Meet Alice Barraclough, a lifestyle and fitness freelance journalist for some of the most popular publications in the UK, including Telegraph, Guardian, Stylist, Evening Standard and Women's Health. We catch up with her on what drives her to be so athletic and how she manages work-life balance amid lockdown.
Q: Tell us about your Dai'namic self. What are the top 3 things we need to know about you?
What makes me Dai’namic? I’m the eldest of four children, I studied abroad [in America], and I’ve grown up incredibly sporty in an incredibly sporty household.
I’d say that these three things tie into my A-type personality — very competitive but also being very disciplined, structured, and would go for whatever I want.
Q: What does an ideal work-life balance look like for you? Are you currently achieving it?
I think I am probably now. Maybe if you asked me two years ago, I would’ve probably said that there’s no work-life balance. I would just work, work, work.
But, I think work-life balance now for me is when I can go for a swim with my friend at lunch time or squeeze a little 5k run without stressing about being back in my seat at a set time or working ‘till midnight on a piece.
Work-life balance isn’t necessarily sticking to a 9 to 5, logging on and logging off at a certain time. The days when I know I got it right is when I filed all of my pieces and hit all my deadlines. But, I’ve also made time to move and made time for me and I’m not just sat on my seat all day.
Q: We're 1.5 years into the pandemic, what's your biggest takeaway from it?
Probably, how important family is. I actually went to my childhood home before the first lockdown happened last year, and I ended up getting stuck there for three months.
It was my family that really got me through those days when you’re watching the news and everything seems to be spiraling out of control. It was detrimental to my mum to say that everything was going to be alright. I would also cycle or ride with my sister and I remember it was the six of us all together at dinner.
It’s those small things that show you that your family is there for you no matter what and they have your back. I am not afraid to say that I was having a mentally tough time then, and my family really supported me and got me through.
Q: What themes have resonated most with your readers across your recent work?
The features that have resonated with most readers, and I particularly enjoyed putting together, has been the effects on women after the pandemic. So, I’ve written about how eating disorders have been on the rise and how you talk to a friend with an eating disorder. I feel like those have kind of been the hard-hitting pieces that I’ve really enjoyed getting my teeth into.
But on the flip side, I’ve done product reviews, mainly for runners and cyclers ‘cause so many have taken it up last year which is fantastic. But, they don’t know if they need these bum-padded shorts or what’s the perfect shoe to run in, or which socks are going to help them not get blisters. So, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on those as well.
Q: We love seeing you running, cycling, swimming, doing yoga, and the list goes on. What is it about being sporty and athletic that makes you happy?
Well, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always been sporty so I don’t know what it’s like without exercise not being factored in on my weekly schedule.
I think now, possibly more so than when I was younger, I enjoy the mental benefits not just the physical benefits. I like getting back after a hard session and feeling the endorphins buzz in. The serotonin and the happy hormones, and just that sense of achievement 'cause I’m the first to raise my hands when I don’t enjoy a session and I complain a lot about whether I got a stitch, or I’m too hot or sweaty, or the session is too hard — whatever it is, I’d make the perfect excuse. But then, when you achieve it and accomplish that hard session, I think that’s what I really thrive off.
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