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. And, there it lay buried for 29 years as I went about my life. In stillness and reflection, I was inspired to unbury and revisit this time, to look at it for its potential, for the possibility of using the experience for something better. Self acceptance and achieving enough were struggles I endured growing up. When I embraced myself, and recognized what drove my desires for achievement, I became able to hone what really mattered to me, and I became able to experience better days regardless of circumstance or “achieving” anything. There was a universal sense to this experience and I felt more connected to others as a result. As I look back over my life, I see not only the physical stage of recovery 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 mentoring with other women, I connected 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 life experiences or perspective when they can be helpful, and most of all, prayer. God loves all people. And, Jesus taught us very well how to live and walk with others. His example 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, you forget who’s mentoring whom. 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 receiving benefits 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 inspired competition. I’ve run over 10 marathons, and countless other shorter distance races. Qualifying for the Boston Marathon was a pinnacle for me, because it’s not something I could have ever dreamed up. This is what God can do in a life that hands it over to Him. I’m not suggesting God makes people meet goals or if you believe in God you can literally do anything. I am suggesting that in my life, I would not have dreamed of finishing a marathon, ever, let alone that my body could manage one under BQ standards. This is God’s work. 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 as a means for better well-being.
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), USATF (USA Track & Field), Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Endurance Coaching Certifications, Boston Qualifier
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.