It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Jen is funny, straight forward, no bullshit and she not only crushes goals she helps others crush their goals too. If you need a private running coach Jen is the only person I would turn to because she cares about and believes in her runners deeply. Jen is one of the most generous and thoughtful people I know and I'm honored to be able to introduce you to her as my dear friend.
Q. Who are you?
A. Jennifer Leigh Goff: wife, mom, coach, runner, and friend
Q. How do we know each other?
A. We're awesome friends that met through a mutual friend of my hubby's.
Q. What is your work?
I'm the coach of the Fleet Feet Off'n Running Streakers, as well as numerous individuals nationwide.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. Ima cookin' baby boy Goff #2! ...about 10 weeks to go (if not sooner) until we meet him.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Decided to have a second child at a time when my athletic goals are at their highest. Yeah, yeah, some say this makes me selfish to think this way, but, well, that's cool...go ahead and judge me. After my first son was born, I was very fortunate to run the best I ever have in the two succeeding years. From what lots of people told me, once kiddos came, nothing is about you anymore. Well, I call bullshit on that. I'm a firm believer in "where there's a will, there's a way." My perspective shifted, motivation ruled, and I persevered. Now at age 36 and finally truly believing in my running self, I put a very public goal out there of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. However, this coincided with an advanced maternal age, and if we waited too long to try for a second child, who knows where that would leave us. While this pregnancy has not been easy on me physically or emotionally, I'm elated that we chose this route. Do I let negative comments and fear seep into my brain sometimes about what this means for my goal? Sure. ...but then I remind myself that fear is really an opportunity in disguise, and I know everything will be okay.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I suppose I'm living the dream because I'm doing EXACTLY what I want to be doing. Over six years ago, I was laid off from a job that I really, well, loathed. I had built a career in high educational fundraising, and while it served me well, I had no passion behind it. While devastated at the time, being let go was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally, as I'd probably still be slogging my way through that job otherwise. It paved the way for me to work in my passion every day, handling sales, marketing, and coaching for Off'n Running Sports, to eventually coaching full-time as my programs became more popular. Did I make more money working in higher education? You betcha. Do I give a shit now? Nope! However, if I had not been let go, this is what would have stopped me from leaving on my own. I know there are lots of people with this same sentiment, so I can attest to this: if you can afford to make less in exchange for a happier life, DO IT!
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Man, were you a DORK! Seriously, in high school, I was the straight-A, perfect attendance (<---all the way through elementary school too...who does that?!) ninny that arrived to homeroom early while everyone else hung out. Here's the thing though... while I could have relaxed more and still done just fine, I never regret anything in life, as all of our decisions pave the way for who we are today. If I had not been my not-so-badass self back then, I probably would not have gotten into Lehigh University, which therefore means I would not have met my awesome hubby, which means I would not have my awesome son, which means I would not be living in North Carolina, which means I would never have met Alisha! That's not cool. Anywho, no regrets. Ever.
Q. What's one piece of advice or moto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. My Dad used to always say to me, "Excuses are like assholes; everyone's got one." I think one of the hardest things to do in life is to admit our weaknesses to ourselves. However, once we're able to dig deep and actually confront them, we become our best possible selves ever. For example, I hear over and over in coaching, "I'm not getting faster because I'm too old." Okay, sure, as we get older, our maximum heart rate and oxygen usage; etc. does decline, but the rates are far slower than one would think. So, rather than use this as an excuse, perhaps we need to look at other aspects of training, i.e. are you recovering enough? are you eating enough? It's not easy to admit what we're doing wrong, but once we do and enact change, the possibilities are numerous!
Q. What keeps you coaching or running when you don't feel like it?
A. Goals. In coaching, my biggest goal is for my runners to reach their goals, so I'll do whatever it takes to help them achieve these. For myself, when I get something in my head that I want to accomplish, that's it ... it stays firmly planted there until I know I've given my absolute all to achieve it. I've always said that training is not an option... If you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to DO IT.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Not being able to drink wine, run, eat cheeseburgers, or drink Starbucks right now sucks ass. <--- Is that what you had in mind??
Q. What is your favorite yoga pose?
A. Savasana! Since sleep doesn't always come so easy, but is so important to running my best, I appreciate the relax time!
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed while juggling family, work, training, and friends, but then I realize how fortunate I am and tell myself to shut the hell up. Finding balance isn't always easy, but I'm appreciative for having so many awesome things in my life to have to balance. Even though I still need improvement on this, what's helped me most is compartmentalization. When I'm with family, it's family time. When I'm working, it's work time. When I'm running, it's running time, and so on. ...and if other people have a problem with that, well, they'll just have to deal with it. :)
For additional doses of straight talk from Jen that might have you rolling on the floor laughing check out her blog JENerally Speaking