The Carousel caught up with 10 times Iron Woman Champion Jordan Mercer – the Red Bull athlete who has just become the first to win both the Molokai 2 Oahu prone paddle board and surf ski events. Jordan recently completed the surf ski events in Hawaii taking out first place in record time. This is one of the most gruelling open water races in the world. It is 52km of open water where you are faced with 6ft waves and tiger sharks. It is not for the faint hearted. Prior to this win, Jordan won the prone paddle board with 6 consecutive wins.
Last year, she attempted the surf ski race for the first time, and this year won the race, making it the eighth time she has crossed the Molokai channel.
Jordan took on the surf ski event, after she was injured and had to withdraw from the Nutri-grain Ironwomen series and in doing so had a new sport in her sights, one she is excelling at.
Undertaking extreme sports takes a lot of determine and grit, perseverance and the ability to be both mentally and physically strong. Here, Jordan explains what you need to do to prepare both mentally and physically in extreme sports but not exclusively. Indeed, the same principles apply to anyone who wants to achieve their goal.
Jordan – what inspired you to take up extreme sports?
Having the opportunity of being exposed to extreme sports from a young age, it was a natural introduction. My Dad and Uncle were professional surf Ironman and my mum was a gymnast. My parents’ passions became my passions. Gymnastics captured my heart from a young age, my love for surf sports developed at about 13 years of age and I eventually chose Surf Life Saving over elite gymnastics. I tried quite a few sports when I was young, ocean sports became my main focus.
How do you prepare both physically and mentally for extreme sport event?
I use a structured process with my training and preparation leading into an event, race or competition. My training is tailored for a specific goal, the training process is designed to build my confidence and prepare myself as best I can for the challenge ahead. Self belief is a major factor in preparing physically and mentally for an event – the training process ideally creates that belief.
What are your tips to other women about how to achieve their goals? What do you do to ensure you achieve your goals?
Step one would be to set yourself goals: Give yourself time to relax, reflect and think ahead. Dream big, set your sights high and write your goals down.
‘Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars’.
Writing them down:Saying them out loud and having them as a clear vision is important. Now that your goals are clear you have something specific, exciting and motivating to aim for.
Create a plan: Goals are great but without a process they are just goals. Sometimes that far away dream can become overwhelming if you are continually looking ahead and striving for more. Put some step by step processes into your daily, weekly and monthly schedules. That way it’s easier to embrace the journey, enjoy the ‘now’ and just look ahead to that shining goal when you need the motivation and reason ‘why’.
Describe the different sports you partake in and what you love about them.
- Surf IronWoman Racing – It’s a challenge of four different disciplines; Surf Ski, Paddle Board, Swim and Run.
- Paddle Boarding – The race destinations around the world, the Molokai 2 Oahu World Paddle Board Championships 52km channel crossing event in Hawaii. Being in wild oceans or embracing the flat and calm conditions of a particular day.
- Ocean Ski – It was a new challenge for me doing endurance ocean ski racing – new events, competitors and different training.
- Stand Up Paddling – I am excited to chase the world Stand Up tour in the coming years. New paddling craft, different perspective on the ocean and my goal over the next three years is to obtain a world title on a fourth ocean discipline.
How important is your food intake and do you have special dietary guidelines you follow?
Training two to three times a day, studying full time and also running my ‘Sea Noosa’ tours and training business has me pretty nonstop. Without being crazily regimented with my dietary plan, I do have some processes in place. Through trial and error and professional guidance along the way, I have a good idea of what makes my lifestyle possible when it comes to fuelling and nutrition.
During my busiest periods I have relied on Deliciously clean eats. They are a Sunshine Coast-based business making, packaging and delivering fresh food. The portion control and planning helps me think less and do more. When it comes to energy and even recovery my go to is Red Bull. Between my morning training sessions and University I will have a Red Bull when I need it. My Fiancé and I do like to cook too. When we get the chance we like to experiment in the kitchen. Fresh, local and nourishing are the guidelines.
What are your favourite apps for sport or anything you love and why.
I don’t use any apps for sports necessarily. I do love music, so Spotify gets quite a workout on my phone. I use music to help influence my mood – pre training, relaxing, concentration, pre racing. I also like to listen to podcasts driving between university, training and work.