JX Xtra: Word from Elka Whalan

18 June 2020
Written by: Elka Whalan, Australian Dolphin an Bio Island Ambassador

Hear from Australian Dolphin and Bio Island ambassador, Elka Whalan (nee Graham) as she shares her experience as an athlete and how she balances life as a busy working mum:

As a junior athlete, it’s important to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle. With only 24 hours in a day it can feel overwhelming at times with the amount you wish to accomplish.


Everyone has the same 24 hours, but some people manage to get more accomplished than others by using their time more efficiently.


When you know how to manage your time well, you will find you have enough time for school, social activities and much needed time for recovery. 

When you hear the word 'discipline' you can often associate it with something ‘dull’ and ‘boring’, yet the difficult task of juggling school, swimming, family and friends is what makes that word so important. For myself in particular, having discipline at an early age has allowed me to establish a well-balanced life.


Throughout my swimming career and now into my life as a busy mum at 38 years of age, discipline has taught me how to effectively manage my time. Personally, I define discipline as the maximum amount of freedom – what I set as a priority every day. Meaning that at the end of the day when it comes time to turn off the lights and sleep, I’ll always be satisfied.


Without a doubt there were sacrifices and choices I made along the way in my swimming career in order to achieve my dreams. I missed all the formals and dances in my senior years at high school, but I knew that I'd have many more opportunities to attend parties much later in life and that I could dress up anytime I wanted! Making these sacrifices well worth it.


My quick tip for emerging swimmers out there is to always write down your top four ‘NEED TO DO’ items each day and then if you tick them off, anything else achieved is a bonus. This is something that I have always found useful and reinforces the goals I am achieving each day.


I also would encourage you to block out the noises and distractions in your world and take time to ask yourself, 'is what I’m doing helping me to become the best athlete I can be?'.  


By starting to develop these habits now, you are putting the foundations in place for them to become lifelong practices. We first form our habits and then our habits are formed within us.


Big hugs and greater love,  


Elka x 

Bio Island JX - VIC



Key Takeaways

  • Discipline
  • Time Management
  • Learn to prioritise what’s important

Want more from JX Xtra? Check out our three part webinar series, hosted by Elka Whalan, featuring interviews with athletes, nutritional advice and tasty recipes from the team at Bio Island. Click here for all the episodes. 


For more information on the Bio Island Australian Junior Excellence program, click here.

Missed an episode?

Was this page helpful?yesno

Thanks for your feedback.

Go back to top