The latest ‘Mondays With Mark Allen’ sees two triathlon greats sit down and chat as the six-time Kona winner catches up with 2016 Olympic gold medallist, Gwen Jorgensen.
Jorgensen has begun a surprise bid to make the USA squad for Paris 2024, with particular focus on the Mixed Team Relay, and it all started with third place in the Oceania Triathlon Cup Taupo in New Zealand, which came just four months after the birth of her second child.
‘Play over perfection’
And talking to Allen, she admitted: “I was really nervous about the little things like am I going to remember to buckle my helmet.
“But I really felt like I was a kid out there, playing and having fun so it’s really exciting.”
That theme of having fun – or ‘play over perfection’ as she puts it – runs through the whole interview, which is embedded below:
And Jorgensen explained her current mindset, which will no doubt inspire many others in all walks of life, by saying: “It’s celebrating where you are and not comparing to where you were – be proud of where we are and how we can move forward.
“Those early days feel like you’re never going to get fit. It’s like any time when you take a break and come back, it’s really hard but a few months or weeks later you realise it didn’t take so long.
“Having children has changed my perspective completely – how I approach training is different.
“You have no time to think about it, your kids don’t care – it doesn’t matter. You get the perspective of what really matters.”
And it’s clear Jorgensen is in a good place as she continues her comeback by ramping up her training during an extended stay in New Zealand, adding: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity which I think in the past I was taking a bit for granted. You can compete better if you’re happy.”
And asked if she had a message for others juggling different aspects of their life ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th, she said: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – and don’t be afraid to go after your goals and be passionate about it.”
Her own big goal from a triathlon perspective is very much the Mixed Team Relay in Paris and she told Allen why: “The first time I’d initially thought about it [Ed: coming back to the sport] was when I watched that relay in Tokyo, it got me excited.
“As a kid, as a swimmer, relays always brought out the best in me – I got my best times in the relays, it was so much fun, exciting and dynamic.
“I feel like I had accomplished everything in triathlon that I wanted to, so when the relay became an Olympic event that was a new challenge and something I really want to be able to compete in, it’s something that motivates me.”