Pip is a former professional athlete and is currently engaged in a leadership position for public service, as well as providing expertise through her consultancy business. She was the former performance sports dietitian at Brisbane Lions.
Topics we discussed:
- Important things that athletes should focus on for their health and longevity in sport
- Things young athletes need to learn in their nutrition journey
- Influencers and mentors in her career
- How she upskills herself
- Pip’s fave inspirational quote
- Her work life pet peeves
Jack: Welcome back to the ‘Prepare Like A Pro’ podcast. My name is Jack McLean. I’m the host and in today’s episode I interview Pip Taylor. Pip is a former professional athlete and is currently engaged in a leadership position for the public service. As well as providing expertise through a consultancy business, chair of the AFL Sports Dieticians Association and the former performance diet sports dietician at Brisbane Lions.
Highlights from this episode: we discuss the importance nutrition plays for developing athletes; Pip’s experience as a high performance athlete and how nutrition played a critical role; the challenge COVID had on sports dieticians working in AFL clubs and what Pip and her colleagues at the Sports Dietician Association are doing to solve this issue; and practical tips for sports dieticians, wanting to work in elite sport.
Before we start this episode, for our coaches listening in, I want to help you develop your own semi-automated online business similar to Prepare Like A Pro. The best place to start is to join our Academy where you get full access to our high-performance presentations and exclusive ad-free podcasts. And if you email me with a subject heading ‘Podcast’, I’ll throw in a free coaching mentoring consultation. We will discuss the coaching business, what you’re currently doing, your goals, and I’ll help provide some tips and tricks that you can do to help scale your business. If this is something you’re interested in, you can join our Academy. The link will be in the show notes.
Let’s get into today’s episode. Welcome, Pip.
Pip: Thanks so much for having me on.
Jack: Thank you for coming on. We’ll dive right at the beginning of your career. There’ll be definitely some sports dieticians that have tuned in. Take us through where your discovery for passion and your passion as a dietician started?
Pip: It’s been quite the journey from the start. I’m probably showing my age a little bit. To some degree I almost fell into the profession. I was myself a professional triathlete. That’s a sport where nutrition has a really big component.
I was coming through university. I’d started in a Medical Science degree, so I had a real interest in the human body, how things worked, the physiology behind that. But then, for me as an athlete, it became pretty obvious that nutrition, what you eat, when you eat, had such a major impact on every single facet of performance. So, how you’re feeling day-to-day in training, from mood to physical recovery, right through then to on race day, where it’s, again, a major factor in how you actually get through those races.
I was also probably pretty fortunate as an athlete to be exposed not only to good dieticians and nutritionists, but also other performance staff as well. But also being exposed to other athletes. I certainly came through the system. I came through the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport), when it was very much a program where there were athletes in camp.
I also spent a lot of time racing overseas. I was in environments, for instance, where I was on, this is going back a number of years, when the NFL was in lockout and I spent time training with the Chiefs, Kansas City Chiefsand. I’ve always loved just being around and exposed to lots of different athletes.
And it’s all of those exposure points that really bring into focus, for me anyway, put into perspective different athletic requirements, different physiological requirements. And that’s probably the way my brain works is taking that step and going, ‘Oh, I wonder what that movement or that skill requires from a training perspective and from a nutrition and fueling perspective.’
And so, it was all of those questions, really, that just sparked and sent me down this small formalized route of work and study and training. And then, ended up, when I was a non-athlete, being in that performance environment, myself providing that support.
Jack: That’s fantastic. For athletes there’s a fair bit to dive into there. We’ll start with the athletes, your mindset as an athlete wanting to improve and control the controllable like your nutrition. What were some significant changes that you made and what performance benefits did you notice?
Pip: It’s been really interesting too and probably with a lot of reflection. I know at the time I would’ve changed various things and see how they impacted, and went through some ups and downs with that as well.
I can say straight up too, triathlon is very much a powder weight sport. It is a sport where there is a degree of pressure around body weight, even to an extent. There’s certainly talk or perception about how athletes look. It’s a sport where we’re racing on telly every weekend. So, that’s been an element of it. The other thing that’s been really interesting and progression from athlete to probably professional in this space as well.
