Name Jack Murphy Age 26 Works Team Leader, Tribes Adventure Group; Resident Master, The Southport School Lives Southport
Jack’s commitment to training and his positive attitude to life have made a big impression on the Elevation team. Having faced some major challenges in his personal life, Jack’s focus on nutrition, training and community have been key in his recovery. We love to see him upping his triathlon game in the Altitude Rooms and hope to see those efforts pay off at his next big event in December.
Janelle Estreich caught up with Jack who shared the experiences and events that led him to leave Melbourne and pursue his triathlon goals on the Gold Coast.
How did you get into triathlon?
At age 20 I was 185kg. I was already active in Surf LifeSaving in Victoria so my issue was 100% diet. One day I just decided to flick a switch and get healthy.
Originally I wanted to lose weight to see what I could do with my swimming. Even at 160kg I qualified for the state championships in Victoria for the 50m and 100m butterfly. I then started to do a bit of running, for fun and fitness. My first ever fitness goal was to be able to run 3.5km.
As the fitness came along, I’m a pretty competitive person so it wasn’t just about how much weight I could lose, it was also how fast I could swim and how far I could run. I then did my first triathlon and came second in my category. Four years later I did my first ironman.
What are you training for right now?
I’m training for Ironman Western Australia on December 2. I recently represented Australia for my age group at the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast in September.
Having just finished a triathlon for the Olympic distance, it’s been a bit tricky to alter my training quickly to get more volume in. I’m training around 20-25 hours a week, doing a lot more long runs and rides. I’m using the Altitude Rooms at Elevation for some interval sessions and already I’m noticing an increased ability to breathe at a higher threshold level.
What attracted you to Elevation?
I joined Elevation to get access to the Altitude Rooms — being a triathlete, I’m interested in finding any advantage I can! I also wanted to train with like-minded people. I’ve done a few of the group classes for interest and a bit of cross-training. Everyone has been lovely and I love the way the gym is set up. Rather than being a big gym, it’s more of a community environment. I’ve used a lot of gyms and used to run gyms, and it’s by far the nicest gym I’ve ever used.
So you’re from Melbourne, what prompted the move north?
I’d had a pretty rough year with both of my parents having passed away. My dad had a fall down the stairs and hit his head. He had a bleed on the brain and never woke up. Two months later, Mum passed away from breast cancer.
I was partly running away from what happened in Melbourne and also wanting a fresh start. At the time I was really getting into triathlons and the environment on the Gold Coast for training is ideal. It’s so much better waking up here at 4.30am where it’s already warm, rather than spending an hour just waiting for the car to thaw out like you would in Melbourne!
How have you settled in on the Gold Coast?
I’ve been really lucky to meet some quality people up here, especially during those first few weeks at uni. I was still going through that grieving process so they were there for me, even though they weren’t there when my parents passed away.
I’m working at The Southport School as a Resident Master, which involves assisting the students in the boarding house while they’re away from home. I also mentor kids with mental and physical disability through a group called Tribes Adventure Group. We do one-on-one mentoring with kids and the occasional weekend camp to get them together outdoors. I love it, even the hard days are still really good.
I’ve studied Exercise Science and I’d like to go on to study a Masters of Teaching to work in a secondary school, teaching HPE and Psychology. For me, I think it’s really important for kids to understand the basics of how their body works – whether it’s the psychological side and mental illness or how get the best performance from your body. You’ve only got one body, so you may as well look after it and start as soon as you can.
When you’re not training or at work, where would we find you?
Probably at the beach when the weather’s not so terrible! I’ve done a lot of indoor training lately due to the rain. The ability to watch Netflix for 3 hours while training on the bike is fantastic!
As our Member of the Month, Jack scores a Styku Body Composition Scan at Elevation Fitness, a $25 gift voucher from Espresso 151 and a 1 hour float with 30 minute sauna at Freedom Float Centre. Enjoy!