In the short time that Dr Sarah Egan has been competing in the triathlon, she has already qualified to represent Australia at the upcoming ITU World Championships of Triathlon to be held in Vancouver, Canada, in June. She is also the only woman in her age group from Western Australia in the competition.
Dr Egan, a clinical psychologist from Curtin University of Technology’s School of Psychology, was only introduced to the sport in September 2006 when she took a beginner’s triathlon course, but she is now balancing the rigours of working full-time and training.
The course had a tremendous impact on her life and set her on the path of becoming an age group triathlete.
“I got into the triathlon because I love running but had suffered a knee injury and needed a sport that works out different part of the body, so I took the course and that turned out to be a life changing decision,” Dr Egan said.
“I’ve embraced competing in the triathlon as it reminds me so much of the challenges I had to face to succeed in academia. Both have required me to strive and work very hard towards goals in a competitive environment.
“I really love pushing myself to perform and being the best that I can be.”
Besides the World Championships, Dr Egan has also competed in numerous events locally and nationally, including two ironman distance triathlons which involve gruelling distances more than four times the norm. To reach this elite level of her sport, Dr Egan has had to adapt her life to suit the significant training demands.
“Training to compete and balancing this with work is difficult and there is no time to do anything except train and work, so I’ve had to use my training time for socialising and social support as well,” Dr Egan said.
“I’ve also had to learn to wake up very early to train before work at 4.30am and get used to training in the dark, and start drinking lots of coffee!”
Dr Egan also credits Curtin and her colleagues with providing excellent support in her efforts to excel in triathlon.
“My colleagues in the School of Psychology have been enormously supportive of me going to the World Championships, and I really appreciate that the Faculty of Health Sciences has also provided sponsorship for my trip to Vancouver,” Dr Egan said.
“This support is really a testament to the excellent work environment at Curtin and the value it places on the balance between work and life and the strong emphasis on encouraging fitness, health and an active lifestyle for staff.”
Professor Jill Downie, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin’s Faculty of Health Sciences, congratulated Dr Egan on her efforts to reach the world championships.
“Sarah’s commitment to her sport has been outstanding and we want to congratulate her on her achievement and wish her all the best in the competition,” Professor Downie said.
“Providing a positive and supportive environment for our staff to reach their full potential both in their work and life pursuits is very important at Curtin, and it is encouraging when they are able to enjoy and even excel at what they do.”
Dr Egan is a Lecturer in Psychology and a registered clinical psychologist. She has done research into performance in triathlon, and her main research area is perfectionism and achievement striving.
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