And, as a female athlete, what’s really changed is the conversations and the willingness to engage in the knowledge around female hormones and menstruation and what that looks like for both health and performance. And they were conversations that just didn’t happen in my career and my time of racing. So, all of those elements are constantly changing and changing for the better too.
So, I think while there was lots that I did implement myself as an athlete, I think that there’s also lots that I didn’t do. And probably when I’m dealing with athletes now, it does give you a really good perspective. It gives you a really good point of understanding as well, picking up on what the athletes are going through at that stage. And knowing how to have those conversations and how and when to push certain points forward.
Jack: Thank you for sharing that. It’s such a good topic to discuss when it comes to nutrition, that balance of performance, health, and then also aesthetics and the body compositions and, like you said, the expectation of how an athlete should look and those perceptions. And especially when you’re at a young age, you’re at a vulnerable time to be able to handle those things. So, there’s a fair bit going on to try and juggle as an athlete, and lucky to have people like yourself, supporting them and helping them and guiding them.
But for athletes that are tuned in, that are listening, what are some important pillars to understand, that if they are only focusing on their aesthetics, what are some important things that they should be doing that is also important for their health and longevity in the sport?
Pip: It’s such a key topic. And I always like to bring things back to performance, then ask the question of, ‘What are you here for?’
Whether you are in an elite team or a pro athlete, you didn’t get your contract given out, you don’t turn up. They don’t give trophies for skinny athletes or the most muscular athletes are the ones with best body comp. So, it’s really, I guess, framing up what are you here for? What do you turn up to training for every day? And then based on that, what are your requirements?
No one wants to be within that bell curve of ordinary. Every athlete that you speak to wants to be pushing that in. They want to be something special. And so, that takes something special in all the angles, including nutrition. So, it’s thinking through. If you want to turn up day after day and train hard, what does that take?
What is the fueling required to maximize output in that session? How do you recover from that session, so you can back up the next day? Is the session requirement around skill acquisition, so you need your brain turned on and fueled? Otherwise, if it only goes to here, you’re turning up and you’re only getting halfway there all the time.
So, you put that in context for a young athlete or an athlete at the end stage of their career. And you think at some point it will end. And you want to get the most out of that time. So, let’s address that at that point. And I think, once you have that conversation, it’s a bit of a mind shift, a switch.
And the other thing that’s really important to note as well is that often when you are focusing on those outputs and maximizing all of the layouts and outputs and ticking all those boxes along the way, your body composition and your body weight just takes care of itself. Because you’re feeling well, you’re maximizing your outputs, you’re probably sleeping better, your stress levels are down.
And they’re all the things that, really, if they’re out of whack, they really combine to really mess up your body composition and really mess up your stress response across the board. So, I think it’s about starting with the basics, keeping the big picture in mind, understanding why you’re there and working backwards.
Jack: It’s so easy to get distracted, isn’t it? Particularly in team-based sports where you can compare yourself to your peers all the time. Who’s looking like so-and-so, whatever it might be, or compare yourself to competition, but ultimately it is just another distraction, isn’t it? And you’ve got to think about what’s important to you and everyone’s got different body types and different shapes.
But if you’re performing at a really good level, unless you’re a bodybuilder, they are critiqued on that, or there’s some sports as well that it does have an influence. But if you’re training for performance, there’s no doubt most athletes listening to this will be on field performance, it’s where they’re measuring and what they’re trying to improve, then reminding yourself of that is what you love and that’s what you’re there for.
But is there a place for dieting for athletes? Or do you think it is simply having the philosophy that trusting, like you said before, that the by-product of living a healthy lifestyle, that’s fueling your training and training as an athlete lifestyle, that most athletes would be having a fair amount of output reaching their healthy weight, will just take care of itself if you just stay with it over time? Or is there a place where athletes do need a diet?
Pip: To some degree too, that’s a really individual question and this is where one, as an athlete, you need to advocate for yourself, first and foremost. Whether you’re an individual athlete, whether you’re a team athlete, even in that team context. And I’ve said this to so many athletes before: you need to advocate for yourself. Which means tuning in and having some awareness, but you also need to build a really good team around you and a team that you trust.
