In[FOCUS] Women’s Month Special | Ani de Leon-Brown
SBR.ph is back in black and guess who’s back? No other Filipina triathlete symbolizes the epitome of Women’s Empowerment other than our next Women’s Month In[FOCUS] special feature.
She’s the first in a lot of things when it comes to our triathlon history. Not to mention, she’s also our first In[FOCUS] athlete too! Wrapping up our Women’s Month Special, let’s welcome back on SBR.ph, Ms. Ani de Leon-Brown!
Read on as SBR.ph talks with the newest mom on the block making her comeback to elite fitness. Find out what keeps mommy Ani busy, what keeps her ticking, and her game plan for the 2012 racing season. More importantly, in this interview, she showed us that just like the rest of us mere age-groupers, she can do a 6 hour Ironman 70.3 too!
SBR.ph: Welcome back to SBR.ph Ani!
Ani : Thanks SBR.ph am happy to be featured again, and congratulations on the continued success of your website!
SBR.ph: You were our first SBR.ph In[FOCUS] athlete. It’s been a year and 2 months since that interview! Seems like a lot of things happened to you since we featured you last January 1, 2011! From serious racing to mommy mode! (click here to read our 1st In[FOCUS] feature!)
Ani : Yes I am now doing the balancing act of getting back into good racing shape maybe towards the end of the year and taking care of our wonderful bundle of joy!
SBR.ph: How’s motherhood coming along?
Ani : I love it! I enjoy being with my baby and husband so much. It is an exciting time for us as a new family.
SBR.ph: You have three seconds to decide! Changing diapers or riding your bike?
Ani : Haha. Riding the bike wins hands down.
SBR.ph: You recently joined Aviva Singapore 70.3. Tell us about that race. Thanks also for making us know that the world is still round and that you’re human just like the rest us by not rocking a sub 5 just a couple of months after giving birth!
Ani : Yes I also really wanted to race soon after giving birth simply because that’s what I love to do. People think that just because I am used to racing at a certain level I am obsessive about it. I do not have any kind of ego that will prevent me from having a good time if I can’t go fast. Finishing a triathlon is a basic joy for me, just like any age grouper. Winning or placing well is only secondary.
SBR.ph: What does your 2012 racing schedule look like? Are you 100% back in racing mode?
Ani : The year is looking like: Singapore 70.3/ Pico Tri/ Tri United 1/ Ironman Port Macquarie/ 5150/ Tri United 2/ Philippines 70.3/ New York Marathon. It’s more of I’ll see how I go as the year goes by but this race schedule is intact either way. Whether I go hard for a particular event or not will depend on my progression. (No TIMEX 226??? – cdg)
SBR.ph: You’re married to pro athlete Coach Dan Brown. We’ve been wondering about this question for the longest time! Since you are both coaches, who coaches who??
Ani : Haha. Believe it or not we do our own thing. Sometimes we train together but right now I am not fast enough to keep up during rides so I can only really do track sessions and pool sessions with him. It does help to have someone bounce off ideas though!
SBR.ph: Aside from getting back into shape and mommy duties, what’s keeping you busy?
Ani : Right now I am Race Director of Alaska Ironkids Philippines, Sports and Recreation Consultant of Pico de Loro, Coach of Pinay in Action and various kids and age groups squads, Brand Ambassador of TIMEX, Unilab Active Health, and Adidas.
SBR.ph: You’re a member of the TIMEX international triathlon team. Tell us about the team. What’s the biggest difference being part of an international team as compared to being a member of the national team or a local team? Is there a lot more pressure to win? Do they expect results from all their members?
Ani : The Timex international Multisport Team is a great bunch of people. Each member is there for a certain reason, not necessarily just because they are high performance athletes. The main thing is we all spread triathlon goodwill so to speak and help uplift the image of TIMEX wherever we may be.
SBR.ph: As you may have noticed, we turned the site pink last month in celebration of Women Empowerment and Breast Cancer awareness. How do you balance training, being a wife, and being a full time mom? What advice can you give to everyone who wants to start living the active and healthy lifestyle?
Ani : I am new to all of this so I am learning. Dan and I have had some challenges and have accepted that we will still have but the best part is we are quick to admit where we have made mistakes and can move forward from there quite well. I don’t think I am any different from any other working mom out there, it is a tough job but very very much worth it!
My advice to other women is find out what form of exercise inspires you and suits your needs. Mine just happens to be triathlon, that may not necessarily work for everyone. Having said that though, I really want more women to try it out so that they can see it’s not as extreme as they deem it to be.
SBR.ph: What’s the toughest change you had to deal with when you became a mom?
Ani : A lot of lifestyle changes had to be made including being disciplined about going to bed extra early because that is the only way I could have any kind of rest. Also I had to cut back on the social scene a little bit. It was really only hard in the first three months but Dash has just turned four months old on the 29th of March so we are settling into our routine nicely now.
SBR.ph: You’ve been in this crazy world of triathlon for the longest time. How lucky are the newbie triathletes now compared to when you guys were just starting?
Ani : Very lucky in the sense that they have access to all these information, equipment, good coaching, training venues, etc. But I am still very happy to have gone the path I did because I really appreciate having started from scratch and maybe learning the hard way sometimes but it has made me a more well-balanced athlete.
SBR.ph: I vividly remember Brett Sutton at the TeamTBB website saying there will be a Filipino triathlete at the 2012 London Olympics. Do you think that can still happen? What do you think needs to be done to make that dream a reality?
Ani : Maybe not this year but definitely that is in the works. Just between you and me (and maybe thousands of other readers), The Doc himself is making an appearance again here soon!!!
SBR.ph: Talk to us about the Next Step tri camps! Seems like the number of participants is getting bigger and bigger each year! What differs the Next Step tri camps from the other tri camps being organized ?
Ani : I think we are very blessed in the sense that we partner with the right kind of organizations and brands. This year we continued our partnership with Unilab Active Health, Gatorade, Rudy Project, Timex, and a spectacular training venue in Pico de Loro. It’s very hard to not have a great camp when all of those things are put together!
SBR.ph: Name four things you can’t live without?
Ani : Apart from my family? Hmmm… my timex watches, my bike, my adidas shoes, and chocolate!
SBR.ph: Are you still open to one-on-one personal coaching? If so, how can they contact you?
Ani : Right now only if they can make it to my time slots. I have cut back tremendously in the past year as my priority is Dash. They can email me at email@example.com
SBR.ph: Again, thanks for the time Ani.
Ani : Anytime!!!