As a full-time pro-cyclist for Optum Pro-Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Annie Ewart competes locally, nationally and internationally, under the great coach David Wenger. Even with a competitive cycling schedule, Annie still finds time to continually move forward with University studies in Economics and Political Science. Canada is her homeland but she currently spends the majority of her time in the U.S. If you’d like to keep updated on Annie’s career or just to send her a hello! check out her social media: twitter.com/annieewart or instagram.com/annie1bananie/
BB: You started competitive road cycling in the Spring of 2007. How did this come about? Was there a special person, (or persons) that helped you along this journey?
My uncle. He started later in life and loved it! My parents soon followed, and they were always talking about how much fun it was, so I decided I wanted to give it a try. My parents wouldn’t buy me a road bike, so I had to save up my money, and when I had a enough I bought the cheapest bike possible, which was a steel Louis Garneau that was quite a bit too big for me, but I loved it anyway. I still have it today.
BB: Along the way, was there particular advice and support that made the difference in your career?
Live in the moment, and have fun! It would be impossible to be involved in this sport if I didn’t truly love it, and didn’t have fun while doing it. I am lucky to have amazing teammates which help to make it so much fun. I also wouldn’t be where I am without the unbelievable support group I have. My family, coaches, team, sponsors, friends, and my Victoria cycling community have made all of this possible.
BB: You carried the Olympic Torch. Can you even describe how that experience affected you?
That moment will definitely be something I will always cherish. It was even more special because I got to carry it while riding my bike. Anytime you are selected to be a part of something that special and at that magnitude is always amazing. The Olympics have always been a dream of mine, and being able to be a part of a very small part of it solidified why I want to be an Olympian even more.
BB: How do you train for this sport? And are you on a special food regimen?
I have a coach who writes me a training plan, so it makes it very easy to not think about what I have to do. I just follow what he says. It takes the thinking out of it. I trust that he will put the best plan together to help me reach my goals. The training varies at different times of the year. In the winter months it is all about building a base, so long hours on the bike, but not very high intensity. As soon as the season starts to pick up, the hours diminish, but the intensity goes up. I am not on a diet plan by any means, but I do pay close attention to what I eat. As an athlete food is our fuel, so whatever we put into our body is important. I like to live by “everything in moderation”. If I want to have some chocolate after dinner, I will have some. I think it is important and healthy to have balance, and to not deprive yourself if you want something.
BB: How do you maintain the Balanced Babe lifestyle?
I think I have only just realized over the past couple years how important it is to lead a balanced life. Being a professional athlete requires a lot of sacrifice, and some very intense times. I believe the only way that you can get through all the intense times is because you have balance in your life. Making sure you have time to go out with friends, spending time with family, indulging without guilt. Your psychological health is just as important if not more important than physical, and so you need to make sure that you feed it as well.
BB: Any exciting plans and goals for 2015/2016 that you want to share with us?
National championships are always a goal. If you win, you get to wear your country’s flag on your jersey for an entire year, which is very special. Last year The Tour de France brought back a women’s race on the final day of the Tour called La Course. My teammate got 3rd, and I would like to race it this year. It is one of the most prestigious races on the calendar, and on the worlds biggest stage. Also, this year the World Championships are being held in the U.S. for the first time in over 30 years, and being on an American team it is a huge goal for the team to Podium in the Team Time Trial event, so I hope to be on that team. We actually just won the U.S. National Championships a couple weekends ago.
(Photo sources: Sam Wiebe)