One of the things that you find with nutrition is that basically everyone is an expert. You can pick up any social site, any paper, any magazine, tune into anything, and there’s someone telling you something else about nutrition. And it’s a lot of conflicting messages. And that has the effect of people jumping from one thing to another thing. So, having someone that you can trust in that space and sticking the course is really, really key.
But within that, there’s always going to be either across the career, across a year, across a month, or even across a week, your nutrition doesn’t stay the same. It’s based across a whole variety of things. It’s in context of your individual training load, where your goals are, stress levels, what’s going on in the rest of your life, your family life.
That is going to mean that your nutrition has to change as well to match that. So, whether there is a place at times for, I don’t even like calling it dieting, but some restricted eating or some more monitored eating or simply looking more closely at how you’re eating, that can come into play as well.
I’m never a big one for tracking anything much at all. I don’t do it myself. I would hadrly ever recommend tracking calories or macros, or anything like that. But having said that, there’s a time and place to doing it. There’s a time and place for having a real deep dive into what you’re actually having, having a real black and white record or reflection point and, for some people, being able to use that going forward. But not long-term, not consistent. I think that that can become problematic too.
Jack: It could become a job, I imagine.
Pip: Yeah. I would hate doing it, so I would never recommend people do it.
Jack: That’s great. Thank you for sharing your philosophy on that. And being in the fitness industry, a hundred percent, I’ve seen that. A Netflix documentary comes out and everyone’s changing their diet, or whatever it might be. So, it’s so true that if you stay the course and trust your team and the professionals in your team, you’re probably going to reap the benefits. Where if you are just chopping and changing all the time, you won’t even be able to measure whether it was useful or not for you.
Jack: You’re changing it, before you can get the benefits. So, that’s great. And in terms of the developing footballers, and then we’ll go into your career journey. For the developing footballs at Brisbane Lions, was there a particular focus or any tips and tricks that you would commonly see with young footballers coming into the club, that you found effective?
Pip: I think the thing is with the young footballers, and even the work that we’re trying to do with the AFL Sports Dieticians Association is really to try and push for more servicing, to try and push for more consistent servicing as well. And particularly whether it’s the young players in AFL teams or whether it’s actually the underpinning programs, the development and talent pathways below that.
Because at those ages one – you’re having such rapid growth and development, cognitively and physically, that nutrition support is so key. But it’s also setting up these habits and just setting some good habits from early on. And that is really the key time to get on top of those, because I think nutrition is a really funny thing.
I always look at athletes and there’s a lot on their plate. You look in those high-performance environments, there’s a lot of pressures there: they’re being told to do things by the S&C coach, they’ve got the pressures of selection, they’ve got the pressures of coaches. There’s a lot to think about in any one day.
And it’d be silly to think: yes, I might be the dietician or nutritionist and think that that’s really, really important, but the reality is there’s lots of days where it’s not important and it shouldn’t be important. And it shouldn’t be the priority focus for that athlete.
But you only get to that point, if you’ve built these good habits before that. And if you’re able to then engage or pick the point when it should become the top priority again, and you readdress it and you make sure that all of these things are in place. You set the habits, they’re all in place and then it can become less of a focus again and allow you to focus on all of these other parts of the puzzle that need to be there.
And then again, you go through another cycle and it’s like, ‘Yep, need to step back, readdress that. Are we still on track here? What needs adjusting?’ So, it’s that habit building where things do become second nature.
Jack: Yeah. It could be for some of those players the first time. Most likely they’d moved out of home and living with other people and parents aren’t cooking. It is such a pivotal time in their development and their bodies are still growing. Even physically they’re under the most load they’ve ever been under. I agree. It’s so important.
And having seen, you know, Simone Austin was at Hawthorn while I was there, like the impact she had on the players, teaching them how to cook, and what to buy, what to avoid, supplements, all the things, all the basics. Like you’re saying, it is so important from education point of view.
What would be the ideal model if you could structure a development program? What would be the touch points? Now that you’ve seen the system too, you understand the environment and like everyone believes in their field, like, ‘I want more time at the gym with them.’
Everyone wants more time with the athletes. But if we are setting them up and then that’s going to look after their future self as an athlete, like you said, they’re going to have the awareness and the habits in place, that then we can scale the nutrition program down and focus more on a needs basis.
