Mentoring is sharing life in healthy relationship. It began for me when I opened to a part of my past, now three decades gone. Low self-esteem and insecurity in my childhood years lead to anorexia as a pre-teen and bulimia as a teen. My physical recovery was “cold turkey” style, a decision on one single day to stop the behavior a few months before turning 16. And, there the secret lay buried for 29 years as I went about school, career, marriage, and kids. But midlife gave me a compelling nudge to examine my entire life in a way that would eventually bring about meaningful change. I was seeking greater engagement in purpose. In this self-reflection, I was inspired to unbury and revisit that time in my life with an eating disorder, to look at it for its potential, for the possibility of using the experience for something better, for myself and for the potential it had for helping others. Self acceptance and achieving enough were struggles I endured growing up. In embracing myself in mid-life, asking “why” a lot more, and recognizing what drove my desires, I became able to align more fully to what really mattered to me, and I became able to experience better days regardless of circumstance or “achieving” anything. Feeling more comfortable with who I was without labels or titles attached, I felt more confident connecting with others. As I look back over my life, I see not only the physical stage of recovery, the “cold -turkey” change, in my mid-teens, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual growth and healing well into my adult years that mark milestones in my journey to well-being. After 3 decades physically recovered from bulimia without a single relapse, I found a better outcome than a piece of my past buried and “dead”. As a volunteer mentor for women in recovery from eating disorders, I partner in defining a desired relationship, encouraging individual well-being, and if desired by a mentee, giving from my own experience for the benefit of their recovery. For more information about the organization I volunteer for, and about the free recovery support services offered, visit ANAD (National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Related Disorders).
Everyone was chosen to be (here), and everyone deserves the opportunity to be well. Through self-reflection, prayer, and connection to women’s ministry, I said yes to an opportunity with a local organization that supports individuals endeavoring to succeed in the transition to community living after incarceration. This is not easy, and there are many reasons why. There is much research that supports how important healthy relationships are in our well-being among other things. As a mentor for Inside Out Re-entry Community, I support men and women who are incarcerated, by listening (to their circumstances, their stories, their challenges, their goals and priorities, about their lives and families), offering encouragement, referrals to other support resources available, my own perspective when it can be helpful, and most of all, prayer. God loves all people. And, knowing this inspires me not only in those relationships that happen to cross my path in life, but also those that have to be reached for. What I have learned in mentoring, is that the giving and receiving becomes mutual. When it’s a relationship that bears good fruits, both people are enhanced. That’s God’s work.
I began running as an attempt to engage in an interest of my husband’s. He’d been running since high school, and I after we had two of our three children. Those first miles, in 2006, weren’t easy, but starting to run brought many benefits, including physical energy, mental clarity, and the natural endorphin “feel good”. I began to notice that I was sleeping more soundly at night and my digestion was soothed and smoothed. I also recognized a breakthrough in that distance running, even a couple of miles at the time, wasn’t a vision of myself I ever had. And, here I was doing it and benefitting significantly from it. I tried something new and it opened up possibilities. These were compelling enough to keep me running. In over a decade, running has been integral to my own well-being and to a spirit of continuous personal improvement. Integrating running in my life created many new supportive relationships and helped me to be a more present person in the ones I already had. I enjoy learning about others’ running journeys – learning about how running has become an interest or is an interest in other’s lives. I also enjoy sharing my own journey, as it relates to strides I experienced in physical, mental, and emotional well-being. My coaching focuses on running as a potential positive, helpful source for those who are seeking physical options (not to be isolated from the importance of mental & emotional wellness) as a means for better well-being. My coaching focuses on well-being and begins with conversation about what a person hopes to achieve/accomplish with running among other things. Running is not a good solution/option for everyone, and my initial consultation helps a person navigate to the best physical well-being option.
Why be coached by Jennifer? See what one runner had to say about her experience with Jennifer
Supportive Certifications & Qualifications: Mental Health First Aid (National Council for Behavioral Health), First Aid/CPR/AED (American Red Cross), USATF (USA Track & Field, emphasis: distance running), Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Endurance Coaching Certifications
Let’s get started: I connect through referral. For more information about mentoring, please email or call ANAD or Inside Out Re-entry Community. For running coaching, call or email me with the contact who has referred you, what organization you are affiliated with if applicable, and what you’re hoping coaching can resolve for you.