Jo Pavey is a British runner, and I’ve been watching her on TV for years. She’s a good runner, world class in fact, but in races with the very best of the world, she is there or thereabouts in the race until about 200 metres to go, when she gets left behind by racers with the fierce kicks.
At her home Olympics of London 2012 Jo finished in the top 10 for both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, which is no mean feat at all, but doesn’t bring any medals. So, at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 I expected the same thing to happen when she lined up for the 5,000 with 3 Kenyans in the race.
Jo is 40 after all, and only gave birth to her second child 10 months previously. As the race panned out, Jo was there or thereabouts as expected, but so were the 3 Kenyans who I expected to run away from her.
When they hit the bell though, an odd thing happened – Jo kicked and moved past them. Down the back straight they moved past her, but instead of accepting it, she kicked again. Once more the Kenyans moved past her, and I expected Jo to get left behind in the finish as per usual.
Round the last bend, another kick from Jo! The Kenyans were going flat out, but not pulling away from her. Down the final straight 2 of the Kenyans did pull away but yet another kick from Jo saw her go past the last Kenyan to pick up a bronze medal.
I’ve been watching sport for years, but it’s not often that I shout at the TV, but watching that race I could not help myself shouting ‘COME ON JO!’
In her post race interview she said two things which hit home with me…
Firstly she said it would have been easy to accept that she would not win a medal because she was up against 3 Kenyans, but had simply decided *not* to accept it but to take it to them!
She also said that the birth of her children helped to put things into perspective, and that she was so grateful to be so lucky to be able to compete in big events.
Throw in the fact that her home race track is shut so she has to drive an hour each way to get to training, and you get a whole package of great goal achievement lessons!
Then a week later at the European Championships, Jo stood on the start line of the 10,000 with a different attitude, with the knowledge that she did have what it took to win a medal and, kicking again at the bell this time she ran away from everyone to take the gold. Her first major gold at the age of 40! No woman has ever won a European Gold at that age.
That got her into the mass media – TV interviews, press features, etc.
Part of her appeal is that she’s very quiet and down to earth, not a showy person at all. In fact, the thing I remember her saying most in her interviews is that she’s thankful for people being so kind to her, and that she found it quite funny that success at that level came to her when athletics was less her ‘be all and end all’, but something that had to fit around her age and motherhood of two young children.
So, do you think you’re too old for your goal? Is your goal something no-one your age has done before? Look at Jo and think again. Or, maybe you think your goal is only for others, that it’s easier to accept it won’t happen for you? Look at Jo and think again.
Do let me know what you think, and share, like, tweet etc if you enjoyed it – thanks!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Running is a passion for Jo, and she makes money from her passion. Why not use the internet to make money from *your* passion? Grab my free guide FB Passion Profits – The Basics!