So, is it simply athletes maybe being identified that you need to see Pip more and the club’s invested in this many consultations one-on-one. Is that how it could work, where it is adjustable to the individual? Or do you see it more as an Academy group stuff that needs to be done and more touch points for the dieticians in the club?
Pip: Probably all of that, to be honest. I think there’s a couple of things there. One, you want to see, as an athlete progresses through their career, that they go from being hand-held and provided information and provided the skills, right through to the end point where you’re simply a touch point. They might check in with you infrequently, they’re pretty much there, but you’re a really good sounding board. You’re a really good sounding board for, ‘Hey, what do you think of this? I want to try that.’ So, it’s going through that spectrum.
And I think, within AFL clubs, there’s a big space for setting up a program that’s more consistent across the clubs, so that everyone across the countries is having access to those same development points. Almost like a bit of a loose curriculum, but you’re stepping through those. And it doesn’t matter if you transfer clubs, you know that you’ve still got that same knowledge or skills base.
But, honestly, a big part of this as well is… We know what we can provide and what we can do, it’s sometimes within that environment of clubs where you need all the other professions. You need the HB manager on board, you need the GM on board as well to prioritize that. And that doesn’t necessarily mean either that all of a sudden people are doing hours of nutrition work a day, but it does need to become a priority in how it’s integrated. And how it’s integrated into injury management programs, into injury recovery programs, how cooking classes are better integrated in those first couple of years as well.
I think that that needs to be a big shift as well. And just an understanding of quite literally: nutrition underpins everything. No one else in that club can do a good job realistically, if people aren’t eating well. Because their brains aren’t functioning, their bodies aren’t functioning, they’re not optimizing immune function. So, I think it’s that understanding and that understanding of how it brings everything together.
Jack: But for the athletes that are listening, what are the most common things? Where do you start with it with a typical young developing footballer, or it doesn’t have to be football, but athlete’s nutrition? What are the common things that you see that you try and start to change or influence?
Pip: As you say, the basics. Learning to get in the kitchen for a start, learning to enjoy food, learning to, I guess, feel the difference as well. I think that that’s sometimes the biggest stumbling block for people who haven’t typically thought about nutritionists as being important. Particularly if they’re already at a body weight or body composition that isn’t making them an outlier. Then they just think nutrition is not that important, because that’s the way they view it.
And that’s it. If you haven’t felt a change, you really don’t know what you’re not getting by paying attention to it. So, that’s probably the first aspect. And bringing that enjoyment into food as well. That’s the primary reason we eat is because we enjoy it, not just to get energy. So, that’s a really critical thing.
And then I think along their journey as well, there’s all of those touch points for really making them aware of how it can be used specifically around injury or around game time. And again, just bringing it all together. But that’s the journey I see as an athlete.
Jack: I love that. The importance of loving it. Because if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to probably do it again out here. Where if it’s rigid or diet or calorie counting, they’re not really sustainable, you’re probably not going to do it for a long period of time. And that’s where you can even start to see the yo-yo effect of maybe being put off nutrition.
For those that have had those nitty-gritty experiences, like you are saying, there’s a lot out there. Where would be a good place to start, do you think? For someone that’s looking to implement some changes and maybe they don’t have access to a sports dietician at their club, or maybe they do, and they just haven’t reached out yet. What would be your advice?
Pip: If you do have access, that’s obviously the first starting point. I think most of us are very open, very willing to help. I think that’s a thing about the profession too. For the most part, we want to be there for you. We’re not there with our own agenda.
And I think people sometimes have this perception that, ‘I’d better not tell her what I really eat or ask my real questions, just in case I get trouble or she thinks something bad about me.’ And that’s not what we’re there for. I think that’s the things that athletes have to remember as well: it’s their career. We’re literally there to help you. And that doesn’t matter if that’s a junior athlete, a pro athlete or a master’s level athlete, it’s still the same concept. This is about you. So, it’s creating that honest dialogue, for a start.
If you don’t have access to good support, I think, that’s part of that process of finding someone. There’s plenty of good sports dieticians out there. It’s making that first contact. And it’s like any other profession. Sometimes you don’t gel with a person. It doesn’t mean that it was a bad idea in reaching out. It just means that perhaps there’s someone else out there that’s better suited to you and your journey and where you are at that stage.
