Today it’s our privilege to bring you an interview with 3x World Cycling Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Dani Rowe. We discuss Dani’s personal stand-out moments from her career, her advice on transforming a passion into a vocation, her goals for the future following her retirement from professional cycling and much more…
How did your passion for cycling begin and develop?
When I was 14, British Cycling came into my school in Hamble, Southampton and asked if anyone wanted to try out for the ‘talent team’. I was in a Math lesson at the time so would have done anything to get out of that. I got through the 3 rounds of testing and invited onto a week’s residential camp where we tried all different disciplines of cycling and that’s when my cycling career began. I was lucky that my parents really supported me and would drive me around the country for training camps and races to help my cycling career develop.
What are your personal stand-out moments from your cycling career?
The biggest stand out moment would have to be winning gold in London 2012 Olympics. It was the most incredible moment that I will never forget. Additionally, winning my first world championships in 2011 will also be a major stand out moment for me. That was the first time I really believed I could achieve my dream of becoming Olympic champion.
What did a typical week of training consist of when you were training for a competition?
I would train 6 days a week sometimes twice a day. I would do a mixture of road, track and specific gym training. The rest day was just as important as the training days so I would make sure I was totally chilling out and staying off my feet.
What advice would you give to someone who is demotivated or doesn’t know where to start with getting into sport and fitness?
I would always set yourself a goal. It doesn’t have to be a big one but something realistic to motivate you to get up and exercise. This way you will always have something to be training for. Additionally, making it social so arranging to work out with a friend always helps me now I’m not competing professionally.
Are there any people, books, or experiences that you would be willing to share with us, that have really helped shape your mentality?
I had a major crash in 2014 where I broke 10 ribs and punctured my lung. The accident really helped me put things into perspective when I started racing again. As a professional athlete you are in a bubble and become totally consumed by your sport. This taught me that there was more to life.
How have you continued your passion for sport and fitness following your retirement from cycling?
I feel privileged that I could make the decision for myself to retire from professional cycling while I still love the sport. I didn’t want to get to a stage where I hated the sight of a bike or I was forced out with injury or declining performances. I’m addicted to exercise as I’m aware of the physical and mental benefits, feeling them myself. This means I still exercise most days doing a variety of different things including cycling. I’ve also signed up to the London classics and the Wiggle Manchester half marathon to give me a focus and heightened motivation to train.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to take their passion for health and fitness, or anything else, and turn it into a successful business/ career?
I would say to just go for it! It’s so important to enjoy what you do so if you have a passion for something, I would always encourage anyone to turn it into a business. I’m now a lot more involved in our coaching company ‘Rowe and King’ and I’m really enjoying coaching and giving something back to the sport I love.
What do you think are the most important characteristics to develop in order to pursue your ambitions?
Commitment, dedication and resilience. Sport has so many ups and downs, it’s so important to be able to move on from the setbacks and keep working towards your goals and ambitions.
What are you goals and plans for the future?
I’m currently taking all opportunities presented to me and feel lucky that I’ve been so busy. I’m coaching with Rowe and King, I’m an ambassador for some incredible brands and I’m also doing more commentary and media work which I’m really enjoying.