When someone mentions Ironman, you automatically think of hardcore men and women with streamlined muscles and tattoos. You think of all the hours they spend on turbo trainers hunched over their bikes, you think of sleek bodies in wetsuits and lean figures running all the miles … but what you don’t tend to think of is dainty ballerinas!
So let us introduce you to one our Guest Speakers, Jemima Cooper @jemcoopertriathlon) who up until 2.5 years ago was a professional ballerina … and is now on the cusp of making it as a pro triathlete.
From rocking her sparkly tutu dancing around her sitting room as a child, her dream of becoming a ballerina in New York was the fuel that fired 16 intensive years of classical ballet training. But on turning professional at the age of 19 and having fought her way out of a life threatening illness – her world and perspective changed. After winning her biggest battle yet, Jemima made the decision to put her classical ballet dream behind her and move onto a brand new challenge.
Ask Jemima today why she chose Triathlon and she wouldn’t be able to give you an answer, especially as she didn’t own a bike and was absolutely terrified of water but she just knew she needed a new direction in her life and taking on a triathlon that would fill her passion for being active… and her super competitive streak!
So she bought a bike, taught herself to swim and quite literally started making waves on the triathlon circuit.
One year on, she had taken her first five podiums with three wins and had joined the British Triathlon Development Squad in Bath, which meant she was training beside the soon to be World Champions and Professional Ironman winners.
After just 18 months of training in her new sport she got her first taste of bigger wins as she took Silver at the European Middle Distance Championships … and fell in love with Ironman 70.3!
This September she ranked 8th in the 20-24 Age Grouper in the World and last month she came 1stin her age category at the Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, 3rdamateur and 9thposition overall including the professionals. And her plan for the next 12 – 18 months … well we wouldn’t expect anything else, its to achieve her professional triathlon licence and compete on the professional circuit!
When people get to know Jemima, they tend to notice the same three things:
Her wild and wonderful story: professional ballerina, fighting and recovering from a life-threatening illness and petrified of water… to reinventing herself to chase a new passion of becoming a professional triathlon
- Her ability to smile regardless of the situation she is in. Her ‘YOU CAN’ attitude is inspirational and finding the funny side of things even in the darkest of places has given her a great perspective on life and a positive attitude to handle whatever is thrown at her.
- Where does that little pocket rocket of strength come from– both mentally and physically???
Always smiling, always positive
So I think we can all agree, Jemima is a pretty amazing person and we are absolutely delighted to announce she will be a Guest Speaker at the RunFit Expo 22/23 May 2020. Jemima will be joining us for the second day of the Expo, so come along to hear more about her amazing story when she will be chatting to Esther Newman from Women’s Running magazine about all about her training plans, nutrition, goals and motivational tips!