Coach Jenni & her WHY

WHY?  I get asked that question a lot when it comes to my athletic endeavors.  I was heavy into the sport of duathlon and triathlon for the greater part of my 20s and about half of my 30s  I set goals, I accomplished those goals – checked that box so to speak – and then set another goal and another box to check.  WHY did I do this?  I did it for me.  To see how far, how fast, how much hurt I could take.  I enjoyed every minute of this and learned so much about myself, about racing, and training.

On November 21st,  2012, I welcomed my amazing little girl into the world.  The plan was to pop out Teagan, take a couple weeks off and then get back into marathon training ASAP to run a fall marathon before she turned 1.  WHY did I want to do this?  To prove that I could have a child, still have a 40+ hour a week job, still train for a marathon and race well.  I wanted to tell all the people who said I couldn’t to fuck off…and show them I could.

On November 23rd 2012, my WHY changed.  My goals did not change, but my WHY became more powerful.  My WHY is to show my daughter how hard people have to work and what they need to overcome to accomplish their dreams.  I want to show my daughter how hard her mom has to work to accomplish her goals, to be a model for my daughter.  I want to show her not to fear hard work and obstacles that are constantly thrown at her.  I want to show her how to embrace the challenge, how to ride the highs and lows, how to navigate the one step forward when it is sometimes followed by two steps back.  I am preparing her to be strong.  Tough. Resilient.  A fighter and advocate for herself.  On November 23rdmy daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

So my challenge to you this low/off season—find your WHY.  This is intensely personal and may take some soul searching and time to find.  But once you find that WHY, write it down. Post it on your computer. Make it your screen saver. Read it on the days where you are tired.  Beat up.  Hating MAF.  That WHY will drive you to things you don’t think are possible and will help you get across the finish line of your goal.

My WHY is for Teagan.