Track star Lolo Jones bared all during a recent documentary aired on ESPN, and the athlete discussed in depth the frustrations of growing up poor and her struggles to remain a virgin before marriage.
Now 29, Jones talks about growing up in a family of six raised mostly by a single mom. Living at the Salvation Army, she speaks of shame when interacting with her peers, waking up early in order to avoid friends at day camp learning she slept in the same building’s basement.
Of her struggles to avoid others noticing how poor her family was, Lolo Jones says she became adept at stealing from grocery stores. She explains:
“I definitely would say, by sixth grade, I was a professional shoplifter- and not because I wanted to. I’m not going out to shoplift earrings or clothes or shoes like the average teenager… I was shoplifting frozen dinners at a grocery store. I could shoplift four frozen dinners, easily.”
Lolo Jones suffered a devastating setback at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but her reaction to the upset endeared her to fans as she prepares for the upcoming games. But while training for the Olympics is hard, Jones also says that it’s not the hardest thing she’s done- citing abstaining from sex as a larger challenge.
Of virginity, Lolo Jones says:
“It’s just something, a gift that I want to give to my husband… but please, understand, this journey has been hard… If there’s virgins out there, I’m going to let them know, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life- harder than training for the Olympics, harder than graduating from college, has been to stay a virgin before marriage.”
The track star continues, saying that the road to three decades of virginity wasn’t a smooth one:
“I’ve been tempted. I’ve had guys tell me, ‘You know, if you have sex, it will help you run faster.'”
Lolo Jones is currently gearing up for the Olympics qualifiers in Oregon.