It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., and we’re breaking our tradition of publishing a Lightning Round episode to bring you an interview with Olympic speedskater Erin Jackson, one of our TKFLASTANIs who appeared on our friend Elizabeth Emery’s podcast Hear Her Sports.
This cross-over is good timing, as The Guardian recently published a story about Erin and the tough fact that once the Olympic podiums are put away and the venue doors are locked, people tend to forget about you (and let’s not even talk about what it must be like for Paralympians).
But that’s what we’re here for — we’re keeping the flame alive for the athletes in the smaller sports who need support in keeping their athletic dreams going.
Elizabeth’s interview is great. When we talked with Erin, she was just learning how to skate on ice. Elizabeth talked with her once she had several years of experience, so we learn more about technique, training and nutrition when it comes to creating an top-tier speedskater. We highly recommend checking out some of her other interviews — they’re thoughtful, interesting and tackle different sports and topics. She also aims to move the needle and improve media coverage of women’s sports, which sadly is about 4% of the sports media landscape.
We’ll be back next week with a full dose of us. Until then, thanks so much for listening and remember to keep the flame alive!
Note: This transcript has been machine-generated and contains errors. Please use the audio file as the record of note.
Jill: [00:00:00] This episode is sponsored by Winter\Victor Studio.
Hello fans, of TKFLASTAN, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. I am your host Jill Jaracz joined as always by my lovely co-host Alison Brown. Alison, hello, how are you?
Alison: I am knee deep in preparations for Rib Fest.
Jill: Oh, that’s right. You have Rib Fest at your house on Memorial Day weekend?
Alison: Yes, we have not done it the past two years. So this is the return of Rib Fest. I actually don’t know how many ribs they’re going to be. It may be a brisket in the smoker. But more importantly, I think we have three or four vegetarian guests and then there’s me who actually doesn’t even like ribs.
So I will be making alternative Memorial Day dining.
Jill: Please tell me there are more
Jill: one or two people that like ribs. Okay.
Alison: Yeah. There’s like 10 people. It’s not that big. It’s like 15, 16 people, but I don’t really, I don’t like ribs and I really don’t eat meat. And then the, my friends have produced little vegetarians where now teenagers and adults.
So we band together and we sit at the kitchen table and we eat other things and let all the carnivores go nuts in the other room.
Alison: I am thrilled to be able to do this again, and everyone’s safely vaxxed and everyone is organized and it’s a nice Memorial Day weekend to actually get back together with people.
Jill: Excellent. I will be doing my Memorial Day tradition, which is watching the Indianapolis 500. I do enjoy auto racing, but it is the one drop of Hoosier that is in my native Hoosier blood.
But it’s usually I haven’t been following the race season, so I do a lot of cramming and then I sit and watch and sad to say, we need a new Jim Nabors because I would just cry at “Back Home Again in indiana,” but we have no Jim Nabors, but it’s always a fun day.
It’s exciting. Non Olympic sport, non Paralympic sport, but you got to have that in your life sometimes.
Alison: And you need the milk.
That’s all I know about the Indianapolis 500.
Jill: It’s very true. Very true. And do you know to this day, I still do not like Emerson Fittipaldi because he refused the milk. And drank orange juice because he is Brazilian and was growing orange trees as well.
He was lactose intolerant and you can’t have that milk if you’re about to get in a car and drive 500 miles.
I am sure they came up with a lactose-free version of this by now. Cause I think you, you have to request if I think everybody puts a request in for what kind of milk they want, if they win.
So you can have regular milk. I think you can have chocolate, maybe strawberry, but I dunno. I might put that on my list to look up this week. Cause it’s a tradition. You got to stick with some traditions sometimes.
Alison: I love when we can break out stuff like Emerson Fittipaldi from like the back recesses of our brains.
See, we are not just filled with 1980s Olympic trivia. We’ve got it from all sides.
Jill: There you go. Before we get to the action today, we would like to thank you. Sponsor Winter\Victor studio, whose this is his last week as our sponsor. So thank you so much for sponsoring us.
Alison: Definitely not our last week working with them.
Jill: No, because they have produced some lovely, lovely pins for us. And I mean, The hit of Beijing, I would say that.
Alison: They were in high demand.
Jill: That’s right. Winter\Victor Studio believes sport and beautiful design go hand in hand. And that a designers versatility is just as important as an athlete’s dexterity.
Winter\victor provides distinctive graphic design to clients in sport from logos to digital communications. Winter\Victor brings the same passion to design that our clients bring to the field of play. Add a responsive and versatile designer to your team at wintervictor.com. And thank you so much again for all of your support Winter\Victor.
We so appreciate it. So I know we talked about tradition, but we are totally breaking tradition on our show this week.
Alison: Why not?
Jill: We usually do lightning rounds on holidays, but today we wanted to try something different and it goes nicely because we’re going to talk about Erin Jackson today.
Our speed skater, who is a part of Team Keep the Flame Alive and won the gold medal in the 500 meters at Beijing. There’s a big Guardian article about [00:05:00] her talking about how everyone forgets you after the Olympics. And that’s generally true because there’s not most outlets have to follow the news and speed skating is definitely a sport that is on a schedule, a season, so to speak. And it’s easy to forget about it when you get a crowded out with other sports in non Olympic years,
Alison: You know, speed skating is –and many of the winter sports people only pay attention to it once every four years. And only if there’s an Amar, especially in the United States, if there’s an American on the podium.
Jill: Right, and I would also say that people– by people, I mean, media outlets pay more attention to sports that have money in them because you do see skiing, Alpine skiing specifically, on TV during the season. And, and in the U S you can find some of these smaller sports on Olympic Channel or Peacock now, and that’s been a trend that’s been happening, but traditionally you would know about Alpine skiers before you would know about a speed skater.
Alison: True dat.
Jill: Trying to remember that the Olympics exist in non Olympic years and the Paralympics, especially the Paralympics exist at all is one of the things that we try to do with this show.
And we understand what it’s like for these people and athletes to not be remembered? And it’s got to stink because I mean, she had some really high highs. You do the TV circuit, you get keys to the town and then all of a sudden you find out those keys open nothing.
There are parades, there’s all this stuff, but you know, she’s got to pay the bills as well. So what do you do now? And I think that’s probably even, and she’s a lucky one to have won a medal. There’s so many athletes who don’t win medals and there’s a lot of attention poured into them, poured onto them before the games, especially like hometown newspapers and things like that. We’ll talk about them.
After the games is over. It’s just like, oh, okay. You were there. That’s great. We got to move on. It’s back to looking at American football that won’t be starting again for like five or six months.
Alison: Right? And now we’ve got basketball playoffs and hockey playoffs and baseball season in full swing.
