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Jackie Joyner-Kersee Interview

JJK w Venice Club-X3

On January 12th, Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee oversaw a competition of five families from across the country in the Boys & Girls Club (BGCA) 3rd Annual Fit Family Challenge. The Challenge encompassed all three elements of BGCA’s signature Triple Play program – Mind (healthy eating), Body (physical activity) and Soul (healthy relationships) – which is supported at Boys & Girls Clubs around the country by Coca-Cola and the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation. The Takanishi family from Honolulu were the winners and they received an all-expense paid family vacation to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Winning Family - Takanishis-XL


Shelby and I had the opportunity to Interview Jackie over the phone and are delighted to share the conversation with you!

OC Mom Blog: What inspired you to become involved in this program?

Jackie: I am a boys and girl club alumni and I think the triple play fit family challenge fits right into everything I believe in. Having someone like coca cola and well point foundation to sponser it, really helps in trying to launch the support. Also having our families to think about the mind body and soul and how they can become fit for life and have a healthy lifestyle.

OC Mom Blog: Do you have any tips for families as far as maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

Jackie: Have a journal, write down some of your talents, and take it one day at a time. If your goal is to be active-then start off doing 5-10 minutes of activity – start out there. Also pick healthy food choices and write them down. Really engage your family as a whole and have family outings. This will help them start thinking about the total meaning of mind body and soul.

OC Mom Blog: What is your diet like now and what was it like when you were training?

Jackie: My diet now is consistent like when I was training. I focus on trying to keep a balance. I eat a lot of protein in my diet and allow proper carbohydrates. At times when coach didn’t want us to deal with carbohydrates then we really had to read the label. If it was saturated fats then we had to put it back. My biggest challenge was potato chips.

OC Mom Blog: I have heard you being referred to as a kinetic genius. What is your view on academic education in schools?

Jackie: It is important to empower yourself with knowledge across the board.  When I was competing, it wasn’t very fashionable  for girls to be doing sports so a lot of times people didn’t appreciate your talents. But it was very important for me to have a solid background education wise.

OC Mom Blog: For the new year, do you have any specific health and fitness resolutions you are working on?

Jackie: Just being fit for life and doing it right at my own speed. Not at anyone else’s speed.

OC Mom Blog: How do you balance all that you have going on?

Jackie: I balance it by really prioritizing and having time management. It goes back to having a journal and having a to do list. You need to recognize that you cannot be everything to everybody and sometimes you have to say no.

OC Mom Blog: Do you plan on continuing to do more work with the boys and girls club after the challenge?

Jackie: yes, boys and girls club is in my blood because during the time when I was came up it was really just the boys club. It was because of an executive director in my local community who saw me looking on the outside looking in and telling me to come in, and eventually down the road it because the boys and girls club. So for me in support of my mentoring, and growing up in east st louis and working with boys and girls across the country its something that i do on a daily basis and I feel very fortunate that I have experience.

OC Mom Blog: What sort of advice do you have for kids trying to aspire to be like you?

Jackie: Strive to be the best you. Give your best in everything that your trying to do. The best may not be in winning or losing its just making that effort to give your all. Don’t limit yourself. Know that if I climb just 1 step, there is another step I can climb to reach the top.

OC Mom Blog: What sort of advice do you have for parents?

Jackie: Be very active in your children’s lives. That is why the family fit challenge is so important because it’s engaging the total family. The unit is so important. Take it one day at a time and listen to your kids and ask them to listen to you.



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