PROFESSION Registered nurse.
ROLE MODELS My mother, who continues to inspire me. Her recent commitment to master yoga has really influenced my notion of what fitness means and to think more about a “fit” and healthy mind, along with the physical components of fitness. And my younger brother. He is jacked—find him on Instagram, seriously!
SPORTS ROLE MODELS A long-standing role model has been my water-polo coach, Christi. She’s taught me a lot about teamwork, knowing how to positively channel my competitive spirit and constantly strive for improvement. A more recent fitness role model is [football star] Michael Sam. It was an incredible act of bravery and strength to come out when he did and stand up for himself as a gay male. What a role model for LGBT athletes!
HOW SEXUALITY AFFECTED SPORTS ACTIVITIES GROWING UP I always played competitive sports into my teenage years mainly as a swimmer. I didn’t come to terms with my sexuality until after leaving high school, so my sexuality never affected sports for me. That said, I also wasn’t playing team-based sports, so maybe being an individual as an athlete, I wasn’t exposed to what others are at a young age—playing on a team while trying to discover their sexuality.
WAYS YOU OVERCAME ANY ANTI-GAY PREJUDICES When it comes to fitness and sports, I find that the effort you put in shows in your results. As an adult, and beginning to race triathlons and playing competitive water polo, oftentimes against non-LGBT athletes, I always think to myself that regardless of any prejudices, your athleticism will speak for itself—and when you do your best, nothing else matters.
ADVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE ON OVERCOMING BIASES IN SPORTS As suggested before, people will have all sorts of prejudices in sports, based on gender, race, cultural background and, of course, your sexuality. My advice is to continue to be passionate and play for yourself. Put in 110 percent. Don’t let someone else’s ignorance stop you from being healthy and playing a sport you love.
PERSONAL FITNESS GOALS I had a sports-related injury last year, so I am just getting over that. My goals for 2015 are to get back to my baseline health and to make it to the Euro Gay Games in Stockholm this summer with my water-polo team.
YOUR FITNESS STRATEGY It’s pretty comprehensive with yoga, running, water polo and hitting the gym. I try to maintain a balance among stretching-flexibility, muscle training and cardiovascular exercise.
HOBBIES In the winter I snowboard and in summer I cycle. I try to run outdoors year-round. Other hobbies include putting to use my recently acquired sewing skills and making jackets and other things in my partner’s studio.
INSPIRATION SOURCE When it comes time to get inspired physically, I look to my family, friends and teammates’ fitness activities, and they inspires me to get up and get outside or go work out.
BEST LIFE LESSON SO FAR I’m a firm believer in the mantra “never give up.” But I’ve learned it’s important to listen to your body—to know when it’s time to rest and all right to push yourself.
SOCIAL-MEDIA CONTACT @thejakemossop
TOP: DF SB ICON LOGO TEE
PANTS: NIKE TECH FLEECE PANT-1MM
SHOES: AIR JORDAN 1 RETRO HIGH
JACKET: NIKE TECH WINDRUNNER SP