JUGGLING IT ALL // HARRIET BROWN
Surf ironwomen Harriet Brown wears many hats - Athlete, friend, fiancé, daughter, the list goes on. Like all of us, Harriet strives to do it all. We recently sat down with Harriet to discuss tips and tricks on juggling training, life, and planning for her wedding!
Here goes. I am currently planning for my wedding. It’s an exciting time but the planning is not the highest on my priority list. When JOLYN asked me to write a blog about juggling training, work, life, and planning for a wedding I had a little chuckle. Maybe this blog will keep me accountable to tick off some more boxes.
Being a surf ironwomen involves a lot of training. I train up to 15 times per week, 6 days per week. Throw in physio, massage, rehab, and sponsor commitments, and the athlete part of my life adds up – being an ironwoman takes time and means that I am often tired. On top of that I am also working a few different jobs. I genuinely enjoy all the different things I get to do and appreciate that I am able to spend a part of each day in the ocean. But sometimes it can feel like a lot.
Back to the question. ‘How do I keep on track and juggle it all?’ Well, I never really feel on track, but that’s life hey!? Of course, there’s always more to do, but there are some things that really help me with managing some kind of balance.
Consistency is key. I don’t turn up to a race and just ‘hope’ I do well, I have put in the hard work first. I try to apply this to anything I care about whether it’s work, study, or life. Taking things one step at a time prevents me from becoming overwhelmed, and helps me feel calm and on top of things. When it comes to planning a wedding, I am trying to take a similar approach. That, and a few people checking in on me and encouraging me to get organised helps. I am way more excited about my wedding day than I am about planning it. I am not that girl who dream't of a wedding from when I was young, but now that it’s happening I am getting excited.
My diary helps me survive and thrive. I keep myself accountable by writing to-do-lists in my hand-written dairy. I would be lost without it. I am a list person; I have lists for the month, the week, and then the day. There’s something really satisfying when ticking off tasks from my list and helps me juggle multiple things at one.
Rest is important too. Aside from my diary, another thing that has helped me stay on top of everything has actually been to try and schedule in some down time. I know this seems counterproductive, how does resting help get things done? However, I find when I give myself a moment to rest, I am more focused and able to accomplish more after. Honouring the down time has been a challenge for me though, and one I am still working on. I can feel the difference in myself mentally when I have taken a moment to myself to either nap, listen to music, watch a movie, or have a bath.
Accountability is I often give advice to others. This blog is going to be different!
Advice (for myself): Work on saying ‘no’ a little more, and ‘yes’ a little less. Don’t over commit. Keep saying yes to the things that bring you joy, the activities you love, the people who support you, and what will make you a better athlete and person. You say you don’t really mind what wedding dress you wear. That’s fine, but you will actually have to get married wearing something. So, you may as well put in a small amount of effort to finding something you like, that is long enough, fits, and is within budget (eek).
Write a to do list every day: Mornings are when you are most productive, so do the important and difficult tasks then. Also, don’t keep putting off the things you don’t want to do, stop shifting them to the bottom of the list every day. Rip the band aid off and get them done. You will feel so much better for it. Training, racing, wedding, KaMana – these are all the things you have chosen to do. They are what you LOVE!! Keep remembering that; enjoy the process, the moments, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Train hard and be consistent: You don’t really need advice on that as its second nature by how. However, what you do need to work on is not getting stressed when you have a niggle. The niggles will come and go, remain positive and control what you can control.
Lastly a wedding to you is about the people, celebrating, dancing and eating… Oh and love of course. You’ll have a great day pink rashie tan and all. BUT, your wedding won’t organise itself.
Get to it!