And people just move on. It’s what’s new and shiny at this moment. And these athletes are people and they’re real people and they have lives and families. And like you said, they have to pay the bills and what happens when that’s gone. And I think The Guardian article, because it’s so soon, I mean, Erin, we’re still, jokingly, still unpacking from Beijing.
Erin just won her medal, a couple months ago. And yet she’s already feeling like everybody’s moved on.
Alison: We haven’t moved on.
Jill: We have not, we have not, we are working very hard to remain steadfast and true to keeping stories alive. I mean, that’s part of the reason we talk about being Keep the Flame Alive so that we can keep the Olympics and more importantly, smaller Olympic sports that don’t get mainstream coverage year round. Some exposure and people remember who they are. And it’s gotta be hard for Erin because as you think of, do I want to go through this for another four years until 2026?
And yeah, you have a ton of talent, but at some point I mean, she could go back and get another two or three degrees. Cause she is so smart. But I’m sure at some point there’s an element of, do I want to put up with the grind, the absolute grind of being a professional athlete, who does not necessarily get paid what you think a professional athlete gets paid.
Alison: And put the rest of your life on hold. Everything’s gotta be second, right for sport.
Jill: Right? And that’s a different question of whether that should be in some of these things. uh, we’ll have a link to this Guardian article in the show notes.
We have a wonderful discussion about it going on in our Facebook group, Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group. So be sure to check that out.
What we wanted to do today was showcase an interview with Erin, which I thought was fantastic. It’s with, with our friend Elizabeth Emory over at Hear Her Sports.
This came out in July. First of last year, I was surprised it was that old to be quite honest. But when we talked with Erin, she was just going to PyeongChang after being on the ice for all of a couple of months. And we talked with her again after Pyong Chang. And this is an Erin Jackson who’s got a few seasons under her belt, more technique, and she can talk to the sport and what she has to do to improve a lot better. And it’s really interesting, the [00:10:00] detail that she and Elizabeth get into. So we wanted to share it with you and take a listen to that. You can check out hearhersports.com for more interviews.
I will say. I don’t know how soon we’ll get to monobob, but Elizabeth has this amazing interview with Cynthia Appiah from the Canadian team. And, and if you are already angry about monobob, not really bringing equity to the women’s side of bobsled, this one will make you livid. When I heard it, I could not believe how that event works. So you’ll want to check that out too. thank you so much, Elizabeth, for letting us put your show on our feed
Alison: Elizabeth is the brave woman who attempted to teach me how to ride a bicycle. So, she is amazing.
Jill: I do have videos of that, but they’re quite long
Alison: and, and quite unsatisfying because I never did get it.
Jill: You were so close. You were so close, but next time, next time you’re here you will be riding a bike like nobody’s business. You, you almost got it. So, thank you, Elizabeth, for all your help with that and take a listen to Erin Jackson. We will be back next week with our friend, Steve Emt from wheelchair curling, talking about his experiences in Beijing.
So, until then, how can people get hold of us?
Alison: They can get in touch with us through email@example.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it, our social handle is @flamealivepod. And as you mentioned, be sure to join the, Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group on Facebook.
Jill: And we will catch you back here next week. Hope you have a lovely long weekend. If you have a long weekend in your area of the world, and until then keep the flame alive.
Elizabeth Emery: Hello, a lovely welcome to you. This is Hear Her Sports, the podcast, introducing terrific female athletes and women in sports. I’m the host and producer Elizabeth Emery summer. Most definitely arrived. And who boy is it hot? I love the heat, but this is something else. It was great to watch the track and field Olympic trials in Oregon.
And I felt for those athletes competing in 100 plus temperatures, Katie , who has been on the show a couple of times performed beautifully earning a spot on the Olympic team, winning the trials, clearing 16 feet, 2.75 inches. It’s the top clearance in the world this year and an Olympic trials record. I know how hard she’s been working.
So it was wonderful to watch her retreat. Katie was first on the show in episode 14, to talk about the sport, how she got started, and the many ways girls and women of course can look healthy. Then in a fast track last year, she shared how COVID training was going for her and what she had planned in the times of no plans.
I’m so excited for all the here, her sports guests who have made the Olympic team. And can’t wait to watch them for this episode. I’m speaking to another Olympian speed skater. Erin J. Erin’s been a skater all her life, but took up speed skating only in 2017. It was really interesting talking to a long time, high level athlete, starting a new sport because she is so tuned into what’s needed for success, but still learning as a result, she is able to explain details of the process and what she’s discovering.
Erin shares a week of her training, race day, warmup, being confident, but having doubts, learning about equipment and representation in the. In the episode, Erin mentioned collaborating with an organization, working to increase diversity in skiing. By giving scholarships to women of color, that organization is edge outdoors founded by Annette digs.
You can find links to that in the show notes for a bit of context, before we get started, the women’s Speedskating 500 meter event is one and under 38 seconds. And the 1000 meters in about a minute 15. Now let me introduce. Erin Jackson is a speed skater and scholar from Ocala, Florida. She has been a roller skater for as long as she can remember going on to pursue inline skating in 2002 roller Derby in 2012 and long track speed skating in 2017.
Erin is a member of team USA, the U S national team for all three sports in 2015. Erin graduated cum loudly from the university of Florida honors program with a BS in material science and engineer. Two years later, she made the transition from inline skating to speed skating on ice, where she quickly qualified for the 2018 winter Olympics and beyond Chang, South Korea.
Erin currently lives in salt lake city, Utah, where she is training for the next Olympic games. Erin also earned an a S in computer science from the salt lake community college in 2020 is working towards an ASMR and exercise science kinesiology. Well, thank you so much, Erin, for being on the podcast, it’s really going to be exciting to see.
Well, you know, just [00:15:00] this year you won the U S national championships in the 500 meter and won a silver in the a thousand meter. This seems like a step up once again for you from past results. What was that like?
Erin Jackson: Yeah, it was definitely like, really exciting to finally like when my first national title and the 500, uh, yeah, just hoping to keep that going for, for like the next year.
And then with the thousands, I haven’t really been great in the thousand kind of historically, uh, struggled a bit. So yeah, I definitely want to just try to get better at that one too.
Elizabeth Emery: I mean, what do you think made you so successful? You know, in the 2021 champions.
Erin Jackson: Um, I think it’s about just getting more time on the ice and getting more comfortable, like as a years ago, uh, as a super technical sport.
And I mean, I’ve always been a skater, but going from inline to ice was a really big change, like a lot of inline habits to break, basically. So yeah, I’ve just basically been trying to. Hone in on my ice technique. And like, once you get that down,
Elizabeth Emery: then you can really focus on speed. Yeah. I find it so interesting that it’s such a technical sport.
I mean, it looks so simple and beautiful and you know, like you’re just skating on ice. And just to hear that it’s as technical as it is, is fascinating.
