Parenting can be tough, but imagine training for the Olympics and trying to be a great mummy simultaneously?! Eloise Wellings is not only a long-distance running superstar who represented Australia at the Rio Olympics, but she’s also a mum to three-year-old India.
Like many athletes, Eloise has experienced her share of wins and setbacks in her career. At just 16, she qualified for the Sydney Olympics 2000, and was also a prospective member for Athens and Beijing, but missed out due to injury. Eloise is a fighter and truly inspirational though, overcoming 10 stress fractures to compete in her first Olympics in London in 2012.
She zipped up a storm at Rio but while she missed out on a podium spot, she’s happy with her performance. “I hope that in some way, our results in Rio have inspired the everyday Aussie runners out there,” explains Eloise. “It’s the biggest thing I love about our sport – that the elite runners go through all of the same challenges, mental and physical, self-doubt and injuries, [and persevere].”
Eloise is already preparing for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, while juggling motherhood, family commitments and the Love Mercy Foundation that she co-founded, which raises money for rural communities in north Uganda.
It’s been a long race to the finish line, and Eloise is still running. So how does she juggle a career as a professional athlete with parenting? And what fitness and food philosophies does she teach her daughter, India?
Here, Eloise shares a peak into her family’s rituals and health philosophies …
How do you balance your fitness commitments with parenting?
“I’m still navigating and juggling motherhood and a career! My husband, Johnny is the real hero, he has made many sacrifices in his own career so support me, especially being away this year with the Olympics. He owns Bird and Bee Studio, a photograph and film making business. But now that we’re back home he is back shooting weddings. I am still training, but not as intensely. We are enjoying a bit more balance.”
What’s your family food philosophy and routine?
“When we’re at home we eat a wide range of fresh, healthy foods. My husband and I share the cooking and when possible, we try and eat meals together at the dining table. We love food – homemade pizza is probably our favourite, closely followed by Mexican! Good nutrition is obviously really important for me in terms of performance in my running career, but also just to maintain wellness outside of running. I use supplements to make up what my diet may be lacking like calcium, magnesium and ubiquinol, which works on a cellular level to help us derive the most energy out of the food we eat.”
Do you run with your daughter, India?
“Indi loves running! She will come to the track and run around on the infield and try and keep up with us for 50m if she’s feeling energetic. Or run and jump in the long jump pit and stop to build a sandcastle! She’s only three, so I think just being a good example to her in how I approach health is the most important thing.”
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Oh the places you'll go… Base camp for the next ten days before three more races in Europe to close out the season. It's been 10 years since we came here for the first time and we've been back many times since, it's still as breathtaking as the first time (pun intended, you're welcome). Love that my little girl can experience and enjoy the beauty of the mountains. Been tapping out some new loops for future MTC camps… It's been 10 years but we're just getting started 🙌🏼 📸 @jonbirdandbeestudio
Did you use a jogging pram post pregnancy?
“Yes, I ran with the BOB ironman pram made By Britax. I loved running with it as it’s so smooth and I often take it walking now. We also travelled with it to Rio and our training camps in Europe because it’s so light and folds up compact.”
How do you manage your time away from your daughter when competing?
“This year she travelled almost everywhere with me except for the domestic trips, which are usually only one night away. And yep, we FaceTime! She loves it! She carries the phone around and we’ll have a good chat, then she’ll put the phone down somewhere when she gets distracted!”
How do you explain your career to your daughter?
“We don’t talk that much about it to be honest, we just kind of live it, if that makes sense. She knows mummy is a runner and that we went to Rio for the Olympics, and that when you win races sometimes you get given flowers. There was a scenario recently where she was really upset that ‘mummy didn’t win the flowers’ (she loves flowers), and it was a really great opportunity for me to tell her that you can’t always win the flowers. What matters most is that you just try your best and have fun.”
How important is your family’s support for your career?
“My family are all very close, and they travel to watch me race any chance they get. I love that they use my running events as an excuse to travel and see the world! I would be nowhere without my family’s support.”
What values do you promote to your daughter?
“To be kind and to be thankful.”
For more info on Eloise, check out her website.