five questions with Arianne Jones

Olympic luge athlete and Lyme disease battler


Arianne, an Olympic athlete, has learnt about the importance of rest the hard way.


Breaking her back in 2016, then contracting Lyme’s disease in 2018, Arianne has had to hit the pause button on her usually active life.


While winning gold at the luge World Cup and competing at the Olympics may have been hard, learning to accept a slower pace of life has been as much of a challenge.  


or someone who is living with Lyme disease, how important is rest for you?

I used to view rest as negotiable. I would push my body at training, squeeze in as many sponsor events as I could, and say yes to every social outing. Time for rest got pushed down my priority list.

When I broke my back in 2016 I learned very quickly that I had to train smarter, not harder. But it was getting Lyme that taught me the hardest lesson.

I’ve learnt that energy is my most precious resource and rest is NON negotiable. I’ve got two options now: I can live in peaceful harmony with my body by listening and respecting its demands for rest. Or I can stage a coup and try force my body to do more than it can.  If I do the latter my body simply says “no more” by delivering a blow of brain fog, body aches, deep pain and crushing exhaustion.

For a while I was deeply angry about my body rebelling against me, but now I’m changing my mindset; instead of bullying myself with negative thoughts, I am appreciating that my body knows what it needs.


QUESTION TWO  why do you think we are so resistant to rest? 

We’re led to believe that to be successful you must work harder and longer, sleep less and hustle hard every second. Being chronically busy has become a badge of honour, rest days and naps are seen as weak and saying no to events and opportunities is a sin.

We hear the truth far less – that having a full night’s sleep will actually help you have a more balanced mood and energy tomorrow, and that taking a day to recover and relax will improve your resilience to stress and actually improve your productivity.

I would love to one day give Arianna Huffington a huge hug for her courageous and groundbreaking leadership on this front, as I have too been guilty of using busyness to numb emotions.

hat do you think would help us have a better, healthier relationship with rest?

First off, we could all be a little kinder to ourselves by not mentally berating ourselves for resting. Something I’ve found very valuable is listening to how I talk to myself and asking myself if I would ever speak to my best friend like this. The likelihood? You would NEVER speak to others the way you talk to yourself.

Also, find what rest works for you. It doesn’t have to be a trip to the spa or even meditation. It can be as simple as taking a bath, or a walk to the coffee shop without your phone. I turn my phone off for the first and last hour of my day and it’s game-changing!






QUESTION FOUR what are your tips on getting enough rest in a busy life?

We deem phone calls, meetings and social events important enough to be in the daily calendar but for some reason downtime doesn’t make the cut. I have to schedule it in as rest doesn’t come naturally to me, and it tends to get pushed to the bottom of the list. I now create boundaries around rest time and honour it with the importance it deserves.

I used to call these time blocks "nothing-ness time" but I've now started calling them "everything-ness time" since reading Ryan Holidays' new book "Stillness is the Key". I was reminded that it's in these calm, seemingly empty spaces of time that we come up with the most creative ideas, solve problems and stumble into life-changing "aha!" moments. 

This time that I previously viewed as "accomplishing nothing" actually gives me everything. 


QUESTION FIVE you have achieved and overcome a lot in the last few years. what are your plans for making 2020 a really positive year?

- I’m going to be kinder to myself and my body. I’ve been working a lot on positive self-talk, and I don’t need that ruthless bully in my head anymore!

- I weirdly want to learn do a handstand (without a wall to support me)!

- I’m going to eat more fermented foods for my belly.

- I’ve set a goal to not use any single use coffee cups or water bottles all year.

- I’m going to enjoy every second of moving my body. For 3 years I could no longer do any physical activity besides walking. The fact that I am starting to be able to go rock climbing with friends and cross-country skiing with my fiancé is amazing for my mental health. I took these moments for granted before, but now they are everything to me.

- I plan to share my story in hopes of helping others, through writing, videos and speaking. I am going to feel the fear and do it anyways. Because I’ve found that leading with vulnerability, while critically important is also heart-burst-out-of-your-chest terrifying.

- Lastly, I’m really excited to be launching some epic nutrition coaching courses. I’ll be combining my experiences from my Olympic career and my battle with chronic illness, with my expertise of nutrition and culinary to help others accomplish their goals and feel their best self!



5 bonus quickfire questions 

1. Summer or winter?


2. Favourite type of workout?

Anything outside! Hiking, Surfing, Rock Climbing, Cross-Country Skiing…

3. Place you most want to travel to?


4. Best recipe you've come up with?

I’ve got a strong “sauce game”. Sauces that are epically delicious on grain bowls, roasted veggies, and just about anything! Follow me at @jonesarianne on Instagram where I’ll be launching my top saucy recipes to spice up any meal very soon! 

 5. Award you’d most love to win?

Honestly, right now I’m focused on steady progress up the mountain instead of the rewards that lay at the top. When I look back on my medals and awards, the journey is really what matters and what I cherish.


You can follow Arianne at @jonesarianne for her recipes, journey progress, and beautiful photography. 


Arianne wears mahabis classics in gotland green