Guest Blogs

Brave Enough – A Journey Home: A talk with Jo Moseley

03 May 2021 | Written by The Joy Club

Jo Moseley paddle boarding

We’re delighted that Jo Moseley, the first woman to stand-up paddle board the 162 miles from Liverpool to Goole whilst picking up litter on the way, will be giving a The Joy Club Presents… talk on Tuesday 11 May, 2pm-3pm. She’ll be sharing her adventure, documented in a film called, ‘Brave Enough – A Journey Home to Joy’, and giving members an opportunity to find out more about her experiences in a Q&A session afterwards. 

Not yet a member but want to enjoy Jo’s talk? You can join the club today!

We caught up with Jo recently to find out more about her journey to re-discovering herself, her purpose and her happiness through paddle boarding. 

The Joy Club: How were you introduced to paddle boarding?

Jo Moseley: In January 2016, I fell and injured my knee. I was on crutches for some time and started to feel quite low. In the following September I set myself a challenge I called Rain or Shine 30 – to be active every day outside for 30 minutes to lift my spirits. I had discovered through my research that SUP (stand up paddle boarding) was really good for core strength but wouldn’t adversely impact my knee. I booked a lesson in the Lake District as part of my challenge. The minute I stood up I knew it was something special and for the first time in months I felt like a warrior – not a worrier!

TJC: What can our members expect from your film, Brave Enough – A Journey Home to Joy?

Brave Enough (Trailer) from Passion Fruit Pictures on Vimeo.

JM: Beautiful countryside and canals, heartbreaking plastic pollution, joy, laughter, friendship, adventure, quite a few tears and moments of reflection and serendipity. The feedback from audiences is that the film is very honest, uplifting and beautiful. Viewers go away feeling encouraged to create their own adventure – big or small, on their doorstep. 

TJC: What was it like to paddleboard from Liverpool to Goole?

JM: It was truly a joy and privilege! As I say at the beginning of Brave Enough, all I had to do was eat, sleep, paddle, pick up litter and probably tweet. How often does a woman in her 50s have such a short to do List?

TJC: What was the most challenging part of your journey?

JM: Many adventurers say the hardest part is getting to the start line and there was certainly an element of that! 

There were of course physical challenges – the thunderstorms, the weed that caught under my fin and slowed me down – and 162 miles is a long way. However, it was really the mental and emotional side that I needed to work on. For example, believing in myself when others had told me the challenge was too much for a woman of my age, and overcoming my own inclination for self-doubt. 

I used a lot of techniques such as visualisation, self-talk and affirmations to really build a core of purpose and belief. I also needed to be kind to myself when I was behind my own tight schedule. One sleepless night I simply said to myself, “It will take as long as it takes, just keep going stroke by stroke.” 

TJC: How did you find your midlife purpose?

JM: I found two things really helpful:

  1. I followed my curiosity: I tried different things and took note of what brought me joy and made me feel fully alive, and reminded myself that I was making a difference to the world through the litter picking and fundraising. 
  2. I backed up my personal experience with research about Ikigai – the Japanese concept of having a reason to jump out of bed each morning, which appears to help some people to lead a long and happy life. 

Finding my personal Ikigai in my 50s meant looking at four things: 

  1. What the world needs 
  2. What I can be paid for
  3. What I am good at
  4. What I love

When I looked at where all these things overlapped I decided to train as an aqua fit instructor and a pool lifeguard, and share my love of paddle boarding and litter picking through my films, writing, speaking and podcasting! 

TJC: How does paddle boarding benefit people’s physical and mental wellbeing?

JM: Physically it is a great full body workout but doesn’t put too much stress on our joints. We paddle outside and on water, which is great for our mental wellbeing as the concept behind  green and blue exercise shows. We can do it alone for some escape and ‘me’ time (where it is safe to do so) or together with friends for that feeling of community. It is also an activity we can do with friends but socially distanced too. Unlike surfing for example, SUP is relatively simple to get the hang of in a short amount of time. Most people who think that they won’t be able to stand up – can. Learning something new in later life is such a confidence boost and SUP does that!

TJC: What is it about paddle boarding that brings you so much joy?

JM: The sense of freedom, seeing the world from a different perspective on the water, the community I have made in real life and on social media, as well as SUP itself. Also, how it makes me feel like a warrior and not a worrier, the adventures my board ‘Grace’ and I have gone on and the memories we have made, and how I feel both uplifted and calm on the water. SUP has brought me joy, purpose, courage and friendship and I am so grateful for that. 

To get in touch with Jo you can check out her website, listen to her podcast, email her or give her a call on 078151468840. You can also follow Jo on Instagram and sign-up to her newsletter