Jack: Thank you for providing that. No doubt, some people, some athletes will, hopefully, start their journey or maybe get in contact with a sports dietician that, like you said, they might be avoiding them after the season phase where footballers are in.
Obviously, we are live now, which is the off-season phase for most footballers, but you might be listening in when you’re actually in season or pre-season in the podcast world. So, get in contact with your sports dietician or make contact with one that’s in your area.
Going back to your career, Pip, who were some strong influences or mentors, if you like, in your early development?
Pip: It’s a really interesting question. And I would have to say it’s the athletes, honestly. I’ve probably taken both influence, inspiration, as well as very much looking up to a whole range of people. And I wouldn’t even say specifically sports dieticians. A whole range of different researchers, different professionals, and across a range of sports as well. I think for me, it’s always been about that bigger picture.
And it’s also how I watch sport. I can watch sport and have no idea what the score is or what’s going on. Because I’ll get focused on a particular personal movement and just trying to understand what that might mean from a training perspective. So, for me, the influence has always been athletes. And really understanding them and even the psychology behind them and what makes them tick.
And that influence is how I engage with them. I think one thing that’s really key for any performance environment is that knowledge is important. I’ve got to know stuff about food and nutrition. But what’s even more important I think is how you deliver that and how you develop a relationship with someone, how you build authenticity and how you build trust.
And that’s why I say athletes are the ones that influenced me. Because it’s picking up on what’s on their plate, what’s their body language. And that then sets up how you’re going to deal with them, manage them or manage that issue.
Jack: Like you said earlier, not having an agenda, you’re there for them. And I love that philosophy and treating who’s in front of you rather than bringing your own stuff. Which can be quite challenging as a practitioner, knowing your own experiences and then putting that on players. But if you’ve got that philosophy, it’s a good one. A good reminder for all us practitioners to focus on what’s important, which is the athlete and the person that’s in front of you. So, thanks for sharing that. That’s great.
And then in terms of developing yourself in your craft, what are some of your favorite ways to upskill yourself? You mentioned that knowledge is important as well as the art of communication. How do you go about getting better in those spaces?
Pip: It’s always a continual process. And again, I think athletes are probably a really good reflection point as well. They’re going to let you know. It’s pretty easy to know if you’re not being successful or where the areas are that you constantly need upskilling.
I think, where my career is now, I’m not actively working with AFL athletes or team athletes necessarily. I’m working with other elite athletes. But more of my work in the footy space is actually working with the dieticians at a servicing level. And how do we achieve increasing those servicing levels and increasing athlete outputs and outcomes.
I learn a hell of a lot from my colleagues in that space as well. And just understanding the different environments and understanding the different challenges and what that means in terms of better support or requirements for the profession as well, more generally.
Jack: And for sports dieticians listening in that are pretty keen to work in elite sport, like AFL or A-League or whatever it might be, what is the best way to go about that? What was your mindset? And how did you go about getting your foot in the door in elite sport?
Pip: I guess to me my journey’s been a little bit different because I already had knowledge as an athlete myself and experience within those high-performance environments. I think you really want to understand that space.
I think one of the biggest challenges or maybe one of the mistakes that I see with some, not even just sports dieticians, but any professionals coming into that space, is just not understanding the context more broadly and understanding that you are simply one piece of the puzzle. And sometimes the best thing that you can do is nothing. Sometimes the best thing you can do is actually just stand back and observe. So, having that mindset when you step into those environments, I think, is really critical.
And also, one thing that I have actually found that has been beneficial to me, is when I started working in AFL, I knew nothing about the game. I didn’t grow up in a family that followed the sport. I was off doing my own sports. It wasn’t a game that I knew much about, to be honest. And to a large degree, I used that to my advantage.
Because you’re not really caught up in the details. You’re not there as a fan. And it allows you to step back and be quite perceptive about requirements and what’s needed. And to change things that you think need changing without getting caught up in the history or the culture or anything too much.
Jack: And what about challenges in your career? What have been some significant challenges? And what did you learn and how did you grow from those experiences?
Pip: Certainly lots of challenges along the way. I would say, honestly, the biggest one and it’s probably sparked the most rewarding time in my career, particularly as a sports dietician. I think it’s no secret that in a lot of clubs nutrition is still almost an undervalued service or an undervalued part of high-performance programs. And that’s a generalization.