Erin Jackson: Yeah. Incredibly technical within lining, you can kind of cheat the technique a little bit and still go fast. But on ice, if you’re tuning the technique, you’re not really going to be successful.
Elizabeth Emery: And looking back at, beyond Ching, what are you thinking about right now in terms of making the Olympic team and racing there and what is currently really on your mind about that?
Erin Jackson: Well, yeah, definitely making the team for POM Chang was a really big surprise. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to like, process what was going on.
Like, uh, like after I made the team. And then just a few weeks later, I was in Korea, like competing in my first Olympics. Yeah. I mean, it was kind of a blur, definitely. Uh, I’m looking forward to trying out for the next Olympics in Beijing and then going into it with a totally different mindset coming in, like with more confidence and, you know, feeling like I belong there because definitely in Pyeongchang, it was kind of like, what am I doing here?
I haven’t been doing this long enough to kind of be at this level.
Elizabeth Emery: That’s interesting. I’m always interested in how athletes end up at the start line and you know, what, what their mindset is. So, you know, like when you were on the start line of, on Chang races, you know, what were you thinking? And do you think that the mindset that you talked about really impacted your racing?
Erin Jackson: Um, I’m not a very, uh, how do I say I don’t get very nervous before races, uh, just kind of like focused and collected and that sort of thing. Um, so I was just thinking like, I’ve done everything I can to get to this moment. And I’m just going to put it all out there on the line and, you know, hope for a really good time.
And I think I went into Pyong Chang ranked 30th of 31 people, and then I ended up 24th. Of course I wanted to get a better time. It wasn’t like the best time like I could do, but you know, I was happy to be there and yeah, I felt like I gave him.
Elizabeth Emery: Do you work specifically on confidence and things like that?
I mean, are there exercises you’re doing, or you just know now that with more time on the ice, you’ll be more confident.
Erin Jackson: Yeah, I guess I’ve never really worked on confidence specifically. I just normally am very realistic. I think about. How I’ve prepared and you know, like what I can do with that preparation and, you know, I’m realistic and optimistic and all that.
I don’t really get negative with myself. Uh, I think it has a lot to do with my original coach on, in lines. When I hold the brand, she was just a really great motivator and she helps the athletes to really believe in themselves and like no other capable of, and then as far as like, if things don’t really go my way, when I compete.
Uh, I don’t, I don’t really see it as like a failure or anything like that. And I don’t just try to put it out of my mind either. It’s like, I really want to like, think about like, what went well, what went wrong and like how I can kind of like learn from something that didn’t go as well and, and try not to make that
Elizabeth Emery: mistake again.
It’s interesting that you had a female coach. I talked with female coaches quite a bit on the podcast. Do you have any thoughts about female coaches versus male coaches? And did you, you know, like what were your thoughts about having a female coach and did that matter at all?
Erin Jackson: Uh, no, it didn’t really matter at all.
I hadn’t really thought about it, but she was just, she was just my coach, you know? And she was great. I mean, we’re from a very small town in Florida, Ocala, Florida. It’s like whore. And for her to raise like multiple world champions and then future Olympians, like all from that small town, it just says a lot about kind of person.
She is, you know, and she’s still coaching in Florida and raising more champions. So, yeah. She’s pretty amazing.
Elizabeth Emery: Well, what’s up with your training right now and competing right now and you know, here we are in sort of [00:20:00] semi post COVID, so what’s happening? Yes.
Erin Jackson: Let’s see the season last season ended in March, like kind of early mid-March and we were able to take a couple of weeks off to kind of relax for a little bit.
And then we started trading on our own for about a month. And then we came together as a team, but the second week of may, and we’ve been training together since then. So we’re kind of still in like the ramping out phase. Uh, we’ve had like one full training block already. We’re in our second training block.
We’re doing. Like pre-season testing. Like we just had Wingate like anaerobic testing yesterday, and then tomorrow we’ll have lactate threshold testing. So just kind of getting our baselines for the season. Yeah. Super fun. Super painful.
Yeah. We’re all definitely trending a lot higher, a lot better test results than last year. So that’s always good to see.
Elizabeth Emery: What does it mean?
Erin Jackson: Okay. So training block is a live right now. We’re in. Four week blocks. So that means we’ll have three hard weeks and then one recovery week and then go on to the next block.
So yes, we finished one, four week block and now we’re in our second, I assume it’s another four week block, but this first week is a little bit of a hybrid since we’re doing all the
Elizabeth Emery: testing. Can you describe what your last hard week was?
Erin Jackson: Uh, yes. So I just kind of day by day. Yeah. All right. So Mondays are kind of like a gut punch to get you like ready for the week.
And we’ll normally have three sessions on Monday. So we’ll start out with dry land. That’s kind of like skating simulation, but on shoes. And it’s kind of mixed in with cardio. So you’ll do like some dry land exercises and then like jogging in between, and then we’ll get on the ice for short. Yeah, I would speed skiing.
There’s long track and short track, and that really has nothing to do with the distance you see? Cause sometimes when I say long track, people think, oh, well, a long distance scared. Like, no, I’m a, I’m a long track athlete, but a short distance athlete on long track. Um, so yeah, it can be confusing. Short chair is an entirely different sport on like a, an ice hockey brick, so that smaller and like during the summer months, The long track ice is not in the oval.
Like they take that out for the summer. So we have a short chat. Oh, interesting. Yep. So on Monday mornings, we’ll do about an hour to an hour and a half of short track, uh, like working on drills and cornering and that sort of.
Elizabeth Emery: Um, to stop you for a second, the exercises that you do on dry land or are those like squats and that kind of exercises or more technique kind of exercises.
Erin Jackson: Um, more technique, like you’ll be in a squat, like skating position, but you’re really working on like the movements, like kind of simulating the skating movements and they teach you that you’re breaking everything down and, you know, just getting everything lined up properly. And then we’ll have some sort of cardio exercise, like on your own a Monday afternoon.
I normally choose to run, but most people cycle, I’m not very fond of cycling. I kind of had like a rough start to that. Like, I, I had never been on a rope. Before I moved out to salt lake had never been clipped in or anything like that. So I definitely, I crashed a whole bunch. Yeah. Yeah. My first two seasons were not great.
Some, some pretty bad crashes. Uh, but then last season, no crashes. And this season I’ve only done like one team ride, but you know, fingers crossed and then let’s see Tuesdays, uh, we’ll have a weight session in the morning. And then like typically we’ll have sprints, like, and then in this part of the season, we’ll do sprints in the afternoon, like 200 meter sprints.
It’ll be like every two minutes we started 200 meter and then like, however long, it takes less than the rest of the two minutes. Like that’s what we were asking. Then we go again. We typically do two sets of 16. And I’m guessing we’ll start that next week because we were kind of ramped, ramping up from doing like two sets of 10 and 2012.
