04th Oct 2021
Work Rest Slay is a monthly podcast hosted by our contributing editor Melanie Morris who speaks to some of the most compelling Irish and International people in business, spilling the truth on the real secret sauce for a successful career.
Our third business podcast in the series launches on Saturday, October 2, 2021 and features Derval O’Rourke, former Olympian and founder of Derval.ie – a supportive online community focused on all things health and wellbeing.
Work Rest Slay: Episode 3
In conversation with Melanie Morris, Derval O’Rourke, a former professional athlete, wife, mother and highly successful businesswoman, shares with us her experience and learnings over the years.
Derval shares the importance of health and wellness, having a backup/ exit strategy, vision boards, being surrounded by the right people, finding joy in the bad days, prioritising delegation and being accountable to yourself.
Always have a backup plan
Derval was a professional athlete who competed in sprint hurdles for Ireland for over fourteen years and three Olympics. In 2006, she became world champion for track and field but she always reminded herself that you are only as good as your last race. After asking herself “If I wake up in the morning and can never run again, then how do I walk away?”, she did a masters in Business Management. Running was her joy but she needed a backup plan.
“One thing you are limited by is time,” Derval says in the podcast. She has always been acutely aware of how quickly our time passes, stressing the importance of utilising it to pursue your true passions. “You’re the only person who can get you to where you want to go. Be accountable to yourself.”
Creating a community
After her retirement in 2013, Derval helped a couple of her friends get back into shape. She then wondered if there was something there, if she could share the knowledge that many mentors shared with her. Derval envisioned an online community that would lift your overall health and wellness.
When she met Greg, her now business partner, she knew that she didn’t just want help, she wanted a business partner who had strength where her weak points are. Together they made Derval.ie a reality. “I surrounded myself with a structure of people who I could really trust, who I felt could come with me on that journey to help me get to where I wanted to go,” Derval said.
Derval.ie is now three years old and the online community continues to grow and expand. Its most recent addition is an online shop and it’s currently going through a rebrand. As a former Olympian, Derval has continued to push boundaries in the best way, but instead of training and races, she now successfully juggles motherhood and her thriving business.
For more on Derval’s career, including her top tips on health and business, listen to the third episode of Work Rest Slay below:
Derval O’Rourke is a former professional athlete who competed in sprint hurdles for Ireland. She was world champion, four-time European medallist and a three-time Olympian (Athens, Beijing and London) as well as being the Irish record holder.
Afterwards, the former Olympian developed a passion for healthy lifestyle solutions to fit everyone’s busy life and this led her to writing her two best-selling cookbooks, Food For The Fast Lane and The Fit Foodie.
Three years ago, she launched her healthy lifestyle site Derval.ie – an online community centred on nutrition, fitness and mindfulness content delivered by experts in a supportive environment. Last year, she expanded her business by launching an online health and wellness product shop as an addition to her online offering.
Derval is also a regular media contributor, having roles with RTE as a coach on Ireland’s Fittest Family and as their athletics analyst.