Friday, November 28, 2014

Interview Sessions: Jenn

Let's meet my friend Jenn today! She is one of my favorite training partners, not only because she is fast, but she is also a lot of fun to be around.  I was so excited when she joined our training group this summer after she moved to Ottawa from Oregon.  This sport is awesome that way... you can move to a brand new city and potentially find a new group of friends fairly quickly if you join a training group.  It's an automatic group of like-minded individuals, out to have a good time!

Jenn and I at the Montreal Esprit
Let's meet Jenn...

My name is Sister Christmas. Well, technically I was born Jennifer Bushell (Jenn), but, 'tis the season! :)

I grew up playing whatever sport I could get my hand on. I fell in love with running. I battled through some pretty brutal stress reactions in my tibias (shins) for most of my high school and university running career. I was always a strong swimmer and lifeguard. Thus I ended up in North Carolina doing Ocean Rescue for a couple years which combined my love of water, running, adventure and healing. I am a Certified Athletic Therapist as a profession, in which I specialize in preventing injury as well as returning athletes to competition and maximizing their performance potential as fast as possible after injury (as well as every day active people). We are best known as the persons who provide immediate on-field emergency care of professional and elite athlete.

Some unknown force inside me thought it was wise to buy a road bike when I moved to Oregon. thinking I would use it to commute to work aaaand if I had one of those I may as well start doing triathlons (I moved to take on a full time job and masters in my profession). I never looked back. Two years later, I have qualified for Age Group Worlds in the Olympic distance and have the most interesting and best friends across North America.

What advice would you give to a new triathlete or someone considering signing up for their first triathlon?

To the new ones about to make the leap or having strange thoughts about becoming a triathlete. Make the leap.  It is not often you regret anything when you abandon fear and take a leap into the unknown. especially one with a support group built in. You will find your kin here. Much of what keeps me going are my triathlon friends.

What has been your greatest / proudest moment as a triathlete?

I think my proudest moment is also my most embarrassing. Due to work travel for 3 months, I found myself wholly out of shape, but dumb enough to race collegiate nationals in the US, where I was living. I felt a sense of obligation to the team and thought I can at least add points for us for competing. Well, I won that race. Overall. It was the worst race I have ever had, ( I told a 12 year old water boy I may be dying and when does this end?!?), but boy was it crazy fun. I was so proud - but not of myself.  I was proud to be able to put our team on the podium. Personally I felt undeserved and selfish. I saw the other racers who had poured their hearts into training and deserved to be on that podium more than I did. This has added a lot of training incentive for future races. If you are going to do it, at least earn it... but no matter what have fun!

What has been the biggest challenge for you in the sport?

Combining my demanding career with my demanding sport is my biggest challenge. When your job requires you to be on the road every other week, often without warning or predestination and no time for yourself, it is hard to train. but working with amazing athletes everyday is a lot of motivation for when I find my own time to go get at it.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the sport?

Honestly, the most rewarding part of this sport is the people. The camaraderie that comes from sharing a similar brand of crazy. We are individuals who are part of a greater team. I never thought I would find such altruistic people in life. Also, the beer at the end of a race or hard training session is an excellent reward!
How does life as a triathlete translate to other areas of your life?

I now have blubbered on a lot. There is so much to say about how and why a person found and stayed in this sport. I feel like that is what translates to other areas of my life. I am more disciplined, time managed, motivated, kinder and happier!!
What is your dream race?

Taking up a sport comes with dreams. Qualifying for worlds was a hope and desire. That race is now my current and looming reality. My dream race is to race with family and friends watching. I never had family present at any of my university or national level races in my various sports. I have had some friends present, fellow athletes who were not competing in that race. I am hoping I have people come support me at worlds. (Big training incentive too!). A dream is a destination triathlon. My dad and step mom live in Cancun, Mexico (oddly enough neighbours to another incredible triathlete). I would love to go there and race, the beach is in my soul (remember my ocean rescue background), the weather is great, the scenery is unreal. Most importantly my dad and step mom are the most understanding and motivational people, just because of their unconditional love and humour. (They are also going to be the best post race celebrators with me haha).  Kelsey is joining me in this destination race - right Kels!?! [Editor's note: YES OF COURSE!!]

What is your favorite pre-race meal? Any other pre-race rituals?
I read motivational quotes before races. I did that once for a university track meet and ran a PR, so it seems to have stuck. Plus then I race feeling happy. I also listen to Disney motivational songs (the bike is long, and if you are going to have a song stuck in your head it may as well be happy, catchy and inspiring!). Oatmeal is always my pre race breakfast - I know it keeps my tummy happy (or as happy as a tummy can be pre race!) plus isn't it legend to "stick to your ribs" so I know the energy lasts haha.

Swim, bike, or run?

I favour the run. It is my strongest background, so its super fun to start passing people, there is more of a chance to shout encouraging words and have them be heard! it is also the last segment - power through this and you really are done! the beer is so close!

Favorite motivational quote?

It depends on the time in season as to which quote gets me the best but right now it is, "a 22 min mile is just as far as a 6 min mile" and the song lyrics from the Disney movie "Brave". I began racing triathlons in Oregon. Mostly cold, wet, hazy early mornings (hence oatmeal as the pre race meal) Why must races happen at ungodly early hours?!? The song is super upbeat and very motivational. I recommend you turn it on as you read these words:

When the cold winds are a-calling
And the sky is clear and bright,
Misty mountains sing and beckon,
Lead me out into the light...
I will ride, I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky,
I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky...
Where dark woods hide secrets,
And mountains are fierce and bold,
Deep waters hold reflections,
Of times lost long ago..
I will hear their every story,
Take hold of my own dream,
Be as strong as the seas are stormy,
And proud as an eagle's wing
I will ride, I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky,
I will fly,
Chase the wind and touch the sky...
And touch the sky,
Chase the wind, Chase the wind
Touch the sky...

1 comment:

  1. I love meeting your friends thru this forum. It was great to get to know Jenn and I will be in Chicago to cheer both of you on for the World ITU. So proud of you both!