But what we’ve seen even with COVID and cuts and where can clubs cut is that very much came on for most clubs as either the easiest to minimize or get rid of. And for me that was really surprising and not surprising, to be honest. But I took the thought that this is the start of a pandemic, where, surely, health and mental health are really key and they should be the primary things that we’re focusing on.
And my thoughts are that nutrition is really the main thing that you have when you think about health and mental health in that context in a healthy population. So, for them to be to be minimalized and for other dietitians in other clubs either cut entirely, I just thought there was something wrong with that system and that approach.
And so, that really sparked off this bringing together. How do we bring dietitians across the country together and create more of a voice and more of a platform? Because, ultimately, it’s the athletes who suffer. And that’s where we come from. So, it’s not just about, ‘Hey, don’t forget about us and our jobs over here.’ It’s if you’re cutting that service, it’s the athletes and those outcomes that will eventually suffer from that.
So, it’s been a really good journey. And I think that we’ll see some really positive outcomes from that as well. And particularly some of the conversations that we’re having around nutrition into some of the development and underpinning program levels, that, I think, can come of this as well and what that looks like. And also ensuring that clubs do have that servicing in place going forward.
So, for me, it’s been hugely challenging, hugely rewarding. And I hope too that both for dieticians, as well as athletes, it’s going to be a positive outcome and experience.
Jack: Yeah, watch this space. When it does happen, that’s when we’ll have to launch the panel.
Pip: It’s, I have to say too, as a group, such an intelligent, passionate, awesome group of, they’re mostly girls, a couple of guys in there.
Jack: And have big things to come, no doubt. We’ll have to see what’s in store. What do you think, what do you suspect to be some of the fallbacks for the athletes? What would be some things that, if you are measuring a program or help build the awareness of a club that that’s something that if we put a budget towards nutrition, it could’ve prevented or we could have increased that performance in that area?
Pip: That’s why it’s really hard. Because while nutrition underpins lots of things, there’s not many measurables around that. It’s really hard. It’s really hard to measure the contribution to immune status, for instance. It’s really hard to measure the contribution to recovery or how fast someone’s recovering from an injury. But we know that it is a component.
So, I think that that’s where it’s potentially always on the chopping block. It’s an easy cut because it doesn’t have that data. And that’s probably a challenge for our profession too. How do we get to that point where it is more known or how do we put dollar figures around some of these things? Because that would really bring it to the forefront.
Jack: There we go. Podcast listeners, if there’s any PhDs out there, contact with Pip, if you came to help. Okay, that’s great. What about, you mentioned how rewarding it is this challenge that you’re undertaking. Are there some other highlights over your career that you look back on and think of fondly or feel proud of those moments?
Pip: Probably lots. And there’s lots of individual athletes as well, that whether they’re individuals in teams or literally individuals in individual sports, that you have these little breakthrough moments. It’s something that they might’ve been struggling with for years and years and years.
And they could have worked with other nutritionists or other dieticians, or not have any experience either. And it’s something in the way that you’ve… Not that I’ve done anything revolutionary. Most of us have the same knowledge. But it’s something in the way that this person you’ve connected with or communicated a particular concept or change.
And for them, it has meant a life changing shift in their mindset or their practice that has opened up either a whole lot of potential opportunities or it’s changed the way they think about themselves. So, how they perceive themselves. And all of those things are so rewarding along the way as well.
And it’s funny, sometimes only when you look back or when you ask questions, like you just asked, that you actually think about it and put it in those contexts as well.
Jack: It’s something that’s being congruent all the way through the podcast. You can tell your passion for helping others along their journey, which is great and inspiring for all us, practitioners and coaches that are working with people. Ultimately, that’s the most important thing. And if you feel good doing it, it’s not a bad job. That’s great.
So, this is the lighter part of the podcast, these questions. You can have a bit of fun with these. They’re not so serious. It’s more the personal side. So, which movie or TV series has impacted you the most and why?
Pip: It’s funny, you said these questions are lighter, and I literally have no answer. And I don’t know what this says about me as a person.
Jack: Could be a book.
