Jo Mersh – The After Life of an Athlete

Sep 30, 13 Jo Mersh – The After Life of an Athlete

Jo Mersh was a World Championship Bronze medallist, a former British Record Holder, ex-adidas pin-up girl, and even performed her own songs on stage to Lord Coe and Daley Thompson, she modeled for Stella McCartney, and played football with David Beckham.

As Jo explains “I was a somebody”.
But 16 years after beginning  a career in track and field, it all came crashing down…
The is a fantastic guess blog post that Jo wrote for  McMillan Speed and Strength who can be found at and posted by Stuart McMillan who is an accredited S&C and Sprints Coach, and has spent most of the last two decades working in these two domains. He has personally coached 55 Olympians at 5 Olympic Games, who have won a total of 26 Olympic medals.
In the blog  Jo discusses how have a list of challenges that athletes face upon retirement. Reading this for Jo was like ticking the boxes of her life over the past 8 years:
The List and Jo`s answers –
  • Denial – check
  • Divorce – check
  • Financial Loss – check
  • Physical Loss – have knees that sound like tic-tacs when I squat
  • Lack of purpose and significance – check
  • Depression – check
  • Anger and bitterness – check
  • Loss of Structure – check
  • Isolation – check
  • Drinking and drugs – not yet!
Please follow the link to this brilliant article about the challenges and issues that Athletes and Sports people face when their sport is simply taken away from then. Thanks to Jo for for writing such a piece on this serious problem and for showing other sports people that their is light and more importantly life at the end of the tunnel when retirement comes knocking on the door which can happen very unexpectedly.  Stuart McMillan deserves a huge amount of credit for asking Jo to do this, you can find Stuart and his team at
Here is link to the guest post,
Hope you enjoy reading,

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