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Interview With an Iron-woman Competitor

Posted on: Aug 02, 2012 - 08:00 PM | General | Comments (0)
Author: DB

Power Curve Coaching will be doing a series of interviews in the next coming weeks and months, where we interview peak-performers and big achievers across various fields and disciplines. The goal is to understand what they do and how they do it so that we may duplicate their successes in our own lives. We will find out the psychology and strategies, which these extraordinary individuals and teams use to get their extraordinary results.

The first interview is with an amazing tri-athlete-woman from San Diego, who started as a normal highschooler years ago. She didn’t consider herself an athlete back then (and even admits to being a former cigarette smoker) but she has now accomplished a major achievement, which is a full Ironman Triathlon competition. She is a multi-dimensional individual as she participates across several fields in work and life. Her primary job is that of a project manager in the IT Security/Government Contract field. She also gets paid to have a little bit of fun and to serve others as a professional singer and part time sushi chef in La Jolla (San Diego), California. Her Name is Jojo Ito! Here is the interview:


Dru: Welcome Jojo! Congratulations! Let’s talk about your most recent life and athletic accomplishment: participating and completing a full Ironman Triathlon competition! That’s amazing! How did you decide to do it and how did you do it?

Jojo: Well, a while ago I did a marathon and then I did seven more. It got kind of addicting! Then I started doing triathlons. Short sprint triathlons; like ones that take an hour to complete, and then moved on to doing longer distance races. And now I’ve done like 20 races and just finished an Iron-distance race, something I never thought I would do.

Dru: What do you do to prepare for an Ironman?

Jojo: I trained for about six months, which included doing a half Ironman this March which fit in well with the training plan.  I train with groups of other athletes who do the same things that I do. We go on early morning rides and hang out together. I’ve met several good friends this way! As far as setting goals, I always push myself to go farther. I’m always raising the bar. I even train when I’m on vacation. Like when I went to Italy this year, our trip was a cycling tour through the Tuscan vineyards.   . It’s good to take every opportunity to train, and also have fun.

Dru: What was going on in your mind and your body while you were in the heat of the competition?

Jojo: I was just thinking about where I was in the moment and what was coming next. And I was thinking about the huge meal I would eat after the race! There were moments where I didn’t want to go on and everything hurt… But I kept pushing forward. And I knew I couldn’t go back to San Diego without completing it. Too much time, work and sacrifice was put in to finishing this!

Dru: Do you have visualization techniques before or during the competition? Do you reward yourself?

Jojo: Not much beforehand, but during- yes!

Dru: What do you visualize?

Jojo: Crossing the finish line, knowing that my body will be able to actually rest and recover when I’m done…. And of course the huge dinner that I will eat: My choice is usually meat lover’s pizza and lots of red wine! I usually eat really healthy when I’m training, so I reward myself after I do a triathlon.

Dru: Ahh, so you reward yourself…

Dru: What did it feel like to cross the finish line?

Jojo: The biggest relief ever.  I was so glad it was over, and was so happy that I had actually finished.  I kind of actually wanted to cry!  One of the best feelings in the world though. 

Dru: The day after… What were you thinking?

Jojo: I didn’t really feel like it was a huge deal. It didn’t feel like an Ironman is some kind of an extraordinary accomplishment, until you start getting feedback from other people! Your body feels beat up, and then it all sets in and you realize that you have achieved something pretty incredible.  And as much as I was glad it was over and had thought “I will never do this again”, I was already thinking, ok…what’s next?!  Need another goal!

Dru: What is your peer group? Who do you hang out with?

Jojo: I have a pretty diverse peer group being involved in a variety of activities, but I also   hang out with a lot of other tri-athletes and cyclists, who I train with.

Dru: How did you connect with your peer group?

Jojo: I joined the Triathlon Club of San Diego and started going to different workouts. You start to network, and just meet people along the way that have common interests and goals.  And it becomes social; we all hang out after our workouts, and there are also lots of social gatherings you can attend.

Dru: Its that simple?

Jojo: Yes.

Dru: Its been said that “you are who you hang out with” and “the greatest measure of your standards is based in the standards of your peer group”. What do you think about that?

Jojo: It’s true, which is why the accomplishment seems more “normal”, being around so many other tri athletes.  It isn’t a particularly unusual goal to take on in that community.

Dru: What’s your best skill?

Jojo: Time management. It’s really important for my lifestyle. I have three jobs, I train, and I need to sleep. I want to fit everything in and I think that it’s important to have balance and manage my time well.

Dru: What’s your purpose in life?

Jojo: Interesting question… I would have to say to live happily and healthily. I want to set a good example for other people in whatever I do, whether it is through work, athletics, or music, and help others in any way I can.  Oh, and with as little complaining as possible. 

Dru: Where do you see yourself in one year?

Jojo: I don’t know if I will still be doing distance races… maybe shorter events that don’t require as much training, or maybe pure cycling instead.  I also love muay thai (thai boxing) so I’ll get back into that. It’s fun, a great workout, and it takes less time.  I like variety and changing things up.

Dru: Five years?

Jojo: More of the same, but maybe changing careers?  I still haven’t figured out what it is that I’m supposed to be doing career-wise, or what my “calling” is.   I also hope to have a family someday.  Whatever happens, I know I will always keep an active lifestyle.

Dru: How about at the end of your life? If you could meet yourself at ninety and have a conversation with you, what would you ask? What will you be like?

Jojo: Really hard to imagine myself at ninety. But, I hope to be a little bit like my mom; full of energy and active and fun.   I guess I would ask myself what my best highlights and accomplishments were, and what my next goals for the year are.   It’s kind of a scary thought though.

Dru: Ok. That’s fair. Do you have a nickname?

Jojo: Hmmm… I had to pick a name for a boxing fight a while back, so I chose “Mosquito”. “Jojo, the Mosquito, Ito”. I’m small and fast and it rhymes with my last name.

Dru: Ha ha! That’s great! I like it!

Dru: Do you want to plug anyone or anything?

Jojo: How about my sushi restaurant in La Jolla: Station Sushi, Bird Rock. We have the best sushi in San Diego, come check us out! We are near the “Bird Rock” surf break. It’s a fun time, and I work every Wednesday night! AND if you need classy wedding singers, I am part of that too.  Find “The San Diego Wedding Singers” (aka “The Velvetones”) on facebook.   I should also add that I am happy to be a member of the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club, thee “most dynamic Rotary Club in the world!”  Find me on facebook: “Jo Jo Ito”

Dru: Well Jojo, you are a very dynamic and multi-dimensional person! I honor you for your achievements and thank you for stepping up and serving people as an outstanding role model to my subscribers and clients. Thanks for telling us what you do and how you do it. There are some great insights to be gleaned from your download. Thank you!



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