Carla See Jay Johnson is one brave and determined champion of steel. This LONG JUMP ATHLETE, is on a mission to succeed even against the odds. A true inspiration to our youth, she has this to say about her challenges “I have groomed my mind to not dwell on what I don’t have. It’s no longer about what I have. It’s about what I can do with what I have, so I let my legs do what they can”.
This 18 year old has a list of wonderful Club, Provincial, South African and African Youth accomplishments under her belt. Her excellent performances in HEPTATHLON has earned her quite a bit of time in the lime light. Sports excellence runs in her blood having been preceded by her champion brothers. In her hometown community in Cape Town, they are known as the “Steenberg Sprinters”.
“Athletics is her passion and a vehicle she uses to showcase to others that living on the streets doing drugs, alcohol, gangsterism etc. is not the end all and be all of life”. (www.kidz141project.co.za)
See Jay, has this to say about herself “I’m a very humble and down to earth person. I love the colour purple. I love eating pasta…my favourite type of music is Gospel…I’m a Jesus freak and I love watching series when I’ve got my free time”.
All the best Cala as you pursue you ultimate Olympic dream!
You are passionate and doing so well in your athletics tell me a little bit about how you started in athletics?
I started when I was 8 years old, but before I actually started I was inspired by my brothers who did athletics in their schooling years. I really started liking it and got a passion and a desire to do what they did. From the age of 8 years old I’ve been making Western Province and Western Cape teams. I really enjoyed doing it because I did it to improve myself and to make my family proud, most of all did it for God. During high school I continued my journey of making Western Province and Western Cape teams and in grade 10 I made the South African team for the very first time but I was too young to go. In grade 11 I made the SA team again for the long jump. I went to the African Youth Games and got silver in the long jump in Botswana. I was selected to go to the USA World Juniors Champs, and I was only 17 years old competing against 19 year olds! Due to getting injured in USA, I couldn’t go further with my long jump due to damaged ligaments and tendons. This year I went to Ethiopia for the African Junior Games and got another silver for long jump.
What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in athletics and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?
My highest accolade was when I went to the World Junior Champs in the USA for the long jump and Ethiopia where I competed against the Commonwealth winner, and still got a silver medal. My greatest accomplishment still remains making Team SA and representing my country for the above meets. Now I’m reaching for much higher.
Do you have any specific regimens or rituals? Maybe a particular diet / training method that can be partially attributed to your success?
I’ve got no particular diet I just have to go with what there is to eat in the house.
You have travelled outside SA before, what are you highlights of these travels, and what does travelling do for your mindset/ perspective on things?
Travelling put me in many different environments, and that made me even want to train much harder. Travelling always reminds me that it does not matter where you are in the world, that you should still continue to do your best and never doubt yourself no matter where you are.
You have represented Team SA for long jump before, where did you go and how did you experience it?
Last year I went to the Junior World Champs in the USA for long jump but could not compete further in the finals due to an ankle injury. Last year I also went to Botswana (long jump) for the African Youth Games and got silver in the long jump. This year in Ethiopia I attended the Africa Junior Athletics Champs and received silver in the long jump.
How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics / work into your schedule?
I had to balance my athletics and sport so that I could do well in both…time management was important to me.
Beside your athletics what do you have a passion for?
I’ve got a huge passion to worshiping our lord Jesus Christ.
Tell me one thing about yourself that the world does not know?
I love rocking my heels and modeling when no one is around to see.
Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?
Well I would just like to share that anything can be done if you set your heart and mind on it. Having faith in who God is, is one of the biggest things you could ever do. Always believe that you are a conqueror and with God everything is possible.
What do you do to relax?
I watch athletics or maybe sit and speak to my friend or maybe watch movies.
Which athlete/ athletes inspire you?
Wayde van Niekerk; Ese Brume; Usain Bolt.
What is your personal favourite motivational quote?
Its not about what I don’t have, its about what I do with what I have.
What is your favourite Bible quote?
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
To never give up no matter how hard situations might be. I should always keep my head up and strive for success and that giving up is not the key to success.
What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
My biggest challenge is to make it to the big Olympics one day…and because of that I’m training and giving my all to achieve that.
When you’ve had a tough / bad day, what lifts you up again?
Listening to some slow gospel music and it always seems to brighten everything up.
I’m sure you have many things going on right now, what’s to be expected next from you?
To be better than what I was the last time and to prove to those who said I wouldn’t make it, that I’m strong enough to do better.
Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!
Web site: www.kidz141project.co.za