In this week’s Women’s History Month profile, we recognize Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who was named by Sports Illustrated as the best female athlete of the 20th century. She’s a four-time Olympian (winner of three gold, one silver and two bronze medals) in the sport of track and field, and an advocate for fitness. Jackie shares this powerful thought about being proactive:
“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”
Jackie’s longevity in the sport of track and field demonstrates her commitment to looking ahead. She never rested on her past achievements. Instead, she pursued continuous improvement, beating several personal and world records in the heptathlon, a sport that requires a diverse skill set since it’s actually a series of SEVEN events! Remarkably, nearly 27 years later, her 1988 record stands unbroken. Jackie tenaciously attempted to make the Olympics again in 2000 at the age of 38. Today, Jackie continues to inspire other athletes as a board member of the USA Track & Field Organization and a founding member of Athletes for Hope.
We can all learn from Jackie when it comes to taking care of ourselves. There are no surefire ways to prevent breast cancer—though we passionately wish there were—but there are a number of healthy habits all women can pursue to reduce individual risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Do not smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
However, for the one in eight women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps detect the disease in its early stages. Look ahead and be proactive with your health today.
Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz