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.
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.
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.
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.
- Spend more time with Jenn. Check out her blog.
- Get inspired. Read her bucket list and other goals.
- Write your own bucket list. Get tools to write your own goals here.
- Go behind-the-scenes. See more from the Runner’s World shoot.
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?