We’re proud to announce our new ambassador, Olympian plant-based athlete Morgan Mitchell! In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we sat down with Morgan, who shares her greatest accomplishments, challenges,…
We’re proud to announce our new ambassador, Olympian plant-based athlete Morgan Mitchell! In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we sat down with Morgan, who shares her greatest accomplishments, challenges, and advice on living the dream.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an athlete and part of a circus. My primary school had ‘Circus Skills’ as part of their after school curriculum. It was like gymnastics but with colourful props and sequins and all that.
The International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual. As an elite Australian female athlete, how do you think you’re helping to challenge gender stereotypes?
I think it’s leading by example and showing women you can be strong, fierce and independent whether it’s on the track or in my day to day life. I’ve always had male training partners and I’ve never been one to compare myself to them or give myself an easy out i.e., “Oh, I’m a girl. I’m naturally not as fast or as strong.” I’ve always pushed past that restricted thought and have never even bothered to see it as an issue. A lot of younger athletes have seen this in me and taken it on board themselves which is quite humbling to see.
What steps did you take to get to where you are today as an athlete?
Honestly, meditation and visualisation. I am a firm believer in bucket lists. I write a new one every year and have ticked off at least 90 per cent of my goals every time. Also, building a strong team around me has been the most important thing for my career. Having like-minded people who are all on the same page and are supportive of me has helped me steer my career in the right direction. They have all helped provide me with opportunities and have been there for me even in the darkest of times.
Who has been the biggest influence on your success?
The first person is my mum; she is an absolute saint. She let me and my two sisters try every sport, instrument, and art there is until we found our passion. She’s extremely supportive and patient when it comes to me and my needs and I thank her for that. Mums are amazing.
The second person is my first coach, Peter Burke. He took me on at a young age (nine years old) and let me run amok as a kid. I always go to him when I’m feeling lost or need advice. He knows me better than anyone and even though we parted ways as coach/athlete, he still plays a huge role in my life to this day.
You can be strong, fierce and independent, whether it’s on the track or in day to day life.”
Tell us about the biggest challenge you have faced, and how you overcame it.
Definitely being a victim of domestic violence. It really affected me not only physically, but emotionally and mentally for a very long time. It took me seven years to finally talk to someone about it and speak out about it because it was starting to eat away at my mind and spiritual being. It was also ruining certain relationships with the people around me. Seeing a psychologist…was extremely beneficial and helped me see the world differently, which in turn helped my track career, relationships with people, and even being able to trust in others again.
Tell us about the accomplishment you are most proud of.
Probably teaching myself to play Fur Elise on the piano and making my first Olympic team in 2016!
Do you have a motto that you live by?
You don’t know if you don’t try.
Your advice to females second-guessing what they are capable of achieving?
…Definitely take [my motto] on board if you need to… I would also [say, don’t] waste time second-guessing, because if you ‘fail’ you can always try again, or do it differently, or try something else. Don’t let others tell you what you can and cannot do, it’s your life, not theirs…and also have fun with it; laughing at yourself and being vulnerable is the greatest lesson one can learn.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
To me it means girls and women of all backgrounds coming together and appreciating the beauty of the woman, appreciating those who have paved the way for us and how far we have come for gender equality. It’s also nice to see boys and men being educated around this topic and supporting it whole-heartedly. I find that just as admirable.
Three healthy habits you practise daily which you can attribute to your success?
I have a shot of apple cider vinegar and a green tea every morning! From a young age, my mum drilled into me that they were ‘Nature’s secrets’.
If you know me as well as my closest friends and family do, then you know that I drink no less than four litres of water a day, religiously! Again, I am pretty sure I have my mum to thank for that one.
Meditating for 10-15 minutes a day and writing down what I am grateful for. A lot of people laugh at me for it, but it has been so important for me and my career to remember where I came from and how lucky I am to be able to experience the things I do. This drives me to try and be a better person.
What’s next for Morgan Mitchell?
Right now, a lower body session at the gym. Later this year, hopefully, the Olympics. After the Olympics, an off-season trip to Mexico with my best friends.
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