(This post is part of a pact I made. Click here for the full story.)
With looks that belong on a fashion runway – certainly not on an OzTag field (the Australian version of touch football) where you can now find Bronwyn several nights a week – she’s wholesome as apple pie, and driven as an Olympic athlete – literally.
Bronwyn leads a life guided by this AND that.
More than her natural talents, it’s her approach to work, sports and life in general that drive her to achieve what she has.
She has been working as the Corporate (legal) Counsel since January 2000 at Country Energy. To you and me that means that since she was 27 years old, she’s headed the legal department of a male-dominated company that owns the world’s second largest electricity network.
Outside of work her track record also raises eye-brows. That’s because at her core, Bronwyn is an elite athlete. Her strongest sport has been track and field, although she has also competed in swimming, Australian Football League (AFL), hockey, OzTag and equestrian. Her most recent achievement was making the Olympic Shadow Team for Torino 2006 for both Skeleton and Bobsleigh.
There have been times when in addition to working full time as a lawyer, she has been studying at university level and co-hosting the ABC 666 Grandstand Sport radio show. Today Bronwyn is a mom, a practicing lawyer, and is completing her last course towards a Masters of Law at University of Melbourne in Australia.
“A lot of people say they can’t do something or don’t have time. That’s a priority issue rather than an inability to be involved. Usually many people feel they shouldn’t do something because they don’t fit the stereotype of the sort of person that would usually take that job or do that activity or play that sport. Constraints such as those don’t tend to bother me so I will have a go even if I’m the odd man out.”
Note to self: Your opinion is the only one that matters. Let it be your guide.
“This has sometimes meant that I’ve spread myself quite thinly, and it certainly means I have very little time to sit down and do nothing. It has meant though that I’ve been able to experience many things and meet a huge amount of people and travel to many countries (mostly with my sport).
Prioritising and organising is a very important part of my day. Without organisation I would end up doubling up on a lot of what I do, and retracing my steps, and I would run out of time to do the quality things instead of just the mundane, menial things.”
Note to self: Take time to prioritize and organize. What are the most important things in your life? Are you sacrificing them to do the most urgent – and less important?
“Sport at an elite level teaches you to be aware of what your body is telling you – and to react to that. It may be a deficiency in something, a temporarily increased or decreased metabolism, a pain. I think a good example of this is when I was pregnant my metabolism would increase for a day or two and then go back to normal. I may crave certain foods for a day or two and then a different food after that. The key is to listen to my body and eat extra food for that day or two only, and not get into the habit of eating too much permanently – or not eating foods long term because I craved them for two days.
My inner compass is exactly that – I just have learned to listen to it and pay attention to what it’s telling me about what I need to do. That may be to find a new challenge or just keep doing what I’m doing.
I’ve never believed in 5 year plans or changing what I’m doing because of an objective milestone. My goal is to be content – and that involves having a sense of satisfaction and achievement as well as many other things. That sense tells me when I’m no longer being challenged by something, or when another offer that is ‘too good to refuse’ comes along that I should take it.”
Note to self: Where is your inner compass taking you?
And what exactly is Bronwyn’s (winning) philosophy?
“There’s never a ‘perfect’ time for anything, and sometimes waiting to have more experience for something means missing other experiences and missing opportunities. I think it’s important to note that I don’t believe opportunities need to be waited for – I believe that you can make your own opportunities if there are none on offer.
People are often afraid to jump into things when they are unsure or have choices to make that are difficult. Not many decisions are not reversible, or can not have something made of them – even if it isn’t an ideal situation it generally isn’t unsalvageable!”
Make a mental note of that.
“I think it’s important to have a belief in yourself and remember that you’re making the best decision you can based on the information that you have at the time. That way you don’t spend forever second guessing past decisions and wondering whether you took the wrong path. There’s so many things that cannot be changed, but can be learned from so it’s best to move on and use that knowledge rather than dwell on the past.”
Read that one more time.
Thank you Dean Taylor for the awesome shot!