It's easy to get caught up in the podiums, PRs and professionals in any sport because they are driving the headlines, but we often forget that the lifeblood of any community isn't necessarily those at the tip top. It's the people making sacrifices in all areas of their lives to dedicate time to pursue their passions, because it's these passions that make them unique and interesting. We love our pros because they inspire and set the bar so high, but we also love the people in our community juggling working full time, being moms, being leaders in their communities, all the while pursuing a healthy and authentic lifestyle.
Enter Evie Darbut. Evie is a mom with a young child, works full time for the sheriff's department, activates local running events in her community, AND trains for triathlon. We are stoked to have Evie as part of The Swarm...read below to learn more about Evie (and hopefully take some inspiration) and how she balances these aspects of her life while staying fit and raising a healthy family.
How did you find triathlon / multisport?
I found triathlons during college. I wanted something a little more challenging than road races and found an all women triathlon race in the area. I think co-ed triathlons intimidated me a bit so finding this race was the perfect start for me. I’ve been hooked ever since!
What is it about the sport that keeps you motivated and keeps you going year after year?
Honestly, the challenge of this sport is what keeps me going. I absolutely love it. Some races I'll kill the bike and then lack on the run and think crap - alright got to pick up my running. You can always improve in certain areas and refine yourself in others and that's what makes this sport really great. Meeting the people during these events is also really fun. It takes a special kind of crazy to participate in endurance sports and when you get to talk to people who are doing the same exact thing you are - it's refreshing.
Triathlon is a demanding sport...you are a mom and work a full time job with a young child in the house - how do you find the time to balance all of that?
I honestly don’t know how I do it haha. However, training and taking part in triathlons is important to me and I just find the time to do it, whether it be 4:30AM or 11:00PM. To me training is not something “extra” that I do but a part of my life that’s important; it’s just like work. It’s also very important for my mental well being and in my opinion makes me a better mom. None of this is possible, however, without my amazing support group that encourages and helps me along the way. They make it a priority to help me so I can get my workout in or race in an event because they know it’s good for me and ultimately my family. I don’t know what I would do without them. I also made it easy for me to achieve my workouts by building an in home gym.
I'm sure triathlon provides a good mental "break" from some of the other things you have to do every day, but also provides some stress, both physical and mental in terms of finding time to train and being tired...is this the case, and if so, how do you manage?
Training definitely has its stresses but the benefits of it definitely outweigh the stress. I used to get frustrated any time I couldn't get my exact workout in and it used to put a damper on my day. As a mom I've learned that I need to readjust my workouts and my expectations on some days. Definitely a change in my mindset. I've also built an in home gym to suit my training needs and that's helped a lot. When you can't go to the gym bring the gym to you right?! Hahaha.
What kinds of tips do you have for other moms with young kids who may be looking to balance being an athlete and a mom and working?
The biggest tip I can offer is: It's okay to do this for yourself (working out); don’t feel guilty. I think as a mom you think you have to sacrifice everything for your children and that's not true. You can do both (its hard) but it is possible, and in my opinion necessary for your own sanity.
Secondly, be realistic with yourself. I gained almost 60 pounds during my pregnancy and knew coming back wasn't going to happen overnight but I would still get frustrated when I couldn't hit my workout goals. It's okay - you will get there eventually. This also means if you have no one to watch your child during races then maybe triathlons isn't the answer for you right now but running a 5k is.
My third tip (this is similar to my first tip but more focused on the child): show your kids what it's like to live a healthy style. My daughter will come to my in-home gym and "lift weights" with me. She also emulates what I eat so that means I have to hide the gummy worms haha. These little guys are always watching us and it’s important that we set a good example for them. Watching her pick up on those habits is absolutely incredible and pretty motivating.
Lastly, USE Pintrest!!! Sometimes it's hard to motivate yourself to get on a treadmill but Pintrest gives you all sorts of fun exercises you can do at home or at the gym. We all don't have coaches (myself included) and sometimes need something to spice up our usual routine!
Does your husband train and compete?
He does not; however, he knows how important training and racing is to me so he is one of my biggest supporters. Seeing him and my daughter on the course during events is probably one of the most amazing things to see.
You're also very active in your local run community - can you talk about what you do there and why you do it?
Absolutely! I've been running in 5k events in the area since I first moved here in 2012 (I've been running long before that haha). Because of that I've met a lot of runners and made great connections with the running community.