So I think we’ll get into 16 early next week. Yeah. Uh, Wednesday mornings, we get on our in minds, which is one of my favorite workouts because you know, I’m originally an inline skater and I definitely miss the feeling of. I don’t know. I feel like I can relax a little more on my end lines cause it’s, you know, it’s what I’m used to.
So we’ll have an inline session, Wednesday mornings and then a short, dry land session, right after that. And in the evenings, we’ll have a bike ride it’s kind of on your own yeah. Bike ride. Sometimes he lets us run, but most of the time Wednesdays are for biking and then Thursdays are active recovery. So you can just kind of choose what you want to do that day, but you keep up.
I can go for a job or another bike ride or a hike or something like that. Like I’ll probably go for a hike today. [00:25:00] And then Fridays, we have weights again in the morning and in the afternoons, uh, it’s a pretty fun workout. Like we’ll get back on the hockey rink with our hockey skates and we’ll practice our starts on hockey skates.
Uh, so we’ll do that for a little bit. And then we’ll play a game called bandy. It’s kind of like. Uh, yeah, so that’s like kind of our super fun day. Uh, Saturday mornings are long bike rides and I missed the one last week because I had like a sponsor obligation, but yeah, it’s like a three hour bike ride, like maybe up in park city.
And then we’ll typically have the rest of the day off and then Sundays, our rest days as well.
Elizabeth Emery: Is this like an official team USA? Location. And where are you living? How are you eating? Are you doing it by yourself or is that all team organized?
Erin Jackson: Yes, this is an official Olympic training site. So if you want to be part of the national team for speed skating, then you need to like live and train in salt lake city.
So we don’t live together and we all have our own living situations and apartments and things like that. And as far as eating, I’m not a great. And I’m normally really busy and cooking seems like a chore that’s like taking away from either nap, time or homework time or something like that. I started ordering these like pre-prepared is that like.
Is that a redundant, pre prepared meals that like they’re they’re pre-made and then you heat them up and you don’t. Yeah. I’ve been doing that. That’s from like a company that tennis specializes in athletes and that
Elizabeth Emery: sort of thing. Oh, that’s interesting. I like that. You don’t cook that’s that’s
Erin Jackson: great.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah.
Yeah. It doesn’t sound like you have a ton of free time with all those workouts, particularly in the, sort of the heavier. What are you doing during any free time that you have
Erin Jackson: eating or sleeping or doing homework mostly.
Elizabeth Emery: Right. What classes are you taking now? Or what degree are you working towards? Um,
Erin Jackson: currently working toward, uh, exercise science and KCM.
So I’ve taken that maybe three courses in that so far on that track. And I’ve started to cut back and I’m going to start doing just one class a semester until after the Olympic games, just to kind of focus a bit more on training. So right now I’m in a nutrition class and it’s actually taught by our team dieticians.
So it’s pretty cool.
Elizabeth Emery: You are also a part of team Toyota. So, what does that really mean? Like I saw it on social that you got a car that’s.
Erin Jackson: Yes. And I’ve, I’ve kind of like always been looking at Ralph fours. That’s the car I ended up getting was the RAV4 hybrid. And it was funny because I had just been looking at them like maybe a few months before I got the notification about Toyota.
And I was like, well, this is, this is really nice. But yeah, I remember seeing Toyota when we had. Well, single distance championships a couple of years ago in salt lake city, like team Toyota came out and they had a booth and everything. And I was like, wow, it would be really awesome to like, be a part of team Toyota.
So just to like, have that happen, uh, just a year or two later it’s yeah, it was definitely a nice,
Elizabeth Emery: what do they offer you and what are you offering them?
Erin Jackson: So they offer me a vehicle with insurance for the week that my contract there’s also like some money involved with a contract and the. I, uh, like represent them on social media with posts and things like that.
I share any updates they have and I have to do appearances, just like little local things and photo shoots and you know, all the fun stuff.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah. Yeah. You’ve said in several interviews that you jumped right into skating on the ice and you worked hard to learn that as fast as you could. What exactly did that mean?
I mean, what did your training look like at that time?
Erin Jackson: Um, yeah, so I came from inline skating where I was like, you know, I had won some world medals and, you know, I’ve, I was kind of considered like near the top of inline skating, but at least in America and you know, like on the world level as well. So coming to this new sport, Um, to me it was still skating.
So I was like, why am I so bad at this? And I didn’t want to be the worst person on the team anymore. Uh, so yeah, I just really wanted to figure it out as quickly as possible. So any, any available ice sessions, like anything that was open to me, I would go to it. Like if, if my team had like one ice session a day, but there were two more ice sessions available.
I would go to the other two. [00:30:00] Yes for kids. So I would go to this, learn to skate session three days a week. And it was basically with beginners, like little kids learning how to skate for the first time, like kids coming up to my knees, you know? And yeah, I just wanted to really learn the fundamentals and I felt like, like a learn to skate class was the place to be.
Um, yeah, I mean, growing up, like learning, what’s her name? We focused on fundamentals, like all the time, no matter what level we were. So I figured what better way to, to adjust to this, these four then to start out with the kids. So, yeah, that’s what I did.
Elizabeth Emery: It must’ve been weird going from the tippy top of your sport and you know, essentially starting all over again.
Erin Jackson: It was weird. Yeah, but I, I definitely welcomed the challenge. You know, it was really fun to try to like, learn this new sport and try and get better at it.
Elizabeth Emery: What are the kids?
Erin Jackson: Uh, I don’t know. I didn’t really ask them. I was focusing.
Elizabeth Emery: You know, you, you mentioned the technique and I was wondering if, you know, is it possible to go into more detail about the kinds of things that you’re thinking about in terms of technique, you know, going back to the fundamentals and stuff like that.
So, you know, like maybe we can understand a little bit more of what’s involved with the sport. I mean, as you thought, the two sports look very similar and obviously they’re not
Erin Jackson: right. So one thing about me personally, on inlines is that I definitely cheated the technique. But, I mean, like I said earlier with enlightening, when you can cheat it a little bit and still be pretty successful, like of course, if you have really solid techniques, you’ll do better, but it’s not like a make or break thing really.
So I definitely didn’t sit low enough cause you want to have like a really solid NIBIN and I can get away with that on in lines, but on ice it’s like, if you’re, uh, how do you call it? Like if your knee angle. Like isn’t in the right spot and I’ve been able to make enough power to the ice. So I think that’s one really big change that kind of helped me advance this past.
Was really focusing on that event and making sure that I’m sitting low enough to like really drive through the ice. Uh, so that was really a major thing for me and my coach actually commented on my knee bend like a couple of weeks ago, just kind of a reminiscing on my first season out there and how I had like virtually no, even to now where it’s gotten a lot better.
