The first few episodes of “Life In The Fast Lane” depict Austin Dillon’s best friend and tire carrier, Paul Swan, as a hardcore workout-minded athlete, skills that he says have come in handy since becoming a new dad.
Paul and Mariel Swan, a former professional cheerleader, welcomed their baby girl Bella to the world last month. Speaking to USA Insider, the new parents discussed the surprising ways in which keeping their bodies in peak athletic condition has made parenting easier. Mariel explains that a newborn baby is a handful — literally.
“I've got another arm, and I've got this hand somewhere, and we're just like, ‘If I wasn't as limber as I was from, like, ballet and dance like that, there's no way we'd survive,” she said.
“Sometimes, I'm picking something up with my toes,” Paul jokes. “Like, I find myself laying on the couch with Bella looking at something using my feet to pick it up and, like, hand it up to me, the remote, a blanket, a bottle. I'm holding her in one hand, I'm holding the bottle, changing the channel. It's crazy. It definitely helps in parenting if you were an athlete back in the day.”
Both Paul and Mariel complimented each other on making time to watch their baby individually while the other focuses on sleep or exercise, which is extra important for Paul to perform at the top-tier level his job in Dillon’s NASCAR pit crew demands. As a result, they’ve both got strong opinions when it comes to workouts they love and workouts they hate.
“I'll just kinda go off college. My favorite workouts back then, and really now, are cleans. I love doing cleans. Anything where you can scream and slam stuff, I love doing that,” Paul says. “My least favorite workouts were probably running these 400s we used to do. I was a really good track runner and I got good endurance, but just doing them sucks. Like, we used to run, I think back in high school, we used to run nine 400s and we had a minute break in between.”
He revealed that it only got harder in college.
“We’d do a hard squat workout and then we go run 400s and it was like, they were tough, but it was always fun. It was always a great feeling when we were done," he says.
As for Mariel, she too likes cardio and lifting, but she shares a least-favorite workout that anyone who has done them will likely agree with.
“My least favorite workout are burpees,” she says matter-of-factly. “There's just something about the getting down. I don't know what it is, but it just feels like torture. It just feels like a torture device. I don't know who made those, but they are awful and they should never be done.”
While Paul and Mariel navigate the physically taxing first days of parenthood, viewers can see them both prepare for the big day while they’re still expecting baby Bella on “Austin Dillon’s Life In The Fast Lane” every Thursday at 9:30/8:30c on USA Network.