“HER MENTORING HELPED ME FALL IN LOVE WITH FITNESS”
Sally-Anne Blanshard, 38
N ine months after having my first baby, I was still feeling blurgh, so I pulled on my biggest pants and went along to a boot camp at my local oval. I got chatting to another mum, Rachael Taylor, and we had such fun, I kept going.
I wondered why Rachael was there as she seemed so fit, then she invited me to her home on a play date for our kids and I discovered why: she was an elite rower and had won silver at the Sydney Olympics.
I’m a real mum with a real body, but when Rachael suggested coming over to her place to do training circuits together I agreed. I was in it for the ocean views from her garden as much as anything!
She’d prepared a list: we did 20 burpees, straight into 20 mountain climbers, then 20 push-ups into 20 something-elses. It made boot camp look easy! I was nearly sick.
However, I’m a business coach and I know that you get back what you put in, so I kept training with her. We even went hill-running, although Rachael always insisted on bolting up them while I’d have preferred to sprint in the other direction.
As I got to know Rachael, I discovered her focus and determination and it rubbed off on me. I’d always been on some diet and made excuses, but she taught me about being committed and consistent. “I don’t feel like training,” I’d say, and she’d reply, “Neither do I, but let’s do it anyway.”
When I moved to Brisbane and Rachael moved to WA, I had to look for new inspiration. “Why don’t you do a marathon?” Rachael said, but that looked too hard, so I set a goal of completing 40 fun runs by the time I turned 40. Rachael encouraged me along the way, celebrating each new personal best. I’m now down to 36 minutes for 5km, and I’m going to smash my goal a year ahead of schedule.
It’s really nice to have Rachael always encouraging me and saying things like, “I reckon your next run will be a half marathon”, and you know what? I’m going to run a half marathon.
I now have two children and I’ve never been fitter, faster, leaner or stronger. Rachael has taught me that all we can be is the best version of ourselves and that’s what I am. Best of all, it’s rubbed off on my kids, too.
Olympian Rachael Taylor (left) turned Sally-Anne Blanshard (right) from exercise shy to fitness fan