Tayla Harris isn’t any ordinary 24-year-old. At just 17, she was drafted into the AFL women’s exhibition series, playing for the Brisbane Lion’s representative team. By 20, she had made her professional debut with the AFLW Brisbane Lions at Casey Fields, where she was nominated for the league’s Rising Star Award and listed in the 2017 All-Australian team, all while competitively kick-starting her professional boxing career. Now 23, Tayla is signed with Carlton as their leading goalkicker, and reigns as an unbeaten boxing champion, recently partnering with 9Round as their AU/NZ Ambassador.
She is fighting fit and full of life, so what’s her secret? Here, Tayla gives us a glance into her day-to-day life.
Now in AFLW’s off-season, I’m shifting my focus toward training for my next boxing fight. So my day-to-day routine looks a little different than usual. As an athlete, you have to stay on top of your nutrition and your fitness, and that comes with developing a split that works for you.
I’ve always been an early riser, so I’ll usually make a coffee and soak up the morning rays with my boy Beans, before I head to 9Round. 9Round has become my new obsession. The moment I walk into the arena and see everyone, I’m instantly in a good mood and ready to smash out my workout – it’s such an empowering start to the day.
I usually complete two or three training sessions a day when prepping for a fight, so I’ll start the morning with boxing, before heading to the gym for strength and conditioning, and finish with some swimming. (Which, yes, is brutal coming into Winter.) Sometimes I’ll switch out swimming for a run or hike with friends (Trentham Falls is amazing) – it just depends on how I’m feeling.
Ultimately, my focus is working to maintain my strength base in the gym and regaining my boxing skills after months of focusing on football training.
Post-training, I’ll have a shower, whip my trackies on and start recovery with time in the sauna.
I’m in meal-prep mode now, so all of my meals are piled in my fridge and ready for me when I come home from training. I’ve been working with my nutritionist to develop my new meal plan ahead of my fights, so it’s all gluten-free, heavy on protein, and filled with healthy fats. And, most importantly, it’s yummy. None of this dry chicken and broccoli stuff!
Aside from training and nutrition, a huge part of my life revolves around spending time with my friends, especially because I live away from my family. I’m someone who is energised by other people, so spending time with people who make me happy is so important. If I’m not working or with my friends after training, I’m at the park with my dogs. They go crazy over a frisbee and tennis ball.
I end the day with lots of doggie cuddles and Netflix before heading to bed – after all, recovery time is just as important as training time!Then, we repeat it all tomorrow!
Feature image via Morning Bulletin