Debby Eades grew up in a family of boys who were all sports fanatics. But, she says, “my mom knew I would be the athlete of the family when I was the first of all the neighborhood kids to climb to the top of the ‘big’ tree in the backyard.”
She was always into sports, and won awards in most of them. But in law school she found her true calling. “I did a road trip out West and biked through Colorado and several national parks.” She was hooked and “biking became a passion.”
That passion took on a special meaning in 2006. To support a friend who lost her eight-month-old granddaughter to a rare lung disease, Debby helped form “Kenna’s Krew,” a bike team that rides the annual three-day, 157-mile Courage Classic tour in Colorado to raise money for the Denver Children’s Hospital.
A partner in a Chicago law firm, Debby works long hours–sometimes 16 to 18 hour days. Training for a tour like the Courage Classic also takes time. “It’s extremely challenging to balance job, family, and health.” But she was up to the challenge. First, she traded her mass transit commute for a bike. Next, she got creative, turning the 40-minute ride into a workout of up to two hours. “I had a lot fun dreaming up workouts, such as riding up parking garage ramps to train for hills.” Her other “trick” is to treat workouts as an appointment and calendar them. “I try very hard not to schedule meetings early in the morning or late in the day, so I don’t cut into my workout time.” Sundays are yoga, “a great balance to my very hectic work life and very calming.”
Working out is a critical part of Debby’s life. “It’s important to me to be successful not only as a lawyer but also as a spouse, friend, daughter, and sister. When I work out, I have a better self-image and am more confident in all areas of my life, including work and relationships.”
Debby claims to be a “traditional” gal with “Midwestern values.” If that’s the case, let’s hear it for tradition!
Home: Chicago, IL
Education: BSBA (Economics); JD
Children: None; Labs – Rascal and Koko
Sports, past and present: Basketball, Softball, Skiing, Hiking, Biking, Yoga
Athletic accomplishments: Four Century Bike Rides; Four-Year Varsity Basketball and Softball; All-Area Softball Team; State Softball C
Little known fact about you: I met my husband on a “singles” bike trip
Environmentally incorrect preference: An SUV
Guilty pleasure: Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!
Most embarrassing moment: Falling in a manhole on a very busy street in the center of town.
Greatest triumph: The Triple ByPass (a century ride with more than 10,000 feet of elevation gain in one day).
Favorite thing to do when not working or working out: Anything with my labs (and my husband!). Also love to travel, particular active travel trips.
Moment of Inspiration: Sunrises on Lake Michigan
Favorite Quote: “The view never changes if you are not the lead dog.”
Biking or Cardio: 3-5 days. Strength: 2-3 days. Yoga: 1 day.
I love hearing about others who try to squeeze training in to the crevices that surround “real life”, and I agree with you that the exercise becomes a coping mechanism for daily stresses. As the weather continues to improve in the Northeast, I think more and more about trading my 15 miles in the car each morning for time on my bike but am concerned about how I’d manage my laptop and the paperwork that travels with me in addition to a change of clothes. A backpack, of course, but I worry about being off balance, the extra weight and the stinky body when I get to work. Anybody have ideas?
How bout a pannier bags or showering at a gym by your work?