Jessica Ennis-Hill has described getting back to competitive track-and-field athletics after she gave birth to her son as “the hardest thing I’ve ever done”.
Ennis-Hill, who is hoping to defend her Olympic heptathlon title at this year’s Rio Games, told the Telegraph Magazine that after her son Reggie was born 13 months ago: “I thought, I’m Olympic champion, I’ve achieved my dreams. Shall I call it a day? And then part of me thought, you’ve only got a year or two left in your career. I don’t want Reggie to look back and think, oh Mum, why didn’t you just go to the Olympics? You only had a few more months - you should have gone.’”
Ennis-Hill, 29, who made her comeback by winning gold at last year’s World Championships, has tweaked her training routine so that she does three or four hours in the morning at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield before heading home instead of being there twice a day, six days a week.
There is a gym in her garage at home and she can be found lifting weights or on the exercise bike on some nights while Reggie is asleep. The weekly three-hour round trips for a training session to Leeds Beckett University are now a thing of the past. They have now been replaced by a bike session at home and a “family day”.
Ennis-Hill coped with the high-profile spotlight of being the poster girl for the London 2012 Games and at the same time managed to give young girls a fresh image of what a sportswoman could look like.
She told the Telegraph Magazine: “It showcased a different physique.
“It showed that I am feminine and girlie, but I lift heavy weights, I run, I get sweaty and I’m strong, and you can marry those two.Jessica Ennis-Hill
“It showed that I am feminine and girlie, but I lift heavy weights, I run, I get sweaty and I’m strong, and you can marry those two. And a lot of 14 or 15-year-old girls think that it’s either one or the other.”