Since hanging up his spikes, Colin Jackson has hardly slowed down, but he enjoys his busy and varied lifestyle, as he told AW
Former world record holder for the 110m hurdles and three-time world champion Colin Jackson might have hung up his spikes 11 years ago, but the Welshman still leads a busy and exciting lifestyle.
After retiring from athletics, Jackson has been a coach, he was one of the members of the London 2012 bid team and is a key member of the BBC’s athletics coverage, having started his broadcasting career in 2004 by co-hosting the BBC reality TV programme Born to Win with fellow world record-breaking hurdler Sally Gunnell.
In addition, he impressed the public with his dancing skills on television when placing second on Strictly Come Dancing in 2005. Also, having first received an MBE in 1990 for his services to athletics, the man known for his amazing dip on the finish line was promoted to OBE in 1999 and then in 2003 to a CBE. He tells Athletics Weekly about a day in his life …
“For me there is no such thing as a regular day”
For me there is no such thing as a regular day because the very varied nature of my work and life means that I travel a great deal.
I’m always up and going at 6am. I don’t need a lot of sleep, as my friends know when they see what time I’ve sent them emails. The first thing I do when I get up is make coffee. That is the most important thing! I have an amazing Jura coffee machine which makes just about whatever type I’m in the mood for.
In the morning I’m not fussy about what I eat and I have no specific dietary routine. I just eat whatever is around. It could be a fried breakfast, just a yoghurt or sometimes nothing. It depends what’s available. I have a lot more freedom compared with when I ran. I had regular hours in those days so it was always just a coffee and yoghurt.
I may not do the physical exercise that I did as an athlete, but I need to concentrate more, so I try and fuel up. Back in the day, I only needed to focus on training. I don’t really have a specific fitness programme now, but because I have a busy workload I feel better and more productive when I feel fit.
I do keep very active and I do a lot of skiing and snowboarding. I have some training companions, including Jamie Baulch, as I need to be pushed when I am in the gym or on the bike.
Every day is different as I have many different jobs and roles. Since they all have their own targets and timings, my routine changes significantly according to the event. However, I am always very organised and I’m constantly planning ahead. I probably make close to 100 flights a year so have to be on top of my diary, clothes, visas and packing.
I love the freedom that comes with what I do. I enjoy the sidelines, the travel, the people that I meet, and the excitement of my life. Every single day is different.
Today, for example, I went from Paris to London for a meeting to discuss the launch of ‘Go Dad Run’, the series of 5km runs that I created in Cardiff, Birmingham and London, which will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK on Father’s Day weekend in June.
I spoke with the producer of ‘An Evening with Colin Jackson and Jonathan Edwards’, as we will make our theatre debut on November 11 and then flew to India for another meeting!
When I actually have an evening at home I love cooking, but I don’t really have a favourite dish. I cook whatever people ask for. I can do anything from basic soup, through to stir fry – good, quick and easy – to a roast.
Cooking is the one creative thing that I’m quite good at, so I like to create a dish. If I’m home, I cook every day. I challenge myself in the kitchen to make something flavoursome with whatever is there.
I do many different things but I’m really enjoying being actively involved in ‘Go Dad Run’, as they are key to getting the message across about Prostrate Cancer and getting men to look after themselves and get checked out. This isn’t just about raising funds. We need to change the language so that men are comfortable talking about their health issues.