A warrior behind a pretty face.

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There are so many stories behind every picture. At first glance of a picture like the one above of Jen, you just might think..” yeah yeah another cute blond girl who likes to work out “or “sure she can do it, she’s little” or whatever. But so often, there is so much more than meets the eye.

Jen has to work so hard for everything physically. In fact, she works harder than most everyone. Her body awareness is a huge challenge. Her hand strength is below average Catching a ball is not at all second nature. Her balance and agility were non existent when we started together and her core strength was nil. The only movement she had done was a little running. But guess what, her gait was beyond off. She has even had to relearn to walk and run to try and fix poor motor function. But she keeps at it. She has to fight fear as well. Many of the tasks she completes cause her anxiety. She is not inherently brazen. She wishes she was but she doesn’t dwell upon it. She accepts and strives and then routinely out performs far more naturally gifted athletes with her guts, drive and tenacity. And she trains and trains and….

In short, every move she is asked to perform, every challenge she accepts, she has to work harder than everyone to complete. she is far more “than a pretty face”. Yesterday she worked at one task that requires hand and eye coordination and lots of body awareness, for nearly a half hour straight. One task, involving a tennis ball and cup(see bottom pic). But she stuck with and MindFully attempted again and again and….

But she is out there. Working it, pushing and most importantly, learning and taking on new adventures like her newfound love for Mountain Biking. And despite this being very intimidating and foreign to her, she works at it. Day in and day out. And she not only started riding bikes on trails but she now has began to Downhill Mountain Bike. And yes she may be slower than many but she is out there. Overcoming fears and trying over and over and…..

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I post pictures of some of the people i work with in the hopes of inspiring new people to maybe take their own steps on a new journey .Not inspire them to work with me, but to just get moving anyway they can, from all over the world on their own!

Jen is one example though that her story is even more impressive than pics if you don’t know where she’s coming from.

She has turned her new found passion for healthy living into some other outlets including inspiring her husband, brother and sister in law, friends and many, many, others to start moving or get moving more.

She has started her own blog called “Fueling Your Body” where she posts recipe ideas and nutrition info.

She recently led a group of 45 kids in a fitness and movement based class along with her husband who has made huge changes in his life as well(you will hear more about him down the road).

Last year she tried her hand at obstacle racing and came away with 2nd degree burns due to getting burned on the course. She toughed it out for 5 miles after that until it became a medical issue. This year she has vowed to return and make it the full 12 plus miles.And she is signed up for 3 obstacle races this year!

Yes she has lost a lot of weight and gained muscle and other “tangibles” but it is her spirit, and determination and inspiring others to follow her journey that really tell the story. It is her strong will in the face of adversity. It is her willingness to suck it up and try new things that she will struggle at, often longer than most. But she doesn’t stop, she just keeps going and going and…

Just wanted to give a glimpse at a face behind a picture. Lets hope that drums up something inside you. Thank you Jen for the reminder to never take anything for granted especially our body and our health and our spirit! You are an inspiration to us all!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Thank you for always having my back 100%, for guiding me on this adventure, never giving up on me, challenging me to repeat movements which are a struggle and out of my comfort zone with endless patience. You have served as my personal cheerleader, supporting and encouraging me every step along the way and I’m sure without that support I would have given up and returned to pounding my feet on the pavement. My life has been enriched just by knowing you guys and having the opportunity to soak in your positive vibes and aura you carry with you. Our family life has deeper meaning and richer experiences, on bikes and hikes and new adventures. I can’t imagine a better life than riding a bike on the trails (mostly riding, sometimes falling), learning new skills and experiencing and being welcomed into the mountain biking community.

    Thanks for putting up with my evil glares and fits of giggles- oh and every once and a while a sarcastic comment. You earn every penny!!

    1. Hilary De Carlo says:

      What a wonderful story! Jen, you are an inspiration to us all, and I LOVE watching you. Watching you helps me so much. Thank you.

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