When questioned by her peers, "why would you stop being a doctor to earn no money, and go over to this uncertain territory of being an elite athlete?" the answer was a simple one for Bridie O'Donnell; she liked asking herself "how good can I be?"
Shane Kelly catches up with Bridie in what is an insightful chat between two world-class athletes. It's worth setting aside some time for the extended interviews, where the two discuss Olympics, the pressure of professionalism, women's cycling and finding a balance.
We strongly recommend you check out the extended edition of the conversation in parts one and two.
Hard work has clearly never been an issue for Bridie, who divides her time between being a doctor, professional cyclist, and (most recently) occasional TV personality (she is The Project's guest doctor).
Bridie is exceptionally driven; obviously becoming a doctor takes dedication, but she was able to apply the same focus and methodical approach to her cycling career. This approach has resulted in an impressive cycling resume, representing Australia at the Road World Championships on three occasions, winning an Australian ITT title as well as the 2010 Oceania Road Championship.
Bridie now manages and rides for the Women's Rush Cycling Team. This enables her to give advice and direction to the team from the road, a scenario of which any Director Sportif would dream. She gives us a great insight to the challenges facing women's cycling and the new found respect she has for Team Directors. There's also a ripper story from her early days working for a young fast 'brat' named Chloe Hosking, who as we now know turned out to be a superstar.
Shane and Bridie also discuss triathlons, both having very different experiences with this 'foreign' event; one being the making of the athlete and the other an unsuspected reality check... Will let you guess who is who.
Check out more from the Shane Kelly Off the Bike Series!
Tammy Foster - How Two Siblings' Cancer Journey is Now Helping Others.
Emma Carney - swimming through a cardiac arrest.
Billy Joe Shearsby - the Aussie World Champ who caught the attention of a young Bradley Wiggins.
Tim Spiteri - the ocean rowing adventurer who makes endurance look like a sprint.
Dave Sanders - behind every exceptional athlete is an exceptional coach.
Josiah Ng - Malaysian track cycling champion.
Jess Gallagher - being legally blind isn't slowing down her track racing aspirations for Rio.
Lance Picioane - former AFL player helping young people struggling with mental illness reach their full potential.
John Bylsma - two time Olympian and Common Wealth Games Silver medalist believes in quality (training) over quantity.
Frank Zanatta - The man who has raced 34 Melbourne to Warrnambools.