meet jenn on the road to her goals

Keeping warm at the Runner's World photo shoot 

 Meet Jenn, lover of marathons - literally and figuratively. We caught up with her after the latest Runner's World photo shoot to talk goals. (She's got plenty to say on the subject.)

getting to know jenn

Jenn Thiel is quickly becoming a familiar face. Not only is she an alumni ambassador at our Kitsilano store, she's also the face (or should we say torso) in our latest Runner's World ad. Between training for the Honolulu marathon, writing for her blog, and tackling her bucket list of goals, she's got her work cut out for her. (Did I mention she's also pursuing a career as a cardiac surgery nurse? I think all her training will help with the nerves.) After spending some time with her after the shoot, it didn't take long for me to make the connection: in all aspects, Jenn is the definition of a marathoner.

Jenn's vision board

the interview

So I checked out your website and was spying on your bucket list. It's a marathon in itself. You have a lot of awesome challenges ahead of you: speaking at a TED conference, running the NYC marathon, writing a best-selling book. What was the motivation behind writing your list?

I love a challenge. I have a friend who has a bucket list and it inspired me to do my own last November. One of my big goals is to inspire people to live their best lives and I figured sharing my bucket list online was a good place to start. Posting my goals on my website has been a catalyst to getting stuff done and it keeps me accountable to my word too. 

So are you on your way to reaching any significant goals right now?

Yeah, I've got plans to do goal coaching sessions with a class of grade 8 students and a softball team soon. I'll be entering the lottery to run in the NYC marathon in 2012 and now that I'm done nursing school, I'm in a good place to head to Haiti with a medical relief team – that’s another goal of mine. It's a long road but I'm making progress a little bit every day.

I love that you're so passionate about empowering people to reach their goals and live amazing lives. You're like that coach that everyone wants to have. Has there been one person in your life that has been that source of inspiration for you?

Wow. Great question. I don't think I can single out just one person. I surround myself with amazing, positive people who inspire me every day. I think that's the trick.

Jenn's goal coaching session at the Kitsilano store

It seems like a lot of people have goals to do marathons. You've got a couple on your list. I'm curious - how do you deal with the mental game? You can train your body to run long distances but how do you train your mind?

It’s like anything that’s challenging. It takes discipline and positive thinking. Towards the end, the race is all in your mind because you can’t feel your legs anymore. They feel like Jell-o. A lot of it is just staying focused and positive.

Do you go to your happy place? Are you thinking, “I’m on the beach! I’m not running! My legs don’t hurt!”

Honestly, it’s one step at a time. For the most part, you just want to get to the end. I did Boston twice though and it was a strange feeling. I didn’t want it to end. It was the most intense, most blissful feeling I’ve ever experienced. Everyone was cheering. It was a natural high. I don’t know why people do drugs.

The thought of doing Boston – wow. It’s really fascinating to me. I wouldn't call myself a runner but the thought of actually finishing the Boston Marathon is exhilarating.

That's exactly it! That’s why we do it. It’s exhilarating. It comes more so at the end when you know it’s hard but you’re doing it and you’re finishing it thinking, "This is awesome!"’ Do you want to run a marathon?

Well…I’m not sure. Running that far has never sounded appealing to me but I like the idea of tackling something so daunting. I’ve done a few 10Ks before so I think I would be able train to do a half …but now I’m knocked up. (We both erupt laughing.) Being 27 weeks pregnant complicates things for me a bit.

That would be a great way to get back into shape after, hey?

Totally. (Shoot. She’s totally right. I have to do it. Let’s change the subject.) Got any other goals you’re working on?

I want to buy a condo next year and put down some roots in Kits. And I need to learn to relax a little more too.

smile with your heart

Ah, yes. Relaxation. That will come in handy when you’re conquering your bucket list of goals.

I know, right? Being a cardiac surgery nurse? That’s really relaxing. Ha.

want more?

After such a great interview, we can’t help but be inspired. We’re revising our goals on this end. Where are you at with yours?

read more related posts:


Jenn and I went to SFU together and she is the only person I still keep in contact with from University, simply because I have moved around so much and now have a new baby boy and it’s hard to find the time to keep in touch. Jenn is truly a gem and once she crosses your path in this life…. Well let’s just say you’d be a fool to let her go!! She keeps you laughing, dreaming, giving, loving and living!
I am blessed to know her.

Comment by JC — March 1, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

jenn is amazing! i have known her since highschool, and has always brought me rays of sunshine and a genuine feeling of possibility and health. she is inspiring me everyday with her fantastic website, to be on top of my “game” – the most fun ever, the game called life! thank you jen and lululemon for this incredible story!

Comment by lisaluv — March 2, 2011 @ 6:45 am

I’ve only ever done a 10k, but boy do I get that “blissful feeling” she is talking about! I wish more people could get to that point for the triumph and confidence it brings.

Comment by Amanda — March 2, 2011 @ 11:01 am

JT is amazing! she is the real deal, a hit of magic. Such an inspiring, vibrant and warm person to be around, committed to living with her heart wide open, and lighting the fire under all those she comes into contact with. Big props to this sista- she’s a gem!

