PTP's ‘Answer All’ Q&A with Jade Lally

Ever wondered what it takes to be one of the best in the world?

Ever wondered what it takes to be one of the best at something? Each month we'll chat with an inspiring athlete from around the globe. From where it all began, the challenges, the highs, lows, nutrition, advice and the rest. 

Let's talk discus, a weighted disc you have to throw as far as you can by building power by spinning around within a circle. It almost sounds bizarre but would rank up there with one of the most technical sports out there to master! So how best to help get our heads around this challenging sport? Well, let's chat to Olympian Jade Lally, a good PTP friend.

PTP: Hey Jade, thanks so much for talking with us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself (age/home/sports/passions/hobbies)?

Jade: Hey, I am 35yrs old, I live near Ipswich in QLD. My sport is Athletics- I am a Discus thrower. I am passionate about all things related to Discus! But also the general health and fitness industry.

PTP: How did your sporting career start? Was it more for fun or were you competing from the get-go?

Jade: My sporting career started at school in the UK. I tried high jump first because I was the tallest in the class. I was good at school, but when we started competing against other schools, I wasn't very good, so I decided that I didn't like it anymore! By the age of 14, I had joined my local athletics club, Hercules Wimbledon AC. I tried Discus because my best friend said she did it at school and enjoyed it. We did it together and I beat everyone, so I decided that was the event for me! I also didn't enjoy running. So winning and very little running training seemed like a successful combination to me!

I have always been very competitive. I don't enjoy training, I enjoy competing. If I compete badly, it annoys me, so I train harder or smarter. But I do it to compete well. My fun comes from doing well.

PTP: What was the drive to choose discus of all sports? Were there any other sports you may have followed instead?

Jade: Unfortunately for me, I am not a super talented athlete that 'chose' Discus! I fell upon the event and had small success early on in my career. The more I won, the more I wanted to do well. But the better I got, the worse I realised I was and how much better other athletes were my age. Because I am stubborn and do not feel I have achieved what I want to in the sport, I am still competing. And fortunately, I am still competing with the best in the world! I do still enjoy many other sports, but I rarely play them now. I found golf and darts(!) a few years back, I enjoy that. Back when I was at school and Uni, I played football (soccer), netball, hockey and trampolining! But now, this 35yr old body can't cope with recreational sport and elite sport. So I will just stick to Discus for the time being!

PTP: Longevity seems like a must for a full-time athlete. How do you create and sustain the power, energy and drive to keep fit and compete? (feel free to mention your favourite PTP warming up, working out / equipment ;) )

Jade: One of the most important things for longevity in sport is to train smart. Listen to your body, push where you can, and don't push where you can't. Nowadays, I take care of my preparation (warm up) and recovery a lot better than I used to. I never travel anywhere without my PTP X roller, it is my trusty side-kick! I also always have a trigger ball with me. Those two I use every single session and always post travel- especially long-haul flights. I've recently discovered the MYOXV gun. I use that on my adductors to loosen them before a throwing session and also if my legs feel 'dead', I've used the gun after and felt a real benefit.

In terms of drive to keep fit and compete, I feel unfinished with my athletics career. So I never struggle with motivation. I have not yet achieved what I want to and wouldn't be satisfied if I retired today. So motivation has never been a problem. I am too 'busy' and focused in my mind to contemplate retirement right now!

PTP: Food is the fuel to keep you going! Have you tried different things over the year? What works for you?

Jade: I have tried a number of supplements over the years, but as an athlete, you are always worried about anti-doping tests. So we have to be very careful in what we consume. It needs to be checked by specific companies that comply with WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) rules. Supplements that advertise 'drug-free' are not necessarily up to WADA's standards, so athletes just can't risk it. Generally speaking, I try to have a mixed, healthy diet. I don't ban myself from any food or drinks. I believe in moderation and a happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle. Not following fads or trends.

PTP: How did it feel to go to the Rio Olympics in 2016 and represent your country?

Jade: Like a massive relief! To be able to call yourself an Olympian is something every athlete dreams of, and I am extremely proud. I was unlucky to not make my home Olympics in 2012, so to dig deep and train hard for another 4 year cycle was tough. But I did it and will forever have that title.  

PTP: You're a mum, woo! We've seen you travelling with your beautiful daughter. How does that work as a top-level athlete? Is she your biggest fan?

Jade: I am! It is challenging to say the least!! But of course worth it. To have a child and still compete at the top level makes me so happy. She knows what Discus is and is a fan...but I think only because she is out and about. I'm not sure she actually cares what I'm doing, she's more concerned about what games she can play!

PTP: Any advice for aspiring athletes out there looking for a life in sport? (Can be about anything ie mental, physical, emotional)

Jade: I think the most important thing for anyone is to have a good network of people around you. People that are close to you and are there for you when you are successful and can keep you grounded and humble, and when you fail, they are there to catch you and support you. Elite sport is brutal and can be very tough. But, with the right circle around you, you will find a way. To have friends all over the planet is very unique. To travel to the world and experience so many cultures has been so eye-opening and beneficial for me as a person. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an athlete and wouldn't change it for the world.