Sport for Women

Jo Brigden-Jones: Back to reality

Post-Olympic life has been great although the Olympics feel like they happened years ago. I still sometimes stop and think ‘did that really happen?’. Having the ‘Olympian’ tag hasn’t changed me as a person but it has provided with me some great opportunities over the past couple of months. I did get the official stamp for life…I got the Olympic rings tattoo! I have always said the only tattoo I would ever get would be the Olympic rings. I love my tattoo even though I still think it’s strange that I have one, I am very proud of everything that it represents.

Since returning home I have had fun at the Sydney welcome home parade, attended luncheons, visited some schools to chat to kids, started a fun run, went to parliament, watched the Wallabies play from a corporate box, did some interviews on radio and TV, enjoyed the welcome home functions at my surf and kayak clubs and caught with some of my great supportive sponsors.

I was thrilled to be part of Layne Beachley’s Aim for the Stars Calender for 2013 as the month of August. I received a grant from her foundation in 2010 and since then Layne has been a fantastic person to receive advice from and it was really cool to have her in London as one of the Australian teams Athlete Liaison Officer. I did a photo shoot with Carol Gibbons back in April which was really fun and then to see the finished product at the Calender Launch was awesome. Funds raised from the 2013 Aim for the Stars Foundation Calendar will go to providing support to young females committed to achieving their dream.

I have started work as a registered nurse at a local private hospital which has been great to put my years of study into practice plus start to earn some money! I have finished my university studies for the year and am still waiting to get my mark back from my last essay. I travelled out to Charles Sturt University in Bathurst for the annual Blues Ball recognising great sporting achievements by the students over the year. Michael Klim was the guest speaker at the Blues awards and it was great to learn of his life and especially the amazing moment when he was part of the victorious 4 x 100m freestyle relay team at the Sydney Olympics. I received an award for being the ‘Distance Education Sportsperson of the Year’.

I went on a holiday to New York which was fantastic. I had such a great time hanging out with my friends, shopping, sightseeing and getting to know the most happening city in the world. I discovered some awesome places to hang out at, ate amazing food and just watch the world go by. I was sad to come back to reality but business class on the way home with Qantas helped a lot! I am now planning my next holiday…I am thinking Japan after Christmas for some fun on the ski slopes.

I started back in the gym a little while ago and a few weeks later back in the kayak. It was a bit of a shock to the system after 2 months off doing not much exercise. After 3 sessions in the kayak, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to do the Lion Island ocean ski race. After the first 1km I was hurting…only had 14km to go. Hmm I was really regretting my decision now! I managed to keep my arms moving and ended up winning the race. Good kick start to the fitness.

I am known for being a bit clumsy and I lived up to my reputation recently. I dropped a weight on my foot in the gym. Yep, it hurt a lot! Luckily I didn’t break anything but it did bruise the bone and I have had to wear a ‘moon boot’ for the last couple of weeks. I have still been able to do most training session but it has been very painful and annoying, especially what randoms in the street have been saying to me. Yes I realise I only have one shoe on! The best one though…‘you have really put your foot in it now!’ haa yeah thanks mate.

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Jo Brigden-Jones is a Sport for Women ambassador