This week’s guest is a stunning example of why we shouldn’t allow our past to dictate our future.
Jo Bailey’s earliest memory of running dates from school; I was the overweight girl at the back of the cross country, walking it in with my girlfriend.
Jo was in her mid-30s when she set out on her first run with her son who had to train for his school cross country event, but wouldn’t do so alone.
Just 5 years later, Jo has completed 6 x 50km events as well as 3 x 100km races.
And, just 10 days after this episode is published, Jo will line up at the start of her first 100mi/160km race through the Victorian Alps.
Jo’s physical transformation is impressive.
But the transformation of her mental state from seeing herself as an overweight girl to ultra-marathon runner has, perhaps, been harder.
On her blog and on social media, Jo writes openly, honestly and authentically about her struggles with feeling like an imposter, her fear of coming last, of her battles with comparison and how it took a few years for Jo to call herself an athlete (and mean it).
So I knew she would be a perfect guest for the podcast.
In this conversation, we discuss:
- her earliest memory of running and why she wasn’t a sporty kid,
- her first venture into obstacle racing and then discovering trail running,
- her love/hate relationship with racing,
- what she learnt from coming last in a race,
- the practical strategies she uses to avoid slipping into comparison,
- what she does to shake off the self-doubt,
- how being an ultra runner has changed her as a woman and mother, and
- the advice she’d give to the woman who struggled to run 200m to the front gate.
Some of my favourite quotes from this episode:
You get that little thrill “oh my goodness, I did something I really didn’t think I could do.” And it’s such an awesome freeing that you want to go back and try something else
I wouldn’t do the things I do if I didn’t have the people behind me that I have behind me constantly helping me and supporting me in so many ways.
I’ve come last…I had to sit with it for a while and let it all sink in. And then I realised no-one thought any less of me because I came last.
Regarding the Imposter Complex: it’s constant. I still battle with it, as anybody who has been on my social media recently will have seen.
I’m a lot more resilient than I used to be. And I’m a lot more self-sufficient than I used to be. And I’m a lot more adventurous than I used to be.
I would run myself into the ground to make sure everyone was happy around me. But I’m not that person anymore.
I honestly didn’t think that having 3 kids, I would be able to juggle what I juggle to do what I do. And to what I love on top of parenting and working. But if you really want to make it happen, you can find ways to make it happen.
Click here to listen on iTunes.
Notes and resources:
iTunes | Stitcher
To find out more about Jo or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram and on her blog.