How I find balance — February 2018

Ian Hillis stays balanced by participating in triathlons and giving back to the community.

Ian Hillis, 38, partner, Ford Keast, London, Ont.


I grew up playing basketball, but fell out of that after university. In 2008, when my sister twisted my arm into doing a triathlon, I realized I missed that kind of competition and pushing my limits, so I quickly got addicted to triathlon. I’m better at running and swimming, so initially I spent more time doing those events and triathlons, but recently I’ve gotten more into cycling. I’ve done a couple of five- or six-hour mountain bike races, and I have an entry in for a 100-mile mountain bike race in Colorado this summer. These sports allow me to balance taking the opportunity to unwind and working the analytical side of my brain in a different way, by tracking how I’m improving or not in terms of pace, distance, heart rate and power.


Being on the board of the McCormick Care Foundation is a way to use my experience and knowledge to give back to the community — we operate to benefit the programs the umbrella organization has, such as dementia day programs and research. Almost everybody will somehow have been touched by dementia, so the more we can help, whether it’s working with dementia clients or helping families manage day to day, the better.


Fitting in training is not easy. Family comes first, so I do about 90% of my training when the kids (who are 10, seven and four) are in bed or at lunchtime. My wife and I also plan races into family vacations. I’ve even run a couple of 5Ks with my [eldest] daughter, which was fun.


If you want to succeed in one area, sometimes there’s a bit of an imbalance. Luckily my wife understands my priorities: we work together to fit everything in.