JESSICA ENNIS-HILL : MY VITALITY
By Jane Druker
“I’M SAD TO SAY GOODBYE TO MY 20S – I’VE HAD A BABY,GOT MARRIED AND WON A GOLD MEDAL – IT’S GOING TO BE HARD TO TOP THAT!“
PULL OUT QUOTES:
“THE BENEFITS OF BEING ACTIVE HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR LIFE!”
“IF I WASN’T A HEPTATHLETE I WOULD BE A TENNIS PLAYER – I’D LOVE TO PLAY WIMBLEDON!”
“IF SPORT DIDN’T’ EXIST I’D BE A PSYCHOLOGIST”
Striking, strong and compact, Jessica Ennis–Hill is a beacon of energy, professionalism and sparkling good humour. She manages to turn a cold, rainy morning in Sheffield into a joyful and playful affair, with her jumping prowess (shown here in our exclusive pictures) and chocolate lab Myla in tow. She has just turned 30, is happily married to Andy Hill and proud mum of two year old toddler Reggie. And – while she is down to earth in attitude – her athletic accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinar. Just what we Brits want from an Olympic Gold Medallist (2012) and current World Heptathlon Champion (2009, 2015). Here she reveals what being a Vitality Ambassador means to her.
MY SPORT:MY LIFE
How has having a family impacted your life?
Having Reggie has changed everything in amazing ways – life is hectic in a whole different way but I love it.
As an athlete and a woman, how do you feel about turning 30?
Sad! That my 20s are over – I achieved so much this decade it’s going to be hard to top it! But I plan to enjoy my 30s and have more children and grow our family.
Do you ever worry about other people’s expectations of you?
It’s important to only worry about your own expectations – I’ve dealt with the weight of others expectations for a long time – and I’ve realised I am probably tougher on myself than others are.
Do you think that being a winner is equally about mental and physical strength?
Most definitely – I take time to not only be physically prepared but mentally too – I always create a positive end goal in my mind.
Are you kind or tough on yourself?
I am extremely tough on myself and I think most atheletes are. You always want more – even when you’ve had a great training session and things have gone well you think you could have done better. It comes with being highly competitive which I am. It spurs you on to be a better athlete.
Are you proud of yourself?
Yes because I know I have achieved a lot – My proudest atheletic moment was winning the championships but my proudest moment as a woman – without doubt -was giving birth to my son.
How do you mentally reset after a disappointing day/race/race time?
I have a cry! I do get frustrated sometimes when training has not gone well but I always allow myself time to reflect, feel the emotion and work on doing better next time. Sometimes it’s talking to someone or just having words with myself.
Who do you most trust?
My family – my parents (Vinnie Ennis, a Jamaican-born self-employed painter and decorator and her mother Alison Powell who is a social worker) and my husband are always there for me – they are my pillars of strength and they know me so well.
What is the worst part of your job?
Getting up early in the winter when the weather is not great and you’ve got to put the hard work in when you are still sore from training the day before.
And the best?
When you know that you have worked hard and sacrificed but the focus and dedication has paid off in a positive journey and achieving your goal.
What marks the end of a working day?
Watching a boxset with Andy – while Reggie sleeps – eating a delicious meal with my husband
What does the word Vitality mean to you?
A way of life that makes the best of who you are
What does your role as a Vitality Ambassador allow you to do?
It helps me reach to people to share my fitness tips and experiences as an athlete
Why do you want to encourage everyone to be active and healthy?
Because the benefits of being active help you get the most out of life – you feel so much better when you are well – it’s about achieving a great quality of life
The first thing I do in the morning is…. Get my son Reggie up, yes I wake him!
The moment that changed my life was….the day he was born and I become a mother
My guilty pleasure is…. chocolate, dark chocolate is a particular favourite
My mantra is… Be the best you can be and be happy
When I train I think about… Sometimes I think about my technique – I’m especially focused when it comes to hurdles! The 800 metres can be especially horrid if the weather is not on my side.
My post workout wind down is… Yoga which I am a big fan of – sun salutations are a great stretch and relaxing or a long hot bath
My gym bag contains… spikes, massage balls, recovery drinks, my Ipod and headphones, Bands to exercise and stretch with
I know I can beat anyone at.. Jungle Jigsaw!
My ultimate stress reliever is…time to myself – especially a spa day
Most used emoji is.. The kiss!.
Favourite gadget is… My Iphone
Go-to website is… Net-a-Porter for me, Next for Reggie – I love an online shop!
My family life is… fun, busy, great
Being a mum is…the best thing ever
My dog makes me feel…happy and loved
My favourite date night includes…a glass of red wine and a delicious meal
No one knows I can…cartwheel!
If you weren’t in athletics what sport would you do? Tennis – I’d love to play at Wimbledon!
Sunday morning at noon you will find me…at training
My greatest achievement is…my son, and an Olympic gold medal
The way I celebrate is… spending time with my family
I would describe an Everyday Athlete as…active and healthy and in your element with that state without realising it
If you want to make me smile you will…tell me a rude joke!
If sport didn’t exist I’d… be a psychologist
My heroes are… My parents because they got me into athletics at 10 when they took me to a summer camp and I was instantly hooked! And Carolina Evelyn Klüft who won the Olympic heptathlon in 2004.
My advice to my 10 year old self would be… Be patient and enjoy what you do
Biggest risk that has paid off is…sticking with this painful, difficult sport called the heptathlon!(Which comprises 100 metres hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javeline throw and 800 metres)
Failure is..Not achieving your goal.
Success is…Achieving your purpose
I’m not strict with my diet at all – I do so much exercise and burn so many calories that I need a robust food routine. I tend to eat plenty of protein for muscle recovery and drink lots of water because you perform better when you are hydrated. I also eat chocolate, love a glass of red wine (but not during the training season which runs from End April to end of August). I usually have more protein at lunch and less carbs at dinner.
Toast and jam or porridge with coffee
Pasta with sauce or soup and salads
- Some sort of protein like chicken with a jacket potato and vegetables
Lots of water
- Cereal bars, fruit,