This month, our Spotlight is shining on Canadian track-and-field athlete and Team Canada 2020 Olympian hopeful Divya Biswal. Even though her main sport is the triple jump, she seems to have mastered several facets of life — and that includes discipline and humility. While she definitely has put in the work (blood, sweat, and tears) necessary to join the ranks of potential Olympic participants, she admits it has come with its own set of challenges.
Read on to hear just how a young woman from Canada is realizing her athletic and personal dream goals!
ELLIE:When did you become interested in track and field? How did you come to love the triple jump as your go-to event?
DIVYA: I became interested in track and field in elementary school. We learned how to do all the different events in gym class and they’d pick two people per school to compete. We weren’t allowed to triple jump until grade 7, but I remembered watching it and always thinking it was cool. When I finally got to try it, somehow it came naturally to me, and I fell in love!
ELLIE: You have a twin sister who also competes in track and field (100m hurdles). In what way(s) does having your twin sister in the same sport world boost your performance, if at all? Is she your motivational/accountability partner?
DIVYA: It’s great having a support system in track and field. You travel a lot and can spend a lot of time alone, so having your sister train and compete with you is amazing. We can be great pick-me-ups for each other. You know when you’re just having a bad day and you need a hype man? [She’s] basically it!
ELLIE: What is your training schedule like?
DIVYA: I train 6 days a week. That includes 6 track/hill workouts and 3 days of lifting. I usually train in the morning (it’s when I feel best). A training session with a lift is usually 4 hours long, from 7:30am-11:30am.
ELLIE: How do you make sure you’re getting the fuel your body needs for the level of fitness you maintain?
DIVYA: This is something I suck at!! I’m trying to get better, but you do have to eat a lot. When I get really busy, I forget to eat or pack protein shakes, which is bad. I eat a lot of protein in the form of meat and I love snacking on things throughout the day. I also use a meal-prep service, called Underground Prep, that makes great meals, and I eat those for lunch! It’s been working well, but I’m planning on meeting with a nutritionist to be better at this.
Check Divya out in our Gear Up look — a sneak peek of the Cycle House powered by Marika collection, available now in our December box options!
ELLIE: You’re a track and field coach at a university. How has your experience shaped your coaching style?
DIVYA: I think it helps me have a better view on how a student athlete thinks. I remember my time as an athlete and think about what would have been the most productive thing for me to hear. I try to put myself in their shoes and remember what my college experience was like. Obviously, you’re going to party and eat bad food, but everything is okay in moderation. School can be stressful as well, so I try to remind them that track practice is the time to focus on themselves and forget all of their other stresses. Hopefully they like it! (laughs)
ELLIE: You’re currently training (full time!) for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Please tell us more about this process!
DIVYA: Omg, it’s a hard process! (laughs). You have to sacrifice a social life and make sure you’re eating the right things, sleeping enough, and training hard enough! It’s not enough to just have good workouts. It’s a complete lifestyle and I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by people who get it. My life is training, recovery, eating, modeling, and sleeping. There really isn’t any time for anything else but hopefully if I qualify at the trials in June it’ll all be worth it!
ELLIE: With the holidays coming up — a time to relax, be with family, indulge, be lazy — how do you stay motivated and focused on your training?
DIVYA: Through all the temptations, I remind myself that everything is okay in moderation, but this is all stuff I can do after the Olympics. I try to remember that the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and if I can push through this, it’ll all be worth it. Perspective is important and understanding your goals helps a ton!
ELLIE: What are you looking forward to in 2020, and do you have any fitness resolutions?
DIVYA: I am looking forward to hopefully realizing my dream of going to the Olympics and having a honeymoon!!! [I’m] very excited to take a vacation with my soon-to-be husband and relaxing! Fitness goals would be to do my core every day (laughs) — sometimes I get lazy! Oh, and to be better at yoga!!
Since our interview with Divya, she has gotten married! We would love to take this opportunity to wish her all the best on her nuptials, and let her know that we look forward to cheering her on in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo!
This Spotlight on Team Canada track star Divya Biswal was prepared exclusively for Ellie. You can find her fitness and lifestyle chronicles on Instagram at @divyabiswal.