So yeah, that’s definitely always a work in progress. You can always be lower and I’m trying to get more power into the. And then another main thing for in liners is that we typically have more of a straight back and on ice. You want to round your back a little more, which pulls your hips underneath you so that you’re driving, uh, like through your glutes in your hips first and not in lines with a straight back where you’re really getting more power from your claws.
So that’s one thing. Like, as I got better on ice, when it started hurting my hips versus my quads, I was like, okay, I’m starting to do it a little better now, but yeah. So me then getting more around back and making sure to keep my hips tucked under. So what I’m really driving through the hips and the glutes.
And then I guess like the last thing, uh, one thing that I’m working on now is kind of with my shoulders in the corners and like having a really good shoulder angle as well and keeping my shoulders from moving around too much to the.
Elizabeth Emery: Oh, interesting. Are you aware of how, like, how you go through this process of making those changes?
It’s not like athlete says, oh, I need to bend my knees more. And all of a sudden you’re bending your knees more. I mean, there’s this sort of process that a painful process or a long process that happens. Are you aware of how you make those changes and you know, what that process is like for you?
Erin Jackson: It’s definitely a very long process.
I thought I had been working on getting lower until I realized that I had not really been, uh, like making as much progress as I thought. And then one coach, I mean, when it comes to like hearing cues from coaches, the thing is that like different people say it different ways. And sometimes the way one person says it will click with you and like the way another person says it.
So one time another coach said, I want you to get so low that you think you must look ridiculous. Like people will be looking at you and saying like, she looks so weird for being so low. And for some reason, that’s, that’s kind of when I started like really working on getting lower, like once I felt that like kind of the uncomfortably low feeling, I was like, okay, so this is kind of what I’m aiming for.
And then since then, yeah, since then, it’s been a little easier to kind of like work toward that.
Elizabeth Emery: Does it still feel uncomfortable? I mean, is that like a cue for you? Oh, this is uncomfortable. It must be good. Um,
Erin Jackson: so it’s kind of hard to hold it in that [00:35:00] position, but that’s kind of what I’m going for is to be uncomfortable.
And, um, my current coach, he says like, of course it’s going to be uncomfortable at first, but just always push the position and then the comfort will come.
Elizabeth Emery: I read that you have talked in other interviews about the hips. Have you had to think more about hip stability and trunk stability and, you know, hip health and things like that.
Are you doing weight training specifically for your hips? Like what are you doing to make that all come together?
Erin Jackson: Uh, yeah, definitely focus a lot on the hips in the weight room and also with prehab. So I have certain drills that I do, like with bands and, and that sort of thing, like several times day. And yeah, I’ve just been really focusing on, um, like hip strength and hip stability, definitely the past two years.
And since I had sort of a back injury, I herniated three discs in my lower back. Uh, when was this? 2019, I believe summer 2019. Uh, so since then I’ve been really focusing on, on my prehab and just being like really preventative with injuries. So, yeah, working on core strength is another really big one, because if you have a strong core, that kind of helps stabilize everything else.
So, yeah. Core strength, hip stability, hip strength.
Elizabeth Emery: How do you feel about core strength, stability, exercise.
Erin Jackson: Like, do I enjoy doing it? Yeah.
Elizabeth Emery: It’s like the thing that I, you know, I’m going to do
Erin Jackson: it last. I think the facts that I know how beneficial it will be for me eases that a little bit, makes it a little more enjoyable, something and like, oh yeah, this is gonna, this is gonna make me good.
Elizabeth Emery: How often are you doing the core exercises?
Erin Jackson: Let’s see, I shouldn’t be doing it every day, but I think I do it five days a week. Yeah. Five days a week. So I’m missing two days there. So I’ll work on that.
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At here for sports.com/books.
So I’ve been asking guests about gear lately, for some reason. I don’t know. So what equipment or tech aspects of the sport have you enjoyed, discovering or learning about?
Erin Jackson: Let’s see, I guess I haven’t really focused too much on my equipment and I know a lot of the other athletes can kind of feel like differences in equipment.
And I don’t know, I’m still focusing on making. My self, like my, my own physical aspects, like as solid as possible on the ice where I haven’t really focused too much on the, on the equipment. But that being said, I did switch my blades after the 20, what year with the. If last year was okay, the 20, 20 world championships, I switched blades like pretty much the day after that.
And I could feel kind of like an immediate difference with that. And that was really like the first time I could ever feel like equipment changes. So with the new blades, I felt, uh, like more comfort in the streets, which is kind of where I had struggled a bit in the past. Like, like kind of going back to that hip stability, like being able to hold my weight on one leg and like lied in the street.
That had always been kind of a struggle for me. And it just felt like it came a little more naturally when the blades
Elizabeth Emery: Hmm. What was the difference between the blades? I think it’s
Erin Jackson: the stiffness, but if you ask me which one is stiffer, I don’t think I’d be able to tell you,
Elizabeth Emery: you know, I hadn’t thought about that.
You know, having to learn to be able to shift your weight back and forth. That’s super interesting. And certainly something that you know is important in cross country skiing, for example, right? Yeah. What about the skin suit? Is that made for super aerodynamic?
Erin Jackson: Yes. So the skin suits, there’s a lot of technology that goes into the suits and people will even tell you that the color makes a difference.
Yeah. Which I think is pretty interesting, but yeah, the fit of the suits really important and uh, like the scenes, like where the seams are placed. Yeah. So you just want to make them as form-fitting as possible and minimize wrinkles.
Elizabeth Emery: Can you guys get custom?
Erin Jackson: Sort of, I think going into the Olympic [00:40:00] year, we’ll get custom suits.
And when I went to the last Olympics, like our Olympics suits were custom, but typically throughout the year, I think only that’s hop. I think he has to be like a medal contender to get a custom suit. So I haven’t been in that position yet, but hopefully in the coming years.
Elizabeth Emery: And I also have heard that the ice can be different in different places.
Have you been able to tell the difference in different ices?
Erin Jackson: So in salt lake city, we have the fastest ice in the world. Well, I guess we had all the world records until like a few months ago, someone broke the 10 K world record in man. And Heron is a pretty fast ring as well. That’s in another ones, but yeah, salt lake city is typically regarded as like the fastest ice part of what goes into it as the.
So there are about two rings that are considered high altitudes. That will be salt lake and Calgary. So between those two ranks, like we pretty much had all the world records, uh, historically at those drinks, because they’re both at high altitude and then every other rank you go to is more or less going to be considered sea level.
And like even time standards are different because you need certain time standards to qualify and you’ll have like a, an altitude time standard at a C-level times. Uh, just because like, the differences are so significant between like the two types of rank. Yeah. So in salt lake, the glide is a lot better, but you hold speed better.