Comment by amanda — March 2, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

Go Jenn Go!!

Cheering you on fabulous, Laday!!



Comment by Erin Tetarenko — March 3, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

Inspiring, woman! Dream big and make the goals to get there. Good luck to you as you check off the life list, Jenn! Can’t wait for your TED talk.

Comment by erin m. {{well in l.a.}} — March 3, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

See Erin? I told you. You’re going to be friends with Jenn. :)

Comment by Elissa Joy — March 3, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

JT is my girl.
I have watched her run a marathon with a smile on her face, and polish a jar of Nutella in two days. Both of which I am equally awe inspired by!

Comment by Mish — March 3, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

you are a healthy reminder of what it’s like to live.

Comment by m.alves — March 3, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

Wow! I’m blown away by all of your comments. THANK YOU!!!!!

Comment by Jenn — March 3, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

way to go JT. reading your interview, I could hear your infectious laugh! i’m proud of ya … corny i know!

Comment by dboff — March 3, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

i love you JT! keep reaching for the stars!

Comment by oli — March 4, 2011 @ 6:49 am

Best of luck on ALL your endeavors! YOU WILL ACHIEVE! Your story is so inspiring. (I am going to do my very first 5K in April in Austin, Texas…and am totally scared! — thus, the reading into it…).

Comment by Rosie — March 4, 2011 @ 9:34 am

It sometimes seems daunting to put all your goals out there for anyone to see, and you might consider not making them so huge, but there is amazing power in publishing your goals, and no matter how hairy they are, because you put it out there, there’s no doubt you can accomplish anything.
We, as humans are capable of so much, if only we believe we are, and to make those goals and put them out there. Awesome job Jenn (and Elissa, because being pregnant is no easy feat either)!!!!! Keep on setting those goals and you will continue to do great things!!!!!

Comment by Brian — March 5, 2011 @ 9:13 am

So impressive!

(What is NOT impressive is that her name seems to be misspelled in the ad as Theil. Yikes!)

Comment by Sarah — March 7, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

Congratulations Jenn! Your story brings such inspiration and great hope for my future! God bless in everything you do and keep living life!

Comment by Carmel — March 9, 2011 @ 1:07 am

You are such a great pic for living life to the fullest!!!
Very inspiring! Very positive! and always laughing! I think you lit up our Nursing class and now you’re lighting up others lives as a rep!

Comment by Sonia — March 13, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

Jenn is a postive light in my life :-) Jenn inspired me to do my first full marathon in NYC last year! She helped me throughout my training to stay positive and convinced me that on race day all the pain would payoff when I would cross that finish line. The training was the hard work and the race was my prize! I couldn’t have done it without her luv and support. Thanks Jenn! luv u and so proud of you! xoxo

Comment by Karen — March 16, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

I don’t normally say things like this, but seriously, I would kill have have Jenn’s butt. Does this mean I have to run marathons?

Comment by Andrea Dickson — March 18, 2011 @ 11:00 am

I have worked for over a year to lose 55 lbs and be the strongest I have been in my whole life. Today, I even did my very first ever unassisted, dead-hang chin-up. I signed on to the Lululemon site after my workout and saw Jenn. We all need ongoing motivation, and my God, I think she has the most amazing body I have ever seen. Thank you, Jenn for giving me another year of motivation to keep moving, keep sweating, and keep striving for my best!

Comment by Emery — March 18, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

OMG…I could not believe my eyes when I opened the home page to see another THIEL!!! There is not alot of us in this world and to know there is another who loves LULU is amazing:)

Comment by Tanya Thiel — March 26, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

I love this interview. What an inspiration! Good luck with the NYC marathon, Jenn! I have my fingers crossed for the both of us. :)

Comment by Cammie — March 27, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

hey jenn
i just seen this on facebook from ross……your famous now
come over to ireland again and me , you, harto and ross will all go for a run together

Comment by corky mooney — March 30, 2011 @ 7:25 am

I have a question for Jenn. what exercises do you do to get such nicely toned arms??? Everytime i visit your lovely arms capture my attention. The triceps are the hardest area to keep toned for me, I’d love to know your secret ;)

Comment by Abby — March 30, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

Hi Abby! Thanks for the compliment!! And thank you everyone for your inpsiring posts!!

As for exercises for toning your arms, I’d have to say that my go to is Yoga! I also like to run as much as I can and kickbox a few times a week. This picture was taken just shortly after I got back home from backpacking for 6 weeks. All I got around to doing while on my trip was a few yoga classes a week and short runs here and there. I find that a good balance between the two does wonders for me. It helps me stay balanced in every aspect of my life! If you haven’t yet had a change to experience the yoga bliss, you have to try it!! It wll change your life! It has definitely changed mine :) I can thank lululemon for introducing me to this beautiful practice – thank you!

I’ll be posting some more training tips on my website later next week, so feel free to check that out too!

Thanks again for the wonderful comnment and for everyone else’s inspiring words!

Have a happy friday!!!

Love Jenn :)

Comment by Jenn — April 1, 2011 @ 9:13 am

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