Jess in the Spotlight
What have you got your sights set on right now?
I’m preparing for the 14th FINA World Championships which will take place in Shanghai, China from 16th-31st July 2011. I can’t wait.
And after that?
It will be all about the London 2012 Olympics for me – the trials will take place in March.
How old were you when you started swimming?
I started swimming as a toddler and by the time I was two years old I could swim to save myself. My older sister loved to swim too so whenever she was at the pool I was there too.
At what age did you win your first medal?
I was six years old and I won the medal for a 25m butterfly race. I was so proud – everyone was.
When did you decide that swimming would become your career?
Swimming is something I’ve always been passionate about. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I’d make a career of it; I’ve just been lucky that it’s unfolded like that for me.
What’s a typical week of training involve for you?
It’s a mix of swimming, cycling, gym and boxing training. It’s not unusual for me to have 10 sessions in the pool, two on the bike, two in the gym and two boxing sessions in the space of a week. It’s full on.
Do you find it hard to commit to the training?
At times it is hard – very hard – but I’m driven by the desire to continually improve and achieve my next big goal.
What time of day do you train?
It can start as early as 4:30am. I have a very loud alarm clock! I can also train during the day and at night.
Is there anyone you’re striving to beat right now?
There is usually someone at every swim meet that I strive to beat but for me it’s probably more about pushing myself harder, doing better than I did last time and bettering my own performance.
How do you prepare on the day of a big event?
I don’t have a preparation or routine before I swim. In fact I try to think of anything else besides my swim. I usually read, listen to music or just generally chat to those around me.
Do you have a lucky charm?
No… no lucky charms; I’m not superstitious at all.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to curl up with a good book; usually a fantasy novel – Harry Potter and the Twilight series are amongst my favourites at the moment.
It depends on my mood. I listen to everything from the current Top 20 through to ELO and David Gray.
I recently went to see Rihanna and Chris Brown in concert – they were awesome.
There are so many! I don’t go to the cinema very often; I have a very big DVD collection instead. That way I can watch my favourites over and over and over again.
Favourite sport, apart from swimming?
Ruby league; I support the Brisbane Broncos, of course.
The Maldives on my honeymoon, closely followed by Innisfail in North Queensland. Brett’s family live in Innisfail and I love the times we spend up there visiting them.
What advice do you have for young swimmers?
Always try and better yourself. Set yourself attainable goals, train hard and do not take any shortcuts because the only one you will ever deceive when you get up on the blocks is yourself.
Make sure the sport you choose to do is one that you enjoy. If you don’t have fun doing it, then you aren’t going to want to do the work required.
Always try to put 100% into every training session. If you are going to do it, do it right.
Getting fit or going training is always more enjoyable if you have a friend with you to do the work with.
Make sure you have all the right equipment to do whatever sport it is you have chosen to do.
Never give up on your dreams.
What about life after swimming?
At the moment I’m focused on my next big swimming event – I’m not looking past that. So I don’t really know what the future will hold for me after swimming.