From armed robber serving a life sentence to Nike triathlete living the dream, John McAvoy’s tale of redemption is scarcely believable. Here, he reveals how his time behind bars gave him an edge.
“I’ve nearly been shot dead by the police – twice. I’ve been to court and handed a life sentence at 24 years old. I’ve been put on a maximum-security unit in prison. I’ve been around some of the most dangerous men in the country, actual psychopaths. But if I think back to that day, it was the worst feeling I’d ever known…”
It speaks volumes for the resilience and strength of mind of John McAvoy, once one of the most wanted men in Britain, that the moment the 34-year-old counts as his most painful in life came during an Ironman event he’d mistakenly ran with a virus: “I just fell apart on the run. It felt completely and utterly defeating, it humbled me so much. I thought I knew best but I didn’t.”
But if anyone could be forgiven for thinking themselves unbreakable, it’s McAvoy. Sentenced to life in jail at 24 for armed robbery, he discovered a miraculous talent for endurance – subsequently breaking two indoor rowing world records (100,000m and the furthest distance rowed in 24hrs) – and found redemption through sport. Since his early release in 2012, he’s used his story as a power of good. As it happens, he’s also presently the world’s only triathlete sponsored by Nike. Read more…
Also John on the Rich Roll Podcast. Well worth a listen.