Welcome to the No Excuses Series where different active lifestyles are explored to show there really is no excuse. In this interview, we speak with Helen, Event Leader for Tour de Office, mother of three and runner.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the Event Leader for the Tour de Office Event, I work with a fantastic team to deliver the in-office cycling relay experience for companies around Australia. I work four days a week which gives me time to spend with my two young children.
What does a basic rundown of your day look like?
I usually get jumped on by an energetic toddler or hear the unmistakable call of a waking baby around 5 am each day. We all head downstairs for a family breakfast and then depending on the season/light we’ll have a sneaky swim together, a walk outside or a dance party inside. It’s safe to say sitting down and eating a leisurely breakfast is a thing of the past. The positive is that I get my body moving from the moment I wake up, albeit involuntarily.
From there, its dressing and daycare drop off followed by a drive into work. I’m lucky to have a stand-up desk which helps to increase my time standing – and honestly does great things for my back and posture. Some work lends itself really well to walking and standing – like talking on the phone or creative thinking while I prefer to sit when I need to smash out a pile of written work or respond to emails. I take a small break for lunch and finish earlier in the afternoon so I can exercise outside and avoid the heat and strong sun. I’m lucky to work in an office on the Brisbane river so it’s easy to jump on to the riverside path and do a short run before heading out to pick up the kids.
The evening routine is pretty hectic with dinner, baths, books and bed so I usually fall at the same time as my children (sometimes mid-bed time story much to my 3-year-old’s disappointment). Then we do this all over again – cue 5 am wake up call!
How do you stay motivated and continue to do this (nearly) every day?
My children and husband motivate me. It is hard to sit on the sidelines when we are such an active family. I need my body to be strong and healthy so I can play with my children and have the energy to run the Tour de Office event!
What do you find the most challenging about keeping an active and healthy lifestyle?
As much as my children motivate me – they are also my biggest obstacle to keeping fit. Before them, I ran marathons and participated in loads of team sports in the evening. Now it is harder to find the time and freedom to head out for a 3-hour training run – and then give my body the necessary recovery.
Do you ever change it up?
I hope to soon – but this is a pretty standard routine. The weekends we start our Saturday with a local park run and include a family bike ride at one point.
What is your tip for others?
Find every opportunity to move – you don’t have to have a designated time or place. Once you start you can’t stop.
What is your favourite exercise?
Competitive sport! I lived in Canada for several years and loved playing ball hockey, while in Australia I grew up playing netball and touch football.