Connor Gist is one very talented lady with two very diverse passions and skillsets, and she’s one of us! When she’s not running laps around the Emergency Department as a graduate nurse, Connor is hitting the track as an elite middle distance runner.
‘I started my athletics journey in primary school with my teacher describing me as ‘an exuberant young girl with ants in her pants’, Connor says. ‘I joined the Doncaster Athletics Club when I was 12 and I have been running competitive track ever since.’
As a teenager, Connor travelled Australia competing in the Australian Junior Championships, winning multiple Junior State titles in the 800m and 1500m.
Connor is now a professional elite athlete and is fortunate to be coached by Pete Fortune who trains the ‘Wolfpack’ running group known for Olympians Cathy Freeman, Linden Hall and Anneliese Rubie.
‘My current personal best is 2.06.45 for my pet event the Women’s 800m and I held the ranking of twelfth in Australia,’ Connor days. ‘I was preparing for this year’s Commonwealth Games but disappointingly had to sit it out nursing Achilles Tendinopathy. But after a summer of intense rehab I am back!’
Connor is also a Nike Running Ambassador and a member of the Nike Run Club.
‘The Nike Run Club was developed by Nike to give the general public the opportunity to train in a semi-elite environment in a speed run, recovery run or long run. As a sponsored Nike athlete, part of my commitment is to share my life as an athlete on social media and make event appearances.’
Connor also has a passion for nursing and believes that nursing should be considered an Olympic sport in its own right.
‘Emergency can be challenging, and at times when you have a difficult patient or a behavioural patient, the motivation can be harder to find. Being a nurse isn’t a simple job where you can think ‘oh well, I’ll just leave that until tomorrow’ or ‘I’ll do it later’.’
‘I might be tired or frustrated, but then I remember that the patients are having a harder day than me; and I might occasionally whisper ‘Just Do It’ to help get me though.’
With Nike seeming to be the footwear of choice for nurses on shift, we had to ask the expert… How is Nike pronounced?
‘It’s pronounced ‘Ny-key’! Nike was the Greek Goddess of Victory, Strength and Speed which is fitting. And while we are at it, it’s a swoosh, not a tick! The ‘swoosh’ is meant to be the sound you make when you’re running.’