Jackson winning fitness battle
This time two years ago a soaring Jo Jackson was dealt a cruel blow but she's adamant the worst of asthma attacks, popped ribs and chest infections is behind her - even if the latter still lingers.
Long an international regular for England and Britain, claiming Commonwealth and European 400m freestyle silver in 2006, Jackson's career hit unprecedented heights during the summer of 2008.
A bronze medal, in the 400m again, at the Beijing Olympics provided the catalyst as she went on to the World Championships in Rome a year later and stood tall in the city of gladiators.
In the build up Jackson had set a new 400m world record and despite Italian pin-up Federica Pellegrini bettering it before winning global gold she did claim silver behind her and in the 800m too.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
She also managed to put double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington in the shade but in the months that followed her asthma escalated so much she near forgot how to breathe.
Recurring attacks, chest infections, flu, sinus trouble and popped ribs culminated in Jackson failing to medal individually at the Commonwealth Games and Europeans in 2010 and worlds this year.
Even now she has just recovered from a chest infection, albeit minor, but Jackson believes winter trips to Florida and Tenerife will leave her on song at March's all-important Olympic trials.
"Illnesses do go around and quite a few of us in my training group have had chest infections," said Jackson ¬- who as part of British Swimming's Big Splash campaign is urging people to take up swimming for 30 minutes once a week.
"I have had a bit of a chest infection and it has dragged on a little bit but I have still managed to train, I wasn't out of the pool and it didn't take over and I am much better now.
"Sometimes when I get ill I am fearful after what has happened to me, and I hope it doesn't linger, but nothing has been too bad and I have learnt how to do deal with it.
"It has got a lot better recently and I am still training and doing things and these things seem to go pretty quickly now - I've learnt from my past experiences.
"And going away to hot weather and staying away from the cold weather and getting away from bugs will be good. I'll be off to Florida soon and then Tenerife after Christmas.
"I have been out to where we are going in Florida a couple of times before and we will get to train outdoors in a 50m pool and we'll just be able to concentrate on swimming for four weeks."
On paper there seems little cause for optimism for Jackson, who has been using a revolutionary asthma medication to aid her woes, but dig deeper and search harder and there actually is.
Despite failing to make it out of the heats of her only individual event - the 200m freestyle - at the worlds in China, she swam her fastest time in two years to secure that swim in June.
She also led a new-look British 4x200m freestyle relay team to Olympic qualification by finishing sixth in the Far East and reveals her confidence is beginning to match that of her hopes.
"I definitely got better throughout the year, it was tough to start off with and you always have your ups and downs but things progressed and it is going really well now," added Jackson, who is helping to promote the 1000 pools across the UK offering Big Splash events, taster sessions, and special offers to customers.
"My first swim at the World Championships wasn't great but I got into the meet with a few really positive swims and I can take a lot from that.
"My confidence was pretty low last year but I am definitely building on it and I have gained a lot from the past few months with the training group I am in, they are definitely helping me."
British Swimming's Big Splash campaign is supported by principal partner British Gas, and supporting partners Kellogg's and Speedo. For more information on great swimming activities and offers visit www.bigsplash.co.uk