For this Focus On we caught up with the impressive Jill Dawson.
Jill has been chauffeur, supporter and wife to paracyclist and paratriathlete Iain Dawson. Her sport has always been on the back burner particularly as she could see that there was somewhat of a gap between her fitness and those of the people around her and her husband. That was very intimidating and off putting.
Now in her 50s and coping with MS she has a newly found passion for sport, which she is fitting in around a demanding job that involves a huge amount of travel.
How did the fitness journey start?
In response to my wish to look beautiful for my birthday, my comedian of a husband bought me a place on a boot camp. A whole week!!
What were your first experiences?
One of the first events I did was a local Santa Fun Run. I saw it advertised, thought it would be my level and so dug out my Santa outfit and pitched up as a nervous first timer hoping I wouldn’t be last. Got there and found out it was a kids event and I was the only adult. Still did it and was the fastest adult.
Being community minded it developed from there by finding fun, novel, charity events that would challenge my fitness whilst helping good causes. I Space Hopped over the humber bridge, did run for life, bubble dashes, charity bike rides, bits of triathlons as a part of a relay teams and then into GO TRIs to put the three together.
My first triathlon was the Women only Shock Absorber at Eaton Dorney. It felt amazing. To quote Robbie Williams “I love my life”. It was the most perfect day it made me feel invincible. Though I was bricking it. It was a hot day. But I was surrounded by lots of other women like me. I was 56, holding down a full time job driving 50,000 miles a year.
What are you enjoying about your participation?
Loving the MyZone app and their MyZone Experience Points (MEP). I can go out for a 40min 5k and get more MEPs than my faster husband.
I’m doing the 30 for 30 for Bowel Cancer. That involves 30 minutes per day for 30 days. I’m doing it for the 30 days of June.
I want to help others to enjoy exercise. I’m now a passionate believer in fitness for physical and mental health and want to do what I can to help others benefit from sport.
It’s fantastic that GO TRI are giving people the opportunity to have fun getting fit without the pressure of competition.
What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t “tri-ed” yet?
It’s never too late to start ! GO TRI is an ideal opportunity to focus your fitness and develop skills in 3 different disciplines without the pressure of racing. I am really looking forward to meeting like minded people so we can support each other and show that triathlon is about participation and enthusiasm and definitely a sport for all.