In about 2014 I started regularly attending a run club: Baptist Health South Florida Weston Run Club. Because of my charismatic personality (so I've been told haha) they asked me to lead the group since the main girl was stepping away from it. I was thrilled!!! I loved the group.
Leading the group gave me an opportunity to help newer runners feel confident. They had a safe place to ask questions and get support from their fellow runners. I would get asked advice or cheer on my newbies and that was incredible. See, as a long time runner we should do our best to encourage the newer guys and make them feel welcome AND I got to do that on a public level making it contagious.
Since then Ive had a baby but I still hang around. I've continued to race and am slowly coming back to my old ways and times. My goal in life as silly as this sounds is to make Broward County a very active city. This means growing the running community and helping putting on fun active events in the area, and well, I'm on my way to doing that.
AND on top of all this, you are now a race director (and part of I Race Like a Girl) - can you talk about the race, why you decided to take on another thing, and what being part of Angela's (Naeth) posse of bad A girls (I Race Like A Girl) is all about?
Haha. Well, joining Angela's team was easy and kind of funny at the same time. I had started following one of my team members on Instagram (fellow Swarm Collective athlete Brianna) and was completely inspired by her. She was someone who was similar to myself: a mom, a business owner and an athlete. Now, she is WAYYYY better than I am in the triathlon game but hey that's life LOL. When I saw her post about Iracelikeagirl and looked into it, I absolutely knew I wanted to be a part of it.
Iracelikeagirl is a virtual community led by professional triathlete, Angela Naeth. She is not only an amazing athlete but person as well. It was refreshing to find a woman who is at the top of her game encouraging us, giving up tips and advice, and being our cheerleader. The cute gear is pretty awesome as well haha. I love being a part of this virtual community where women (and men) are encouraging us and supporting us from afar.
My team also support a charity which has a place near and close to my heart - The Max Cure Foundation. Their mission: to fund research for the development of pediatric cancer drugs, including funding to discover less toxic treatments for children with cancer, and as its research mission, to fund an Immune Cell Therapy Lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to financially assist low income and military families battling cancer in their children, and through advocacy, to pursue legislative and regulatory changes that seek to benefit children with cancer and at the same time, raise awareness to the needs of those fighting pediatric cancer. Let’s be serious, who doesn’t want to support this cause?
So – how did I become a race director? Well, Angela has been growing her team nationally and I definitely wanted to help. So when she posted about possibly starting to put on local events in our respective communities, I thought to myself - why not?!?! I had always wanted to plan a 5K for a worthy enough cause. I’ve come from a runner's mindset which has helped me to incorporate pieces into the 5K that most runners want. So I told Angela I was all in to put on a 5K and here we are less than 2 months out. Now, it has been incredibly stressful and a lot of work but I'm proud of what we have accomplished so far. My running AND local community have been AMAZING and they have been our biggest supporters. They're the ones who have made this process a lot easier than it should be. This event is going to be a blast and I can't wait to see it all play out!!!
What do you love about Primo Smoothie and Field Work Nutrition - especially being a busy mom trying to raise a healthy family?
EVERYTHING!!!! First of all it is so incredibly easy to put together. I put all of the stuff I love in a blender and mix it all up and take it to go in the morning. It gives me all of the "good stuff" I need in the morning to get me going and it tastes amazing compared to any other protein shake. On days I don't have it in the morning but during the day for lunch it's an easy nutritious solution for me.
I love it when my daughter drinks it too. She is such a picky eater and she will typically come to me in the mornings to take some big sips of my Primo protein smoothie and it puts me at ease because I know she's actually getting good stuff into her system! Try it! I swear you'll be a believer too.
On top of everything else it helps me on my triathlon game. I have it in the mornings before events (or hard workouts) and it gives me just the right amount of food to keep me strong but not sick to my stomach!
Anything else you'd like to add?
The only thing I want people out there to know is that you never know who you're inspiring. You might think you're a nobody and no one is watching you but that’s not true. I’m beyond overwhelmed at the number of people who tell me that they’re motivated and inspired by me. I'm shocked when people come to me a few years later and tell me that I'm the reason why they're more active or trying different things or even asking me for advice. I mean who am I? It's such an incredible feeling AND that is what pushes me to keep going. I want my daughter to see all of this goodness and emulate it because at the end of the day this is what it's all about – spreading goodness and positivity.
Thank you, Evie. We couldn't agree more!