This Olympian Reckons Fear Is Exactly What You Need To Succeed.

Slalom canoeist Jess Fox shares the crucial lesson she’s learnt on the way to the top.

When Jess Fox was 16, she learnt a valuable lesson while being pummelled by a terrifying white water course in Slovenia. “It was my first time there and this drop was massive it has the reputation of being one of the hardest and most aggressive courses we race on,” the Toyota ambassador recalls. “After about 10 runs of getting destroyed, I said, ‘No, that’s it, I’m done’.”

Her parents insisted she give it another shot, and while teenage Jess was outraged, deep down she knew they were right. “I knew I would feel better once I had learnt how to overcome it, otherwise that fear was always going to be there,” she explains.

Now 24, that lesson still guides the Olympic medallist – and she says it applies to just about any challenge.

“Whenever I don’t want to do something, I know I need to do it. If there’s a big public speaking appearance that I’m nervous about, or it’s something that’s really going to challenge me and I’m hesitant to do it, it’s a ‘yes’. It’s going to make me grow as an athlete and as a person.”

You can’t argue with the results of that approach: Fox ended the 2018 season on a high, taking out the Canoe Slalom World Cup and World Championships titles, making her the most successful individual paddler in history.

“I don’t know if I can top that, but I’m going to try,” she says of her goals for 2019. “It’s an important year because it’s a pre-Olympic year, so I want to stay healthy and fit and keep pushing the limit in my sport.”

Discover what the Women’s Health initiative WinS is and how you can get involved here.

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