Rhydian Cowley started racewalking when he was 8 and now 17 years on he will get the chance to represent his country at his debut Olympic Games in Rio.

Having been identified as a star of the future, he was inducted into the under 17 talent program and soon after competed at his first major international event when he raced in the 2008 World Walking Cup in Russia. He made the Australian Team for the 2010 World Junior Championships and finished an impressive 17th. His senior World Championships debut came in 2013 where he claimed 50th.

With only the top three Australian’s qualifying for the 2015 World Championships, Cowley was the fourth fastest qualifier and missed out on competing in Beijing. Despite doing everything he could to make his second World Championships, the result made him hungrier to make his first Olympic Games.

As Rio approached, he made a strong case for Olympic selection when he set a new personal best time of 1:22.07 in February at the Oceania & Australian 20km Racewalking Championships. He went on to finish 39th in the 20km event at the 2016 IAAF World Racewalking Team Championships to seal his Olympic debut.

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Favorite Exercise: Walking

Favorite Vegetable: Bell peppers

Favorite Way to Center: Drinking tea

Favorite Book: Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en

Personal Motto: Keep walking.

Rhydian’s Day Plan:

  • 730AM – Wake up, light Breakfast & Training Prep
  • 830AM – Training
  • 10AM – Snacks & Shower
  • 11AM – Work
  • 1230PM – Lunch
  • 1PM – Work
  • 5PM – Training
  • 6PM – Transport home, Shower
  • 7PM – Prepare Dinner
  • 830PM – Chill out time: Web, TV & Read
  • 10PM – Bed

What gets you out of bed every morning?

I just try to remind myself what I want to achieve in my life. You don’t get to the Olympics sitting in bed all day.

What is the most important part of your daily routine?

It’s hard to pinpoint a single most important thing, but getting outside and being active helps me be a bit more mentally focused, and I usually feel better for the exercise, even on days where it’s tough to get out of bed

What is your #1 wellness habit?

Taking time to relax with a cup of tea most days. It’s refreshing mentally and physically.

What is the best piece of health advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t being afraid to take a rest when I feel like I need it. It’s too easy to drive yourself in to the ground by not getting enough rest, but without it you can’t function at your best. Rest is just as important as training.

What’s your biggest wellness challenge? How do you address it?

When traveling to training camps or to overseas races, it can be easy to lose a routine or to fall in to bad habits. I try to stay cognizant of this and remind myself of the things I need to do each day to stay in good shape for training and racing without injury.

What is your favorite part about living a healthy lifestyle?

It’s satisfying knowing that I can explore the very limits of what my body is capable of doing because I try to look after it, and hopefully as well it makes me more resilient to the challenges that life throws at me.

If you could give one piece of health advice to your future kids, what would it be?

Whatever you choose to do in life, stay active, be active with friends, and enjoy being active. Especially being active with friends – it keeps you in good health, and the social side of it is also good for your health, particularly mental health.

Rhydian Cowley is an Olympian Racewalker for Team Australia. For more inspiration from Rhydian, follow him on Twitter.

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