And then for me, like coming from inlines, I definitely struggled with that because I wasn’t able to take advantage of the line as much as people who had better. I was more like muscling through it and kind of like more using my power versus the finesse of a sport, which is really what you want to do with Vanessa a bit more.
And I’ve definitely gotten better at that, but I think, uh, that facts really played a big role in my success at the Olympic trials back in 2018, because we had Olympic trials at C-level and I, I feel like that sort of ice, uh, definitely suited me event. Um, where I did actually benefit from my power more so than just trying to glide.
Elizabeth Emery: Oh, interesting. Huh. Which is faster in line or on the ice.
Erin Jackson: Uh, this is definitely a lot faster. Yeah. Less friction. Got it.
Elizabeth Emery: I also read that you like to go fast and you like to compete and you’ve been racing for so long. So I’d like to ask you a few questions about competing. So let’s start with, what do you enjoy about it?
Erin Jackson: I am just a competitive person. I like to win. I’ve always liked to go fast on skates. Like I started out as an artistic skater. Well, I wouldn’t say start out. I just, I started out as just like a roller skater. And then when I was about 10, I joined the artistic skating team that back in Florida. So that’s like figure skating, but also on rolling.
So, yeah, I started out on those and then I’d have like these, I don’t know, like frilly artistic skates, but then I’d still just want to go fast. You know, like all I ever wanted to do was go fast. So when I joined the inline team, I was like, yes, this is, this is what I’ve been looking for. Yeah. Just enjoying the competitive nature, like going head-to-head with someone.
So that is definitely one aspect that I miss about inline skating is being able to like actually race and be in a pack. And like, I dunno, like textile racing is kind of what I’ve always really loved. And then with long track, it’s a bit different. Cause you’re always time trialing and like, you’ll have someone next to you most of the time, like you’ll have a pair, but it’s basically you against the.
I mean, that’s a totally different style of racing, totally different mindset. And I feel like I’m definitely getting better at it, but you know, I’ll always miss the fact that I racing.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah. Where do you get your sort of competitive drive in the time trial type races?
Erin Jackson: I dunno. I guess I’m still trying to raise my care as much as Paul. Even if I can’t see them, it’s like, I kind of imagined they’ve gotta be close. Like either close behind me or I can see them just a little bit ahead of me. And then that pushes me to, you know, step it up a little bit. And also you’ve got to have like a lot of like self-drive when it comes to time trials and just knowing, like, especially in my distance, just giving like a hundred percent from the gun, because my race is so short.
There’s really like no room for error, no room for like sitting back through. So, yeah, just basically going all out for the gun and hanging on. Sometimes we’ll get a really good pair and he’ll be able to see each other for most of the race. But other times, if you get a pair that’s like not quite a good match for you either, there’ll be so far ahead that you can’t really benefit from it, or they’ll be so far behind that you can’t benefit from it.
So, yeah, it just all depends on, on how the parent matches up. But yeah, when you get a nice pair, then you’ll see each other for most of the [00:45:00] race and you can really like feed off of each. And like push each other in different parts of the race, like mainly of the opener. Cause you’ve got a hundred meter opener at the beginning of the race and that’s probably when you’ll see your pair the most.
So you can really just like run next to each other and you know, race each other to that first split line. And then from there, the person who’s in the outer lane will have a chase through the first corner. I like to have first dinner, but you know, it’s, it’s always like a random. So the person with the first outer, they can see the person on the Interline coming through the corner.
If the two of you had kind of like a bigger discrepancy and openers, uh, sorry, I don’t want this to get like, too. All right. So let’s say the person in the outer lane had a much better opener than the person in the inner lane. Then you might see each other, like you might be close to each other on the crossing stretch, which is like the backstretch where we changed.
So that’s kind of like a big opportunity for the person in the outer lane to get a bit of a draft. Like if they’re close enough, because normally if you’re evenly matched, like you won’t be near each other in that crossing stretch because the Interline has a shorter distance, they’ll come out way ahead.
So on and so forth. And then the back corner, uh, the same thing, the person in the outer lane might have a chase and then chase each other down the final street. So yeah, there are a few opportunities where you would see your partner, your kids. Where they be kind of help you and you can feed off each other.
Elizabeth Emery: Is it hard to keep track of the crossing?
Erin Jackson: Um, no, not really. I think when I first started skating, there were two instances where I almost forgot to change lanes, but once you’ve been doing it a few times, which is kind of second nature, right? Yeah.
Elizabeth Emery: One thing that competing. Is beating other people. And I read in an interview when you made the last Olympic team that you said you felt bad for the woman who came in fourth and didn’t end up making the Olympic team.
Had you had thoughts like that before about, you know, feeling bad for the competitors and how do you come to terms with that aspect of competing?
Erin Jackson: Um, no, it was really only that one time, just because I could kind of imagine her position, you know, I could kind of imagine putting myself in that position.
Like if I showed up to my end line trials one year and I had been pretty confident in my position, but I was going to make the team and then someone brand new just like came out of nowhere and like swiped my spot. You know, like of course they they’ve earned it, but I still be like a little sad about being like kind of blindsided, you know?
So I definitely felt. Uh, yeah, I just kinda, I felt for her, you know, because it wasn’t really something that anyone saw coming and within lighting, it’s not that big of a deal because the biggest thing we have is like the world championships. And I mean, for us, that is a really big deal. But when you put it next to the Olympics, like that’s huge, you know, so just for her to have all that preparation, You know, to be ready to go in the next few weeks to go to the Olympics and then to have that life change at the last minute, like I know that had to be really tough.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah. How do you prepare for race day? Like in the days or the weeks leading up to it? You know, what are you thinking about? What are you getting ready? How do you change your training?
Erin Jackson: Really trying not to change too much and making sure that I’m eating properly, not doing. It’s basically not doing anything stupid, you know, just to keep on, keep on, keeping on, keep doing what you’ve been doing.
Don’t change anything. Don’t try new foods. Don’t try new workouts, you know, just keeping it consistent and yeah, making sure I have a good meal, like the night before and the morning of,
Elizabeth Emery: I think that’s so funny that you mentioned that because you know, I think listeners could probably say like, well, yeah, of course you don’t do that, but.
Trust me, a lot of athletes are changing things the last week, you know, like out of desperation or nerves or whatever it is. Yeah. I’ve
Erin Jackson: seen it a lot. People start to think, well, what if I just change this one thing? Like, like, no, don’t change anything. Keep doing what you’re doing. Like maybe change something when you got like a month before a competition, but leading into a big one, you want to have everything kind of dialed in.
Elizabeth Emery: You mentioned that you don’t get nervous during competitions. Is that just because you’ve been competing for so
Erin Jackson: long? I don’t know what it is, but I know that I got nervous when I was a kid. I was someone who got sick before my races, uh, when I first started inlining I’m not sure when the switch really has.
