It is a challenge to have children while being a high-level athlete. Between training and competition, many sportswomen have to juggle because of their everyday life. They need help to find solutions. We have to help them collectively, socially. Johana Ordóñez, is an active walking athlete from Ecuador, winner of the South American championships in 2019 in Peru. During the last years of competition, she had two daughters: Samanta, born in 2010, and Tiffany, born in 2012. She answers our questions from Cuenca, 300 kilometers south from Quito, the capital city.
“Johana, how do you find the right balance between your mother’s life and your athlete’s life?
I don’t see those 2 passions like 2 difficulties. It is hard to live like this but I deal with it. I am very organized, I have strict routines. Everything is a matter of organization. It is complicated to share my life between my daughters and my career. Hopefully, I have my husband to help. He helps 100 %. Henry doesn’t have a job. He is by my side as a technical assistant. Without him, I would not have been able to live like I do today.
Your husband and your daughters are part of your team?
Totally, we do everything together, all 4 of us! When I have competitions not far away from home my family can follow me. An Example: Henry cycles close to me when I walk, he gives me water bottles during training, and he times me. Sometimes, my daughters walk with me, even if they like other sports better. Samanta practise ice skating, and Tiffany likes dancing. they are very sporty girls!
Those three, do they follow you during competitions?
Sadly no. When I have to go to Europe for example, it is impossible. It would be too expensive with travel fares, hotel bills… It is the most difficult period for me. But traveling is part of my job. The only ones to be happy when I leave are my daughters, when I am away they can eat hamburgers, pizzas, french fries…
Do you think you would have had better performances without your daughters?
No, I am sure about this. For a simple reason: Since I have my daughters, they inspire me. I walk for them. I contact them every day when I am away. I know exactly when they are home. I can help them with homework. I miss them terribly, but I know Henry is there to help. This helps me not to be sad when I am away.