Belinda Granger: Keep a balance, listen to your body and embrace the passion.
“I think my biggest strength in my 22 years of being in the sport is my longevity. I’ve been able to stay injury free, sickness free and mentally loving it. That’s been my biggest asset. And part of the reason I’ve had that is that I think biomechanically I’m built well for triathlon, but apart from that I’ve always had balance. This is my profession and it’s how I make a living, but I’ve always remained passionate about having balance in my life. I’ve never disallowed myself certain foods if I’ve felt for them. I’ve never restricted myself from going out to dinner and socializing on the weekends with family and friends. I think that’s so important–I can’t reiterate that enough. Because even though your sport’s important to you, if you keep taking things out for the love of the sport, sooner or later you’re gong to start disliking the sport, because it’s taking away things that you want to do. If you keep missing birthdays or anniversaries or weddings or special occasions, pretty soon you’ll start to resent the sport. So I’ve always allowed myself that balance. That’s probably one of the major reasons that I’ve had such longevity.”
“The second reason is that I listen to my body. We all get those little warning signs–maybe a little ulcer on your tongue or a bit of a rasp in your throat. Everyone gets different telltale signs but we all have them if we’re willing to listen. And when I get those I know it’s time to back it off and have a night where I get 12 hours of sleep. Obviously I learned that the hard way when I was younger and would ignore my body and all of a sudden I’d be sick. So I learned that early on and now I respect my body. I also eat really well. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy red wine or chocolate or things that maybe are not great for me, but I allow myself to have them in moderation. I don’t on any crazy diets and I don’t deny myself anything. And the reason I’ve gotten to that stage is because back when I was in high school and university and I was a gymnast, I wouldn’t say I had an eating disorder, but I was like every other young girl growing up. I was body conscious and I didn’t always like what I looked at in the mirror. So I did have a bit of an issue with eating and trying to diet. And I swore that I would never let myself get to that stage again. Since I’ve been in the sport of triathlon, which I started quite late in life, I’ve never allowed myself to fall into that routine again.”
“Another important thing is recovery. I get massage once a week, every week, never fail–and sometimes more. I see a chiropractor regularly and a physio if I get a little niggle. I never allow things to evolve into an injury, because I get them sorted before that happens.”
“Lastly, I truly love the sport. I didn’t decide this was going to be my career–it sort of found me. I raced age group first and I realized I was actually quite good–and when I say good I don’t mean that I think I have a lot of natural talent, but I think I have the mental aptitude for this sport and I’m tough. So I got my start in the sport because I love it, and then it just grew from there. For me it’s the perfect combination of doing something that I love and being able to make a career of it. I think Macca is in the same boat. Both of us can sit and talk triathlon for hours! You ‘d think that would be the last thing we’d want to talk about, seeing as we do it 24/7, but when Justin and Macca and I have dinner together all we talk is triathlon. It’s so much a part of my life and also my family’s life. My mum and dad live and breathe it. They’ve already booked their tickets to Challenge Roth this year and I’m not even racing! It’s just been a real family love affair for us with the sport of triathlon. It’s just such a terrific way of life.”