Welcome to Meet a Mover Monday! Everyone has a story, and each week we will introduce you to one of our OpMovers so you can learn a little bit about theirs. We are all at different stages of our journeys, but we all started in the same place.

This week, say hi to Jo.

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Who are you?

My name is Jo and I live in Melbourne with hubby and 4 kids. I’m an aspiring artist, social media addict, housework hater, injured runner, parrot owner and swimmer.

When did you start running and why?

I started running 12 months ago to lose weight. The focus quickly changed to running for fitness, to get faster and run further. Running became so important for my physical and mental health and I couldn’t wait to get out the door. Unfortunately, 6 months in I suffered an injury. I have illiotibial band friction syndrome and I’ve learned a very hard lesson. Don’t run through injury!! Go and see someone about it straight away. 7 months after the injury first started I still can’t run.

I was devastated at first, still sad about it, but it has been a bit of a blessing in a really shitty disguise. I now have a recumbent exercise bike at home that I ride regularly and I love it. I’m hoping Santa might bring me a real bike too! I’ve also started swimming laps again for the first time in many years and am considering the possibility of a triathlon in the future, just a tiny one! When I started running I was so out of shape and had no muscle mass to speak of. Now I’m focused on doing everything the right way. Operation Move It is step one in this process and, if the muscle soreness is anything to go by, it is working already! I’m hoping to get the right muscles firing and, with the help of a physio, get back running next year!

What is your favourite moving activity?

It would have to be running. I love the alone time, just me and my tunes. I also love the feeling I get when it’s done. The endorphin rush can turn the worst run into the best start to the day. Running is very closely followed by swimming these days.

Top 3 must have gear

My top 3 swimming gear would be:

Bathers – good ones, made for regular contact with chlorine (sounds like all swimmers should be like this but they’re not!) and ones that sit properly and won’t annoy you while you swim

Good goggles – don’t be afraid to go to a shop or pool and try some on. They are not all created equal and it’s important to get ones that fit your face so they won’t leak.

Swim fins – yes, flippers!! They make you feel like an Olympic athlete! They also have a more practical use and help your legs do the work to keep your body up in the water and help you concentrate on your arm stroke. I also have hand paddles which help too!

Fave post moving fuel?

I love making eggs on toast with chorizo, spinach, chia and bbq sauce. So good. A banana oat smoothie is great too, especially in Summer.

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What do you listen to when you run?

I’m a Top 40 kind of girl. Anything upbeat and positive like Happy by Pharrell Williams. I’m a sucker for a girl power song like Roar by Katie Perry.

Tech lover or naked runner?

All of the tech all of the time! I love my Garmin forerunner 10, Polar loop (it works in the pool!), Ipod shuffle and of course my phone for taking photos (social media addict remember?)

Words of wisdom to new movers?

Get out there! Give it a go. There’s no way to know if you like something or not if you haven’t tried it!

Use a planner and schedule in your workouts. Cross out the times that you’ve got things on and can’t workout then you can see the best times to plan some moving. I find that once it’s down on paper it’s much harder to ignore!

Talk yourself into it instead of out of it. If you plan a walk today and don’t feel like doing it, make a deal with yourself. Just around the block or to the shop and back. 90% of the time, once you get out there, you’ll feel better and get the whole job done. If you don’t manage the whole thing then at least you got something done!

Last one, if you see someone who seems like an absolute natural athlete, who runs so far and fast that you can’t ever imagine them running 9min/km (I’m looking at Kate and Zoey right now), ask them where they started. Ask them if they were the kid never picked for school sports teams, if they sat on the couch eating junk and smoking a pack a day. Most of them were once right where you are now. That was one of the biggest light bulb moments for me and one that gave me the belief that we can all do it if we try!

I am most proud of…

The fact that I am still moving 12 months after I first made the decision to start (again). I found Operation Move at the right time and they helped by believing in me until I believed in myself.

I’m so proud of the fact that I motivate people. I still find it a very weird concept because I never thought it was possible but I’ve seen it and it makes my heart so happy to see other people getting out there and being able to feel what I feel! Those people then go on to inspire other people and the amazingly wonderful cycle continues.

Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. Jo, you are one amazing lady who I am so glad I have living in my computer. I hope that we get to meet IRL one day. Keep doing what you are doing because you are so inspirational ! Have the best day ! Me xox

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thank you so much Me! I really hope I get to meet you one day too! Xo

  2. Jo - you're such a star. Love, love, love this article. Like Me, I hope to meet you IRL. Keep being inspirational.

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thank you Jo. I think there really is a need for some kind of an Op Move road trip! I need to meet all you wonderful people! Xo