If I had a dollar for every time I have heard, “you have the best life, I’m so jealous!” I would be one very rich person. And yes, I honestly believe that I do have the best life and wouldn’t change it for anything, but it is definitely not without a lot of hard work that I am in this position.
Of course, being a professional athlete involves a lot of training and racing. 4.45am wake ups have become a normal part of life and, surprisingly enough, my favourite time of day to train. Most days, I train 6-8hrs of swimming, cycling and/or running. There are also core, gym and recovery programs that are added on top of this. Bedtime is usually 8.30pm. Any time after this, you will probably be more successful talking to a brick wall.
Just like any job, I dedicate my entire life to being the very best I can be. This branches much further than just training and racing hard, but rather, incorporates every aspect of my life. For a start, I have a strict diet, which is regularly reassessed by the dietician. Because spending time with friends and family is something I cannot live without, eating out often involves taking little Tupper Ware containers of dietician-approved meals to restaurants. Yes, I do get some very strange looks from other customers, but sometimes you have to find little alternatives to still be able to do the things you love. I also have a weekly massage and physio routine that I need to maintain in order to keep my body in peak physical condition.
I am lucky enough to live at my European training base, and the other 7 months at home in Australia. I would have to say that Vitoria is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, and an ideal location for training. The travelling would have to be one of the best parts of being a pro athlete, seeing parts of the world you wouldn’t normally experience as a tourist. However, this does also mean large amounts of flying, of which I am not the biggest fan. It’s great for the frequent flyer points though!!
Of course, racing is my top priority. After all, it is why I spend all those hours training. I love racing and think it is without a doubt the greatest part of being a professional athlete. It is where I get to show off my hard work and really challenge myself to find new limits. And without racing, you cannot possibly win. For anyone who has ever broken through that ribbon at the finish line and stood on the top of that podium, you will know exactly what I am talking about when I say there is absolutely, hands down, no greater feeling in the world!!