- Thank you so much for your time, we are pumped for our readers to learn more about your awesomeness! Explain a typical day in your life:
My day starts with getting my two dogs, Buster Brown and Maggie, fed before my two boys, Nolan and Ryan, wake up ready for breakfast. Ryan could live in the water so he likes to take a bath while I pack lunches and get myself ready. Once we are ready it’s a mad dash to the before school where they hop on the bus for school while I am lucky enough to sit on Independence to get to work. I have to make myself break away at lunch time for a workout whether swimming or running. I have no excuse since we have a gym in our building and the Dowd Y right next door. Then back to work until 5. My husband, Keith, gets the kids and dogs taken care of so once I get home we eat dinner as a family to talk about everyone’s day. Maggie is a 2 year old German shepherd we rescued in September so we generally have to take her outside to play A LOT in the evening. We all enjoy kicking soccer balls for her and the boys like to run around with her. Buster is 100 so he prefers to sleep. After all the play, Ryan likes to take another bath and we don’t sit down on the couch until 7:30 or 8. My Husband and the boys go to bed about 9 and I stay up for some quiet time and Candy Crush binging until 10.
- We are so impressed with your workout consistency despite your crazy busy life! Any tips for our readers on how you manage to do it all?
Some days I feel like its constant chaos and I live minute by minute. My advice to readers would be, you are worth it and deserve to take care of yourself! Make the time to get up and go do something for yourself whether it’s a walk or breaking away to get a coffee. Work will always be there when you get back!
- What is your background in sport?
When I was much, much younger my sister, Melissa, and I participated in an Ironkids in Colorado where we grew up. That was my very first triathlon experience and I didn’t want to do it again, I really dislike running. But after we were all here in North Carolina, my Mom decided to have a goal to participate in a triathlon before she turned 50, she was scared of the water, but learned to swim alongside my Dad and participated in the Ramblin’ Rose before she turned 50! I watched her face her fear and it was amazing. She worked so hard and overcame a fear that she had her entire life. Melissa also kicked butt in the sport for many years. I had Ryan in 2011 and was ready to get off my butt and do something. He would wake up at 4am for a bottle so instead of going back to bed I decided to start running on our treadmill and FINALLY put it to use. Stephanie (Pezz) Pezzullo was staying with my Mom at the time, she was very encouraging and wrote some work outs for me so I wouldn’t get bored with running straight for 30 minutes. I decided to sign up for a 5K so I could have a goal. I picked the 1st Annual Cookies for Kids’ Cancer 5K, Nolan was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2010 at only 6 months old. If all the kids, including my own son, could endure the harsh treatments I could run a measly 3 miles in their honor! So, what better 5K than that one for me to start with!! My Husband was working out of town back then and I remember wanting to send him a picture of me at the finish holding both boys….they were not happy Grandma and Grandpap were no longer holding them so my picture is both boys crying and reaching for them. I signed up for several more 5Ks that summer and then had a bright idea to participate in the Ramblin Rose! My Family was so supportive and in 2012 I completed the Ramblin’ Rose in Huntersville. After that I wanted some different challenges and signed up for some that included open water swims!!
We love how watching your mom face her fears impacted your health journey, and how you were able to use running as a healthy outlet after Nolan’s diagnosis! You failed to mention your incredible background in swimming, and how you absolutely dominated at most recent Sunbelt (doing a 1650 in 22:47 –25 second PR!!) So I have to ask you, what is your favorite sport?
SWIMMING! I grew up swimming until I was 19. Since joining Masters here in Charlotte I had really made so many great friendships and found a new love for the sport.
- Ha, that is what we were thinking ;). What is your favorite workout & why?
Long distance swimming, 200 yards (or longer) sets and anything that includes butterfly. And actually running long distances (7-8 miles) with Maggie. She is a joy to run with, although sometimes I wish she could pull me up hills.
- They say every dog is trainable :). And we are quite impressed that your favorite swim set includes the butterfly! You are one tough lady!! We also love hearing how much you love the long runs now too!! What piece of advice have you received that you want your readers to also learn from?
My favorite piece of advice came from Kelly about comparison! I get very defeated and frustrated that I am not as fast as others, it can be very discouraging. Kelly sent me a quote “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And it’s so true, I need to be proud of me and my accomplishments.
- You have so many incredible gifts! We just want you to see what we see in you! You do you. Keep focusing on being the best version of yourself and you will continue to make such a great impact on those around you! What are you most passionate about?
Being a good role model for my kids. I hope they learn it’s ok to get out of their box and not to be afraid to try something different and challenging! I want them to be able to be proud of themselves and all their accomplishments and appreciate others for getting out there and trying!
- Love this so much, and we can attest to the fact that you are such a great role model to all of those around you! Anything you want to share with us?
My husband and I had heard the words, “Your child has cancer” and ever since then we lived our lives to the fullest and try to be happy for everything we have. We learned to live in the moment and at times lived minute by minute. Nolan is now 7 years cancer free! While both our boys drive us bananas sometimes, we are so thankful they are both happy and healthy.
9. Thank you so much Jessica for your time and for reminding us how precious life is and that living in the moment is the best place to be!