Interview with Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Olympian, Coach & Mentor
Michelle Griffith-Robinson is a former Olympic athlete who represented GB for over two decades in the Triple jump. Michelle joins only a handful of women in the UK to have jumped over 14 metres.
As a wife and working mother of three, Michelle knows how hard it is to maintain control and balance in her life.
Having set up a successful personal training company in 1999, training many celebrities including Mel B, and Gail Porter to name a few, Michelle naturally followed her passion of ‘helping others’ by coaching and mentoring.
Michelle has become one of the lead mentors for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – which helps young people get their ‘lives back on track.
Describe a typical day for you?
Life now is very different from my competition days, where all I had to think about was myself!
Nowadays, I wear several hats and my typical working day usually starts at 06:45 with me making breakfast for my kids, getting them out the door and going for a 5 km run or doing a quick weights session. My training sessions generally last 45 minutes maximum unless I’m training specifically for a half marathon. (However, I always encourage any time of physical activity is better than none.)
After that, I aim to work between 10 and 4. Following this, the madness begins again with pick ups, drop offs, making tea and then teaching a class!
I always plan my meals for the kids the night before so will take out the meat or fish to prepare. I guess I get this simple routine from my mum!
What do you feel are your best achievements?
Being the first ever woman to jump over 14 metres (Triple Jump) in the Commonwealth and being an Olympian. Being fortunate enough to have my three children and marrying a man that understands me!!
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
My children’s school calendar (as I often forget what day they have sporting fixtures on!), Bobbi Brown lip gloss in ‘aubergine’, Chanel Eau Fraiche perfume, baby wipes, hand sanitiser, my phone charger and colouring pencils – random but useful when you have a 3 year old. My husband has just reminded me I also have my purse in there, and loads of old receipts!!
What are your ambitions in life?
My primary goal is to be a role model for my children.
I often talk about my mum who is my role model, my biggest fan and my best friend.
My mission is to help people to achieve and fulfil their best. My vision is to empower and support women and girls across the board through health and well-being. I am already in talks to join Refuge this year in some form or capacity. Long term, I hope to be successful ‘vlogger’ through my YouTube channel ‘Motherhood: The Bare Truth‘. Via this medium, my aim is to share the many aspects of motherhood and parenting offering insight into how I personally deal with given scenarios along with what I’ve learnt from other experienced parents. I feel this sits well with my mission as it’s an honest and open forum where I reveal who I am, warts and all. By doing so, hopefully other women will realise that even those who might appear strong and secure, can still be vulnerable too.
What advice do you know now, that you wish you had pre-kids?
Many things have changed in today’s society since I had my first child 13 years ago. I recommend working on your relationship before becoming parents. My husband and myself have witnessed many families breaking down after kids and we have faced challenges ourselves.
Make time for your partner, as that’s even more precious once your babies arrive.
Be willing to accept change and also accepting that not every thing is PERFECT.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Organising my 50th birthday party as well as well-being forums for women. I’d also like to be an ambassador for a leading women’s brand.
What advice would you give to a budding athlete?
I started athletics at 11 years old. My mum actually introduced me to training one Sunday morning after my three older brothers decided they didn’t want to look after me anymore! I tell you something, there is definitely something to be said about having older brothers. It actually makes or breaks you.
They all taught me to be resilient and courageous, and to run fast!! My mum still says it’s the best pound she has ever invested!
I often talk about the power of sport and the confidence it gives you. I would urge many young girls and boys too, to do something sporty.
Sport gives you focus, discipline, and increases your self-esteem and your mental well-being. All of the above are things that society would like us to embrace.
My advice would if you’re training would be:
Listen to your coach they generally know what they are talking about.
There is no quick fix, anything worth having takes time, and requires consistent effort. Believing in yourself is the first secret of success.
Sacrificing and FOMO (fear of missing out) may seem harsh at first but the long term gains are so much more rewarding!
Finally happiness is… fulfilling my own ambitions, giving to others, continuing to be a positive role model to my children,whilst hoping they find their way in life and lastly, remaining in a happy, healthy marriage!