Um, and maybe it was when I started thinking about it a little, a little differently. Like when you get to that point in a competition, like what more can you do? Let’s, you’ve done all you can up to that point. All you can do is race your best and see how it turns [00:50:00] out, you know? And then you’ll, you’ll learn from it either way.
And yeah, I mean, I think I have maybe the opposite problem where sometimes I struggled to get. Like hyped up enough, you know, like some people are too hyped and they get nervous. Sometimes I need to like put a little pressure on myself. Cause I think I do a bit better in high pressure situations. So I’ll try to think like, like make the stakes really high for myself or something like that.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah. I was going to ask you about that. Cause it can be easy to sort of. I don’t know, in an effort to get rid of nerves, it takes the pressure off yourself somehow. I don’t know.
Erin Jackson: Yeah, you can definitely go too far the other direction. So I had to try to keep a good balance there
Elizabeth Emery: on race day when you’re getting ready for your event, do you have any, I don’t want to say rituals, but sort of routines that you have, you know, listen to music, not listen to music, that kind of stuff.
Erin Jackson: do not. Yeah. I don’t have like a special ritual or anything. I go through a, like a up routine. I mean, I guess you could call that ledger original. Yeah. But I just try to make sure that I keep track of time, I guess, is the main thing that I’m focusing on and making sure that I’m not rushing to finish anything, but I need to do before my event.
So yeah. I just kind of have to have a schedule for myself and say like, at this time, I need to be getting ready to go out to the ice. And that’s, you know, that’s basically what I’m trying to focus on. Like getting my warmup in before I go out to the ice, but it’s not like I have to do anything a certain way because I mean, maybe I’m weird, but I feel like if I have a very specific ritual, then if for some reason, if I’m not able to do that ritual, I don’t want to be thrown off, you know,
Elizabeth Emery: what’s your warm up
Erin Jackson: and warm up.
So for race days, I’ll probably start out on the. I run a bit too. I try to limit my running a little bit when it gets closer to like competition season, I’ve had some foot issues in the past, but I definitely try to get all I can out of running in the preseason. And then I might cut back on that a little bit.
Once we start racing and then focus more on the bike. So before events, I’ll probably hop on the bike for about 15 minutes and then go for a quick job with like dynamic, uh, exercises, mixed them. I’ll do my prehab work. Like focusing on my hips and my core, do some more dynamic, explosive things. And then, yeah, it just depends on like how that split up.
Like some things like, I guess we have to earn a three-part warmup. So there’s like the off ice warmup. When you first arrived, then there’s the on ice warmup and then there’s the off ice warm up again. And then I guess you could say four because the fourth one is like right before your race, but that’s not so much warmup.
It’s just more like a. It’s like the time that you’re on the ice red for your race. So just kind of like staying warm and keeping your muscles ready. Yeah. I guess you can say you have like three to four warmups, so it’s just all about how you split that up. So like sometimes I’ll sleep like my more dynamic and explosive things, uh, for that second off ice warm up and yeah, it’s tricky.
Elizabeth Emery: I know you’ve been asked a lot about representation in the sport. And, you know, recently I saw that you had specific suggestions for what could be done to improve that. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Erin Jackson: I had recently, like I reached out to the athlete advisory council about seeing if we could offer some sort of scholarship, you know, for minority local kids, just to get them out here to try the sport, you know, and like maybe support them for a little bit in the sport and see, you know, see if they have any interest and they can be good in the future that sort of.
And I recently had the opportunity to work with another organization. That’s doing sort of the same thing, but with a woman of color, for ski and snowboard. So I was able to work with this organization and I was on like the selection committee for like reading through their applications and helping, you know, pick the women who would be selected.
And then I met with the founder of this organization because she was in salt lake for a little bit. And we’re going to work on. Getting something like that together for us Speedskating here. So
Elizabeth Emery: that’ll be really awesome. Yes. Oh, cool.
Erin Jackson: Great. Yeah. She’s she’s really
Elizabeth Emery: cool. Yeah. Yeah. And are there any other ways that, uh, and you know, like certainly speed skating is not the only sport that has diversity problems?
You know, I’m a cyclist and cycling certainly has a diversity problem. Are there other suggestions? Of things that can be done. I mean, certainly what Annette is doing and what you’re going to be doing in Speedskating sounds like a great first step.
Erin Jackson: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s just the exposure for these sports, you know, like getting that first foot in the door with these kids and like letting them know what’s possible.
[00:55:00] You know, cause maybe they don’t think about these sports, you know, like there are certain sports that you see everyday, like basketball, soccer, whatever else, track and field, but maybe these other sports that they don’t see every day, just getting them in the rink or on the track, something like that. And maybe that can be enough to start, like making it a little more mainstream, a little more enticing to these other kids.
And then especially with these winter sports, I know that cost is a really big thing. Yeah. Yeah. Ice fees are super expensive. Uh, so that’s one thing, like maybe getting some sort of scholarship to help pay for ice fees. It would help out a lot for something like long track or even short track.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah. It would be interesting to see federations get more involved in that way.
You know, being able to offer scholarships for people who otherwise would not be able to take up the
Erin Jackson: sport. Yeah. I’m not really sure why it hasn’t been done too much in the past, but yeah. Hopefully we can get that ball.
Elizabeth Emery: As someone who likes education and you obviously like education and learning, do you learn in a specific way or have ways that you like to learn?
Erin Jackson: Uh, let’s see. I’m not sure. I guess I haven’t really thought about that. I know that I’ve learned a bunch of different ways. Yeah. I mean, I feel like I can kind of self-teach if I need to, like, if the way a course is set up, like isn’t really working for me, I can still sort of like figure it out and teach it to myself.
Yeah. I don’t know. I’ve just always loved learning. And I know that when I was a kid. I did a lot of self study. Let’s say that I’m in first grade, then my parents would get these workbooks for second grade, you know? And then I just kind of worked through that on my own. And my aunt growing up, she was, she was another super scholar.
So she would teach me like long division when I was super young. And yeah, I just always loved learning and I’ve always found a way to learn. Like even if I don’t know, like even if the courses and stuff. Like, ideally for me, I could still kind of find a way to, to make sure I get all the information.
Elizabeth Emery: Do you think that you’re interested in science and math and that kind of stuff has impacted your skating at all?
Erin Jackson: I mean, other than spreading me a little thin, sometimes I’m not really sure. I mean, well, actually, yes. Yeah. I guess he can say it fast because I think. My willingness to like, keep going back to school and to like, I dunno to always try to learn. I think it’s maybe helped me stand out a little bit to sponsors and, you know, sponsors really.
The sport possible, right? Like if I didn’t have sponsorships, I wouldn’t really be able to continue supporting myself in the sport. So I think in that aspect, it definitely like it’s helped me stand out to like, have, have a degree working on more degrees and to really have an interest in science. Cause I think a lot of sponsors have really been asking
Elizabeth Emery: about that.
