It’s hard enough to fit in workouts as busy moms. Imagine being a busy mom of two training for the Olympics! Four-time Olympic medalist Janet Evans is doing just that. Vying for the Olympics at age 40, Janet has to balance training and family. We had the opportunity to ask Janet a few questions about how she fits it all in while raising her two cuties, Sydney, 5, and Jake, 2.
Interview with Olympic Swimmer Janet Evans
- FBM: What compelled you to jump back into competitive swimming after taking time off?
- JE: I turned 40 this past summer, and it made me realize that my kids are getting older and sleeping through the night, so I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to be able to take that time in the pool to see what my body is still capable of and allow myself to end each day feeling accomplished and more importantly, healthy. Making it to the U.S. Olympic Trials is just an added bonus!
- FBM: How are you able to balance the demands of training and the demands of motherhood? Any tips for the rest of us?
- JE: I love spending time with my children, and the great thing about what I do is that I can work my schedule around theirs. I train before they wake up for school and again while they’re in school, so I can still be there for family meals and playtime after school. My advice to moms is to carve time out of their day to do something just for themselves that they can look forward to each day. Raising children is extremely fulfilling, and I think taking time to ourselves helps us be better mothers.
- FBM: What was your experience getting back into shape after your pregnancies? Any lessons learned to share with new moms?
- JE: I had a good experience with getting back into shape mostly because I stayed active throughout my pregnancy by doing what I love—swimming. I swam regularly throughout my first pregnancy and got back into the pool shortly after my daughter was born. I would encourage new moms to keep themselves active during pregnancy, whether it’s swimming or simply going for walks around the neighborhood with friends. I think that makes it so much easier to get back into exercising after the baby is born.
- FBM: What does a typical workout week look like for you (when not competitively training!)?
- JE: When I’m not in training, I still try to do something physical, which can be hard when you’re a busy mother. If I can’t make it to the gym or pool, I find other ways to be active around the house. I’m a big fan of working my core, so doing some sit-ups in my living room is a favorite. It’s important to keep your body moving and even little things like chasing your kids around the backyard can make a difference.
- FBM: How do you balance “you time” with the demands of motherhood?
- JE: I consider the time I spend in the pool “me time.” It’s the only block of time I have without any distractions and leaves me feeling refreshed. I really feel that taking that time allows me to be more present and focused when I’m with my family.
- FBM: Any advice for other moms on how to keep family healthy and active?
- JE: I think the best way to keep the family healthy is to do it together and make it fun. Set an example for your kids by eating healthy and getting outside and running around with them! I live in Southern California, so we all love to head to the beach and walk along the shore. I also try to find fun ways to sneak in more healthy foods by serving meals like chicken fajitas with lots of different veggies. My kids love it because they get to mix and match what goes on their plate, and I love it because I can get them to eat certain kinds of veggies they might not normally go for like zucchini and mushrooms!
- FBM: What projects are you currently working on?
- JE: In addition to my return to competitive swimming, which I fondly refer to as a “project,” I’m working with Metamucil to help educate Americans about the steps they can take to improve their heart health. I have a family history of heart disease, and a lot of people don’t know it, but the psyllium fiber in Metamucil can actually help lower cholesterol. Heart disease affects millions of women, especially those in their 40s, so for me it’s all about the small steps you can take every day to make a difference.
- FBM: Any other thoughts or advice for our Fit Bottomed readers?
- JE: One of my hopes is that my return to competitive swimming will help show others that your age should not be a barrier between you and accomplishing your goals. No matter the result, doing what you love will make you a better person and a better mother.
I love that Janet is showing the world that age is just a number. A big thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and best of luck in the Olympic trials, Janet! —Erin