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Meet Genevieve LaCaze. Genevieve is an Australian Steeplechase runner who is aiming to return to her third Olympic games next year in Tokyo. We caught up with Genevieve to discuss how she overcomes adversity and what it means to her to #BeYourBest.
Hi Genevieve, thanks so much for catching up with us for our #BeYourBest series. How long have you been involved in athletics for, and what motivates you to keep competing?
I have been involved in athletics since I was a little girl (6 years old) where I started at Little Athletics. As I got older, my love for running turned into a strong passion as I began setting goals. What motivates me at this level is the chance to see all of my training pay off. I love to see how far I can push my body that I have worked so hard to be ready for when competing. Sometimes it won’t always pay off, but on the days it does, it’s worth all of the training and effort I go through.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There are a few I can think of but ultimately my experiences at the Olympics including my debut in London for the 2012 games and then becoming a finalist in 2016 for the 5000m and the 3000m Steeplchase were real highlights. Holding the Australian 3000m steeplechase record that I set is 2016 is also something I cherish and am very proud of.
What are your short and long-term goals for your career?
My immediate focus is to get back to full health and make sure I am physically and mentally ready for the Olympic year ahead. Once that goal is done my aim is to finish top 8 in the Tokyo Olympics (3000m steeplechase). Currently, I am a 2 x Olympian, but I aim to be a 4 or 5 x Olympian when I finish my career. I would love to make it in the marathon!
What are the biggest challenges you face competing in an individual sport? How do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge competing in an individual sport is the enormous amount of pressure you have to hold entirely on your own. When you race, there is no one out there that can help you if you’re having a bad day. There isn’t a teammate to rely on if you’re not 100%. You can be so exposed when you don’t perform as there is only you to blame.
I overcome this by making sure I always run for me. I don’t do it for anyone else. It is my dream, my goal and my heart I am aiming to fulfil, so I always try to make sure I don’t feel pressure to perform but give it my everything on the day.
Has there been a time in your career where you have considered giving up? How did you overcome these thoughts?
I don’t think I have ever really thought of quitting. I believe this is because I know how much satisfaction I get from achieving my goals. I know the feeling of accomplishing great personal achievements and reaching goals I have set since I was a little girl. Every time I get knocked down and face another challenge, I become mentally stronger and channel this energy as I work towards getting back to where I want to be. I have had to do this a lot in my career. However, this helped create my level of mental resilience, and I always remind myself that anything worth achieving is never going to come easy.
What is your favourite quote?
“Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
Do you have three tips you could give to help aspiring athletes be their best?
1. Love what you do. Don’t aim to please others with your goals. They are for you to achieve.
2. Be kind to yourself. I have made many mistakes with my body and not listened to it when I should have. Recovery is as important as training!
3. Find people around you to make the work feel easier. I am surrounded by other runners, all looking for similar goals, so it helps me stay focused and motivated when I’m having a bad day.
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