I’m curious if you’re going to be able to sort of Mel your interest in skating and sport and the body, and then you’re interested in science. Uh, and engineering, you know, for a career or something in the future. Right.
Erin Jackson: So I kind of have two tracks that I’m kind of looking at for going on to a master’s program or even a PhD program.
I could kind of combine let’s see. So on the business track of, if I wanted to go to a business college, then I could do information systems. We’re just kind of like the business side of computers. So I finished an associates in computer science. Uh, let’s see this what been about a year ago at the community college here.
So just kind of moving from there, maybe finishing it out with a bachelor’s and then going into a master’s in information systems could be an option or combining my materials degree or materials engineering, a little bit of computer science there too. And my new field of kinesiology, I can find all of those into biology.
Which is kind of more what I’m looking for, because I was also interested in biomedical when I was a little bit younger. So yeah. It kind of morphing that into biomechanics to be a way to keep, you know, all of my fields of study kind of tied in, and then also tying it back into sports.
Elizabeth Emery: You could go to school until you’re 45 or something.
Erin Jackson: still lifelong student. Yeah. I was telling someone else that I recently realized that like going to school should be in my list of hobbies. Um, yeah, I just keep going back. So,
Elizabeth Emery: and regarding your eye, holy cow, all I can say is yikes. Holy cow.
Erin Jackson: Yeah, that was a mess. Yeah. I was working with a bunch of core terms, straps living.
And, you [01:00:00] know, I wasn’t being very smart with it. I kind of had an overstretched and I was leaning over the cord and it just snapped back and got like stuck in my eye. Uh, yeah. It’s like, of course I didn’t realize it was stuff there at first. Like it was just a whole lot of pain. And then I went to like put my hand on my eye and I was like, okay, something’s in there.
Um, yeah, it was, it was really painful and really nerve wracking because I didn’t know. If I would keep the eye or like what it would look like. Yeah. I don’t know. But I ended up being very lucky. I like the first two diagnoses that I got were the same, like a ruptured globe. They were telling me that I would need surgery like that night.
But luckily like the third one I got, uh, they kind of said, I wouldn’t need surgery. That it wasn’t necessarily a ruptured globe. Just like had a bunch of like bruising behind the eye. Yeah. So it was a blur. It was a very long day.
Elizabeth Emery: Yeah. Sounds like a lot of running around to different doctors.
Erin Jackson: Uh, yes. I, the team dietician, I mentioned earlier, she was nearby.
Like I was trying to call people to like, come say. So she ended up picking me, uh, coming to pick me up and she was the one driving me around to the different hospitals. And so I thank her. It was definitely a very full day and we got McDonald’s and McFlurries after. So,
Elizabeth Emery: uh, that leads me to a question, you know, who are your support people, obviously this dietician.
And who else do you lean on
Erin Jackson: for medical
Elizabeth Emery: things or? No, just in general, like athletes or not. Oh,
Erin Jackson: yeah. Well, all my teammates. Aren’t great. Well, let’s see all of them. Yeah. We can say all of them are great. Yeah. I mean, I liked hanging out with my teammates, like maybe going over in the evenings, having dinner, watching movies, uh, we were on a bit of a pickleball kick for awhile there.
Like we would meet up on the recovery days, like Thursdays and Sundays and go play pickleball for a little bit. Yeah. Having little, get togethers, little parties that sort of. So, yeah, definitely my teammates, our coach Ryan, she went to Coro. He’s really awesome. He’s always there for us for support. Yes, the cool guy and my dad is actually moving out to salt lake.
Uh, he will be here at midnight, so about 12 hours. I’ll be picking him up from the airport. So it’ll be really nice to have them here as well.
Elizabeth Emery: What’s been the hardest thing over these past couple of years, since you start.
Erin Jackson: I mean, I guess you can answer it a bunch of different ways. Like, I guess physically the technique emotionally, like maybe being away from, from my dad for awhile.
Like my mom passed when I was in high school, so it’s just been me and my dad. So I’ll be really happy to have him out here a little bit closer he’s in his seventies. So, you know, I worry about him a little bit. It’ll be, yeah, it’ll be nice to live in the same place as them again. And then like financially, you know, it’s always a struggle, like being an athlete.
I know that kind of making the Olympic team came at a really great time because I was starting to kind of question like the financial sustainability of living in salt lake city, you know, with all the fees. Living expenses and things like that. And then like, after making the Olympic team, like some fees were then covered and, you know, I got a sponsorship deal with Bridgestone, so that definitely helps with expenses for a while.
And yeah, so I suppose the main things like physically technique and then emotionally, like being away from family and, you know, financially is always an issue for the
Elizabeth Emery: athletes and what’s been the most wonderful.
Erin Jackson: Most things are very wonderful about being out here. Um, I really love Utah, which was surprising coming from Florida.
And then thinking about coming to Utah, I was like, what’s a Utah. Why would I want to go there? But yeah, I actually really love it here. I liked the. In Florida when it gets like below 50 degrees, we’ve all got out our winter coats and we’re complaining about how cold it is when in Utah. Like even when it’s in the thirties, I still feel pretty comfortable outside.
Like when it’s nice and sunny, just get a little light jacket and I’m good to go. And then just like being outside back in Florida, I try to stay in the AC as much as possible. But in Utah, you know, like being outside is a lot more enjoyable. I like going on hikes now and going out paddleboarding. I haven’t really gone climbing outside because I still think I’m not quite at that level in climbing, but I do like indoor bouldering and that sort of thing.
Elizabeth Emery: Is your dad gonna live with you?
Erin Jackson: Yes. We’ve actually been looking at houses and just kind of figuring [01:05:00] out like a, maybe like a split living situation. Like he gets one for the house. I get another one that, you know, like I’m living with my dad and not like living with my, so
Elizabeth Emery: yeah. Maybe he could,
Erin Jackson: now my mom was barely a cook, so we’re all kind of doomed.
Elizabeth Emery: maybe your dietitian friend
or, or order in as you have
Erin Jackson: been, it’s not a bad idea. I feel like I’m capable. I just, I don’t really enjoy cooking and I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to like following recipes and stuff. So it takes me a really, really long time.
Elizabeth Emery: Well, I like what you said about how it just takes up so much time and keeps you away from other stuff.
So I get that.
Erin Jackson: Yeah. I definitely, if I can save time in a way like that, you know, I’ll definitely go for it. Take a little bit of the stress off of, you know, late nights doing homework or whatever else. Right.
Elizabeth Emery: Well, Erin, thank you so much. I mean, what a treat for me to talk to you about.
Erin Jackson: Oh, yeah. Thanks for the, uh, for the invite.
It’s been fun.
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