About John Jacoby

Interview with John

Tell us a little about yourself and your love of the outdoors

Always had a passion for being outside and my Dad got me into scouts at a young age which was further encouragement. We did some great stuff from climbing mountains to going canoeing and completing long bike rides.

What is the Junior Survivor Series and how do families become involved?

jjIt was an intiative we launched back in 2006 with the Anaconda Adventure race to try and encourage kids aged between 5-12y.o. to participate in a fun running/obstacle course type race. We included crawling, slippery slides, wading, climbing under/over nets.

The kids end up running 4-5km but with an activity/obstacle every 500m or so they don’t really notice the length of the race. They have a ball and just enjoy the non-sanitised style of event that it is. The kids cross the finish line dirty, wet and full of smiles.

Kids can enter at www.anacondaadventurerace.com and the races are held in conjunction with the 3 Anaconda Races held at Noosa, Lorne and Augusta, W.A.

How do you manage your own training and love for the outdoors with the needs of your two boys?

I train most mornings early while they are still in bed. During the weekends I try and get them outdoors even if it is simple stuff like riding the bikes to basketball training or inviting their friends to come for a surf. It is key to involve their friends, because your children always think hanging out with Mum and Dad is pretty “daggy”!

What advice to do you have for parents who are worried about the risk of injury?

Don’t worry. Risk taking by young kids is vital. If they don’t take risks at a young age then they try it when they are 18 and can drive a car. That’s when you should be worried.

What is your most vivid Childhood memory of being in nature?

I have many, but riding my bike around Tasmania when I was 13 with a mate was great fun.

Playing in muddy creeks, hide and seek in the garden, going on school camps were all highlights.

Why do you think it is important to connect with nature?

That is where we belong, strange as that may sound. Nature and being outdoors can teach you so many life skills. It also helps cleanse the mind.

How do you keep your boys active in the outdoors?

Once they are outdoors, then they are active. The trick is getting them outdoors. We have electronic free days where all the inside stuff of todays world is banned. They moan initially, then forget about it and have a ball once they get outside.

Where are your favourite parks in the Geelong Region?

The foreshore reserve between Torquay and Bells is a favourite because it is so close to home.

Any footy oval with some goal posts.

The beach

What is your perfect day in the great outdoors?

Usually having a sense of accomplishment such as going for a walk, climbing a hill/mountain, enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere. Some of the most memorable days are in bad weather such as approaching storms, torrential rain, big surf etc. It all heightens your senses.

How does being in a natural environment make you feel both mentally and physically?

A lot better!

Do you see the benefit in your children?

I hope so. I would like to get them outdoors even more, but you notice how the outdoors has an impact on them when they re-call experiences from weeks or months ago that invariably occurred outside. They don’t often recall how cool it was to play a computer game 3 months after they did it!

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