Today Nike have unveiled a new TV ad for their 'Just Do It' campaign starring pop star Jessie J - and we've got an exclusive first look! The promo, which aims to inspire women across Europe to push new boundaries and reach new goals in sports and elsewhere in their lives, is part of Nike's 'Possibilities' series and celebrates strong females who have tested their limits throughout the month of September. Jessie J appears in the adrenalin-pumping film, alongside FC Barcelona’s Gerard Pique (AKA Mr Shakira), both of which Nike has said 'embody the 'Just Do It' spirit'. To coincide with the launch, Nike are hosting a series of events from the first Nike+ European challenge, 'Run The Distance,' inviting women and their friends to run a marathon over the space of a week to the 'NTC Early Bird' challenge, which Grazia are taking part in next week - bright and early of course.
If you're looking for motivation to help you reach your goals, watch the campaign video above and read our Q&A with Jessie J, whose own 'get on with it' attitude is the perfect fit for Nike's empowering 'Just Do It' ethos...
[Nike 'Just Do it]
What does ‘Just Do It’ mean to you?
It is exactly what you need to hear when you’re in a moment of doubt. When you’re struggling, especially with sport … just do it. Stop talking about it, stop complaining about the cellulite, or that you’re not able to run fast enough for the bus … just do it. I still need to hear that. Sport has always been the thing that I wasn’t great at. Just because I’m an artist and a singer and I’m confident doesn’t mean I don’t still need to be told: Just do it.
Do you remember ‘Just Do It’ from when you were younger?
The funny thing is, since I was really young my friends and I would wear Nike, and they’d always say ‘Just Do It’. I think I’ve even got pictures from my Myspace, back in the day.
How do you think you embody the Nike ‘Just Do It’ ethos?
I feel that what the public get from me is that I’m somebody that just gets on with it. Since I was young I’ve always had to push through health problems, then obviously I broke my ankle two years ago and I’ve had to come back from that with not much time – while working on my second album and having a life!
What's been your exercise history over your life – have you always been a team sports person or did you hate exercise at school and only get started in your twenties?
When I was younger I loved it, I was Sporty Spice. And now I’m friends with the real Sporty Spice! I don’t know how good I was, or if my technique was ever right, as I just had such long legs, but I was always doing 100 metres, or hurdles. I loved running about but I have a heart condition, which I found that out when I had a race with my family, running across Epping Forest.
How has your heart condition impacted on your exercise regime or changed the way you do/view exercise?
It’s a very, very rare heart disorder, basically an irregular heartbeat. But I didn’t let me stop me, ever. And my mum and dad never let it either. They let me run, they let me play. It happens to me when I’m tired or when I’m exhausting my body. But the only way you can get over it is to make your heart stronger.
How did it feel not to be able to exercise when you were injured? …and what did it feel like to be back?
When it happened I actually carried on working a lot. A LOT. More than I should have done… But it made me realise: I’m very fortunate that I’m able to walk. It’s taught me that you can’t take your body for granted. What you have, you have to look after. When it happened, people said “Gosh you’re going to need to get better to do shows”. But it’s not just that. I needed to get better to be a mum one day. I need to get better so that I can run round the park with my kids. Life isn’t just about one thing, it’s about balance.
[Nike 'Just Do it]
How do you manage to fit working out into your daily regime, especially when touring?
People say to me “How do you say so fit and slim?” and say “I never stop working when I’m on stage and that’s my fitness”. I think my Fuelband’s going to explode! At the end of a show it will be like “YOU HAVE DONE SEVEN THOUSAND STEPS” As a result, I have to rest my body a lot, but I know I could be fitter than I am. My cardio is actually great – I can run on stage constantly for an hour and a half. Up until now I’ve just been training by myself at home, and I tend to do it in short bursts, things like jumping jacks or glute kick backs. When I’m tired, feeling a little low, I’ll work out. It energises me back to life. If I’m feeling a bit ‘urgh’ I’ll go outside and run around, just to get my heart pumping. Sometimes I feel awful just before I go on stage, and I get off and I’ve just an hour and a half work out up there - I feel way better than I did before. I think that you don’t know that’ll happen until you (giggles) just do it…
Are there work-outs that you do before you go on stage?
I am a squat queen, I am the Squeen.
You are renowned for your work ethic – what inspires you to push yourself that extra mile?
During my stage shows I am so energetic. It’s constant! I just don’t stand still. I actually got given a mic stand from my team to say “Just calm down. Stand still for at least two songs”. But now I just pick it up and walk around with it. It needs to go beyond that point now. I need to be about health and strengthening. I’m not just Jessie J. There’s other roles I play. I’m a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a friend. And I need to be as fit in those roles as I am as Jessie J.
How does sport help you in your everyday life?
Exercise helps my music and music helps my exercise. It’s like a circle. I could not be me, as an artist and musician, if I wasn’t fit. But I’m not naturally into that. That’s the honest truth. I have to find things that fuel me to do it.
What sports challenge have you currently set yourself?
I’m not a natural runner. I’m friends with Ellie (Goulding) and she’ll be like “I’ve just done a 10k run” and I’m like “Why would you do that? How do you just do that?” But I will do that. I will do it. I want Nike to help me love it! I want to learn. And I want to see the benefit of it. I want to be honest that I’m not doing this because it’s natural to me. I want to challenge myself. And I know that Nike is all about the whole, ‘It doesn't matter who you are’ thing. Because I know so many people - even friends and family - who say, “I’m not going to go to the gym because I don’t know what I’m doing”. That’s why I’m saying, “That’s why you train. Go and ask. Go and learn”. And I need to be more like that too. I need to just do it myself.
[Nike 'Just Do it]
How do you keep yourself strong in body and mind?
I always feel that when fame came along I realised it is a weird and wonderful thing. At first you don’t know how to deal with it, and then you realise what you can use it for. Now, I try to use my fame to shed light on things that I think young people need. As a young female that has been in hospital, and has had big health issues, I’m here going “Come on! Stop complaining and be healthy. Stop eating junk food and sitting on your sofa. Let’s get outside!”
What motivates you when half way through a run/workout and you hit the dreaded wall?
I put on hard hip-hop music. Proper bass. Music pulls me through everything.
What are your three never-fails-to-get-you-going songs that are on your gym playlist?
Paris – Jay Z & Kanye
Pass Out - Tiny Tempah
You’re The One For Me - D Train
It’s a lot of male rappers actually. I pretend they’re there going “Come on, son! Who would win in an arm wrestle?!”
How important is it for you to feel and look good when working out?
Girls really worry about looking crap when they’re exercising but if you go on my instagram you’ll see… no make up. I don’t care. This is what I look like! I’m not attached to my hair either, I sold that for a good few million.
Talk us through your sportswear wardrobe?
Whatever’s comfortable, which for me is tight and high-waisted. For now, I like splashes of colour - a pop of colour on the trainers is fine, and a nail that matches. I see some people and think, “Woah, you want everyone to look at you”. But I could get to that point, where I want people to see me run. Maybe in nine months I’ll be wearing glittery bra and knickers with a diamante Nike swoosh!
For more information on Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign visit www.nike.com/justdoit.