Chris Green has the best of both worlds.
The South Australian nurse splits his time between working for champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and as an agency nurse with Healthcare Australia.
Chris, who was born and raised in the United Kingdom, has been a nurse for 20 years and now divides his time between his new home in the south of France, where he works for Armstrong’s cycling team, and Adelaide, where he works in acute care nursing.
To mark International Nurses Week, from May 6-12, the Healthcare Australia nurse opened up about how he combines his amazing dual careers and his success at achieving work-life balance.
Chris, who will return to Europe to prepare for the Tour de France in the next few weeks, first met Armstrong when he made his comeback to cycling in Adelaide in 2009.
“I was asked to guide him and his team on their training rides during the Tour Down Under,” he said.
“As a fluent French speaker and cyclist, I provided the team with the ability to maximise their training rides before the Tour Down Under.
“Each time Lance has been to Australia I have been charged with looking after him, his team and his family during their stay in Adelaide.
“This involves taking Lance and the team out training as well as taking care of the logistics involved in ensuring the team sponsors and VIPs are catered for when they visit races.”
Last year, Chris was offered a full-time position on the team, prompting him to relocate his family to France.
He has since worked on Armstrong’s VIP and sponsor programs across Europe and the United States, spending time in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Germany, Corsica, Sardinia, the UK and the United States, while taking part in the Tour of California and the Tour de France.
As an agency nurse, Chris has the flexibility to work around his cycling schedule, picking up shifts when he is back in Australia in ICU, CCU, HDU and ED.
Chris said he was thrilled to be able to combine his two passions.
“Nursing is the most rewarding profession I could have chosen,” he said.
“Luckily, working as an agency nurse with Healthcare Australia I am able to pursue my passion for the cycling industry, as I can decide when and where I want to work.”
Chris said his nursing career had also equipped him with the essential skills needed for his elite cycling journey, including customer service
and communication skills coupled with his ability to be responsive to the needs of others.
“I strongly believe 20 years of nursing provided me with the perfect base to embark on this amazing
opportunity,” he said.
Chris said it had taken courage, audacity and self-belief for him to grab hold of the once in a lifetime opportunity to join Armstrong’s team.
“Sometimes you need to dig deep, really deep, to achieve something special,” he said.
“I now try to inspire others to aim to fulfil their dreams and ambitions using my own experiences as an example of what can happen.
“You have to go out there and make it happen. Even when something seems impossible, it isn’t!”