Casually insta following a brand on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t usually result in being snapped up as an ambassador but that’s exactly what happened to Jake after a bit of social snooping from our team. A mix of northern humour, sporting talent and an attitude towards life that’s infectious, Jake is one to watch.
studio -wayne reid
race -adam hollier
Sport’s all about narratives and what you're telling yourself. It’s about the story, that’s what I stay focused on.
I quit swimming when I was 17 having got to national level. I was a lifeguard back home in Newcastle for eight years, cycling to work every day, running the beach & swimming in the sea, in my late 20s I completed my first triathlon and then a half Ironman.
When I was ill, in the long months of chemo after the amputation I sustained focus on “okay, this is shit now, but this is where we're going, this is what we will do. Once we're better, once we're healthy again”
Reassessing my priorities, questioning what actually brings me joy, what makes me happy. Thinking, Paralympics, Para sport, what can I do with that? What can I start to build with myself?
We live in an old classical tenement on the second floor in Glasgow. There's no way I'm getting stuff up and down the stairs. So I managed to get this really depressing lock up garage around the corner, where my bike and my chair and everything now lives. So I go up at five in the morning to the garage, do two hours on the turbo and then drive to Edinburgh for work.
The plan was always to try and move into triathlon and I got to my first national final in the pool less than a year from finishing chemo. I’d been just building my own training programme basically coaching myself. I’ve now got two able bodied medals at British Masters (swimming) and came third at British triathlon champions.
I find parasport a lot friendlier. Rather than kind of staring each other down at the beginning, because everyone's at very different stages in their progression, everyone's just helping each other and advising each other. And I think that speaks a lot about the way that disability is such a broad spectrum. Everyone's disability is different, affecting them in different ways. It’s just really nice, the way that everyone sort of feeds into each other and helps with little bits of advice, tips here and there, just broadening that knowledge base.
I've got a few more races this year. The big race for me is the British triathlon final in Sunderland at one of the beaches that I used to work at as a lifeguard. It's just pretty nuts that it’s going to be there, it’s the first time that all of my family and friends from home will see me race. It should be super fun, super quick, super punchy. So I'm excited for that. That's cool.
I have these big goals but actually when I do those smaller, achievable, more manageable goals on the way they feed into part of that longer road.
It's only through adversity that it becomes worth it. And it's the struggle that makes the outcome, not the outcome itself.