A Triathlete’s Adventure – “Growth occurs beyond your comfort zone”

Jo and the Brownlees

OK, so I’m trialling a new feature on my blog that I’m hoping will be an equivalent of a Twitter #FF (Follow Friday) – every week, I’d like to highlight someone else’s blog that I read regularly and that I think people who read my blog might enjoy. Please feel free to give me feedback on this idea as well as commenting or asking questions. Today, I’ve got an interview with a local triathlete, Jo. In ‘A Triathlete’s Adventure‘, Jo blogs about her trials and tribulations with Southampton Tri Club and Lordshill Road Runners here: http://jotriblog.wordpress.com/ 

A screenshot of Jo's blog, 'A Triathlete's Adventure'.
A Triathlete’s Adventure

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a 21-year-old full-time Masters student studying Human Resource Management. I work and study in Southampton, but home is Rayleigh, Essex. I’ve recently graduated with BA (Hons.) Criminology.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I performed in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony as a dancer in the Pop music decades section.

Jo in costume
Jo in her costume with a fellow performer

How would you summarise what your blog is about?

A girl’s journey as a complete beginner to triathlon and sport & fitness in general.

When and why did you start blogging?

Are you still blogging for the same reasons?

I started in February 2013. I wanted to blog as it felt like a great way of keeping motivated and to connect with other like-minded bloggers.

Which three blogs/bloggers have had the most influence on you and why? Are there any particular bloggers that you look to for inspiration?

A lady called Simone from Australia has been a great support through my blog. We began blogging about tri at a similar time. Simone often talks about battling bipolar disorder and how Tri is helping her to overcome her problems. I feel very inspired after reading her blog posts. Her blog is here: (unavailable in 2018)

Also, I would have to say you, Tamsyn! You are so enthusiastic, and keep on going no matter what – reading your blog definitely keeps me motivated. So thank you 🙂 (Aw, thank you, Jo!)

How would someone describe your blogging style?

There’s always a sense of discovery and focus on feelings and emotions that a beginner may feel.

Jo's Breeze group in front of Winchester Cathedral
Jo’s Breeze group in front of Winchester Cathedral

Which of your blog posts has generated the most discussion and why?

My post about the Breeze Bike ride in Winchester has the most views, as Breeze RT’d it on Twitter!

What tips would you give to anyone thinking about starting to blog?

Be honest with yourself and write from your heart.

Who do you think the main audience is for your blog? Are you writing with any specific person in mind?

Other sporting individuals, and family and friends who are interested in seeing what I’m up to.

How do you decide what is ‘blogworthy’?

If an experience felt good enough or painful enough to write about.

What do you find most challenging about blogging about sports/health?

Possibly not knowing all the technical stuff, or if what I’m doing is the correct way.

What do you do when you aren’t blogging?

Studying, training, working or letting my hair down. (Jo also seems to like mixing with triathlon royalty!!!)

Jo and the Brownlees
Jo has friends in high places! © Jo Restall

What challenges/races/events have you got lined up for 2014?

…plus a few more that I haven’t decided on yet!

What skill(s) do you hope to master over the next year?

Bike maintenance and breathing properly when swimming.

Is there anything you would like to ask the next featured blogger?

What is your biggest worry when it comes to triathlon?

What is your favourite gadget and why?

My Garmin, always there for me whenever I run.

What’s the furthest from home you’ve travelled for a sporting event?

30 miles.

Do you listen to music when training? What music motivates you?

Yes, almost always as I have a bit of breathing trouble due to asthma and the music covers up the sound of my rough breathing which can make me panic! I find rock music good to run to, as normally it has a good beat to it.

What’s your favourite food/recipe?

Roast dinner

Sunday roast Wikimedia Commons
Sunday roast © Wikimedia Commons

What is your strategy for dealing with an injury? Have you ever had to put it into practice?

I haven’t had any major injuries thankfully, but I had bad cramp after running and swimming that lasted for a few days once. I just kind of moped about a bit as I didn’t understand what it was at the time!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?

Only going to the loo – if I don’t I will need it as soon as I start running.

Describe your philosophy for life in a six-word sentence…

Growth occurs beyond your comfort zone

What is the most important advice that you can give to readers?

Challenge yourself, you never know just what you can achieve.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I have my first triathlon planned this year. My biggest concern is that I have terrible eyesight, even with prescription goggles and that T1 will be a nightmare trying to find my bike.

Jo British 10k
Jo at the end of the British 10k © Jo Restall

If you like to find out more about Jo, she’s happy to have more followers.

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