Pip: I didn’t actually grow up with much TV. I don’t know if I should say this, but we didn’t grow up with a TV in our house. And my parents, every Olympics and Commonwealth Games, they would go and rent a TV and we’d have it there for a couple of weeks. And then had to give it back.
Jack: You had the impression of the evolution of a TV every time it happened.
Pip: But the funny thing is too, and it’s probably the same for books. I can watch a movie and love it. I’ll never watch it again. And it’s the same with anything. I’ll do something and love it and move on.
Jack: Yeah, I cannot understand watching a movie twice.
Pip: You see? There you go.
Jack: What about favorite inspirational quotes or life motto?
Pip: Yeah, easy one. Very short. ‘Why not?’
Jack: Why not?
Pip: Yeah, that’s all. And I have to say too, it’s something that I still ask of myself a lot. Whether it’s during the working day, in different context or even for me, I still train, still stay active. But as an athlete too. I went through a phase where I actually had it stuck on the fridge and I would read it every day. And I think it’s just these two words that just sum up a lot of attitude and it can be asked in different ways as well.
Jack: When you’re going through a flat spot in your training, what would it fire up with you? Is it a matter of take a risk sort of thing? Why not? Like, let’s go?
Pip: Yup. Take a risk. But also it could be taken in the context of confidence. Why not me?
Jack: I deserve it.
Pip: Yup. So, it depends on the context, how you say it. It takes on multiple meanings. But I find it a really useful phrase.
Jack: And then in your work life, what makes you angry? What are your pet peeves?
Pip: I would have to say my pet peeves are both poor communication, beating around the bush and just, ‘Come on, let’s just tackle this head on.’ Communicate it, talk it out. And then the other thing that really annoys me and I used to get a lot of these. ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it,’ as an answer. I can’t stand that. It’s not an adequate answer.
Jack: What would be your response to that? If someone said that to you, do you try and open their mind up to some other possibilities? Or is it just too hard to work if someone’s in that mindset?
Pip: Oh no. Trust me, I always follow up with the hard questions. Because I think, if that’s a response, it has been in question too, can we do it this way? And just because something has always been done some way doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to do it. It doesn’t mean that it’s not the best or it’s not the most efficient, or it’s not the most thoughtful way to do something. There is always way to change and improve something.
Jack: Yeah, we’ve got to evolve. What’s your favorite way to spend your day off? These last two are COVID-free world as well, of course.
Pip: I’m pretty lucky with where I live. And I’ve also been pretty lucky over COVID. So, almost COVID or not, my ideal day doesn’t change that much. I still have to train. Even as an athlete, I would probably take a training day over a race or competition day. So, for me still an ideal day is a run or getting out, doing something.
Absolutely coffee – essential, good food – essential, involving gin in some way or another. I am a parent of two kids. Depending on the day you ask me, that ideal day may include them or may not include them. But I’m pretty low-key.
Jack: And what about favourite holiday destination and why?
Pip: I’m hoping I’ve yet to discover my favorite place, to be honest. I do love to travel. As an athlete, I traveled a lot. Saw some very good places. Saw also an awful lot of hotel rooms and airports.
So far, the best place I’ve traveled, though, to, would be Lapland. So, North Pole. Literally the North Pole. At winter. Christmas day. Had the kids there too. And I have to say that that is something really special, amazing. And then just alight, everything running in minus 30 degrees. All of it. Love it.
Jack: That has not come up on the podcast yet. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. This is the last question. What are you excited about for 2021? What’s on the horizon for you?
Pip: It’s probably a standard answer at the moment, but crossing borders. Traveling, seeing family. Getting out of some of these COVID restrictions. I think that’s for everyone, first and foremost.
Jack: A hundred percent. Well, thank you so much. You’ve lived a full life. Thanks for jumping on and sharing your story. It’s been a great experience. I’ve taken a lot from it and, no doubt, those tuned in live, as well as those listening in the podcast world have taken a lot out of it too. Whether you’re an athlete, practitioner working in health and wellness, and also performance, there’s plenty there for you. So, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.
Pip: No, thank you. It’s been really fun getting on, having a chat.
Jack: Thanks, Pip. Thank you so much. And for those tuned in, thank you for listening into the live chat. The podcast episode will be launched very soon and you can head to our Instagram page for when we launch that. Thanks, guys.
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