isn’t necessarily the cool sport so I got to do both. I was part of the Presidential Delegation and got to go to the Opening Ceremony and hang out with the Vice President for a week so that was pretty cool. Snowboarding was the “it” ticket and we were right there. I’ve never seen competition live that. It’s amazing. I’m glad I didn’t see my son snowboarding like that all these years. Shawn White made it look so easy.

Do you keep in touch with the skating community?

Oh yes. I just did a show is Rapid City, South Dakota. It was a tribute to the Beatles on ice and the original Broadway cast of Rain was performing and they had skaters and I hosted. I love it when we have musical acts plus skating. I’m leaving from here to go to Moline, Illinois to host another show with Nadia Komenich and Bart Conner. It’s a combination of gymnastics and skating.

Those are my two favorites! Figure skating and gymnastics are what I stay home for.

When you see the gymnasts, they have the rings set out on the ice and the skaters just choreograph around the apparatuses. It’s just spectacular with the spotlights and music and interaction.

I’m lucky hanging around all that creativity and the energy is good for me. Just get out there and participate in life! I’m trying to get people out to see more shows. They have a big impact on kids. And it’s a great challenge for me to bring that energy and make sure it translates to television.

Well, enjoy your time in New York. Do you have any plans while you’re here? Autumn in New York is magical.

I have an entire day off! I want to go down to Ground Zero, just to see it and see the memorial. I had an event here a month after September 11th and I remember going down there and that smell and all that ash. The memorial looks so beautiful on television but I want to see it with my own eyes. And of course, a little bit of shopping. There’s just so much wonderful energy here.