We sat down with our local legend Erin Gallagher, who rocked it while representing the recent Commonwealth Games. After competing in 7 finals, Erin placed 5th and 6th in the 50m and 100m freestyle respectively.
Your results are out of this world! How did you feel once you realised you'd broken two records?
Honestly, the feeling was out of this world. Going into the competition I didn’t think it would be possible, having recently overcome a whole bunch of health issues. I think breaking those records after everything I went through really magnified that feeling of gratitude. The feeling was and still is indescribable. The closest I can get is comparing it to one of your biggest dreams coming true on Christmas - it doesn’t get any better than that.
What is your training schedule like? Any cross-training?
Because I’m a sprinter, I only train 6 swimming sessions a week, as well as 2 gym sessions and 1 session either consisting of strength training, rehab or metabolic conditioning, depending on what I feel up for. All in all, I train 9 times a week.
What does a day on your plate look like? I.e. What is your average daily diet?
The first thing on my plate in the morning is Natures Nutrition. I mix it in with a bit of yoghurt before I head off to training. Afterwards, I have a huge bowl of oats or eggs on toast with crispy bacon. For lunch its pretty much chicken, veggies and either cous cous or basmati rice. Dinner is pretty much whatever mom cooks me, which is always tasty and always healthy! Whenever I get hungry during the day I snack on nuts, fruit, biltong and.... maybe one or two chocolates here and there ;). I try my best to be as healthy as possible; it doesn’t always work out though, because I definitely inherited my sweet tooth from both my parents.
What made you say "Yes" to being a NN ambassador? (We're thrilled that you did!)
It was one of the easiest things to decide. The fact that everything is 100% natural and organic was the number one seller for me. There are so many products out there that you have no idea what is in them or what you are putting in your body. But when it comes to Nature's Nutrition I know I’m getting the real good stuff! I’ve always had to force myself to eat veggies, but this way, veggies taste so much better. Plus it is SO convenient, all my veggies, fruit, antioxidants, amino acids, fibre and digestive enzymes in two scoops? YES PLEASE!
What is the toughest part about being a professional swimmer?
The fact that in order to be a professional you kind of have to go “all in”. I’ve put all my eggs into one basket. As of now, swimming is my soul focus. I’m 2 years out of school and I’m planning on having a “4 year gap year” as my friends call it. I don’t plan on studying until I’ve reached the Olympics. A lot of people don’t understand my commitment to swimming and I’m constantly being told that I am “ludicrous”. Ludicrous or not, it’s still completely and utterly terrifying knowing that I’ve put my eggs in one basket - the fear of failure is always going to be there but I still have to look past it everyday and work as hard as I possibly can to achieve what I’ve set out to do.
And the best part?
Achieving something you have worked so hard for. It can be very emotional at times, but knowing your blood, sweat and tears have paid off is probably one of the most incredible and rewarding feelings, EVER! Being a professional swimmer allows me to push myself to the absolute limit. Swimming has taught me so many life lessons as well as building character, and I will be forever indebted to this sport and everything it has done for me.
What are your goals for the near future?
Most recently, I just qualified for World Short Course Champs, which will be held in December 2018 and I’m really hoping to make finals for the events I will be swimming in (50 Free and Fly, 100 Free and Individual Medley). After that I’m just going to put my head down and train until the 2020 Olympics, as well as the 2024 Olympics. Once I’m there, I will do whatever it takes to become a champion; whether it will be an Olympic Champion or my own version of the word “champion” - only time will tell!