I had the pleasure of recently meeting Jen a few months ago at the Europa Fitness Expo in Orlando, FL. I met her through a mutual friend, “Eric the Trainer.” Elisabeth and I were instantly drawn to such a sweet and upbeat person she was. After some email exchanges, social media communicating and watching her from the comfort of my home, I found out that this young woman has a breathtaking story. Jen has been working with an array of people from all over the world to share her story. She will be featured on, “HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” where she will be discussing her inspirational story and relation to 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Moceanu. But for our readers, here is a peek into who she is…
1. Your story is amazing. I would like you to tell it in your own words.
I always had a passion for tumbling and gymnastics, despite being born without legs. I competed in power tumbling, volleyball, and softball… all against able-bodied athletes. My athletic achievements were featured on Glee, 20/20, Inside Edition, performances around the world under the direction of Heidi Latsky, and the Britney Spears World Tour. I moved from a small town in southern Illinois to Orlando, Florida to work for Walt Disney World. That is where my life took an unexpected twist and I started performing as an acrobat/aerialist. I am currently living in L.A. pursuing a career in tv/film, speaking, and fitness, along with her performing career. I hope to inspire & motivate others to BELIEVE that anything is truly possible.
2. What provoked you to get into gymnastics?
Ever since I can remember I’ve been naturally & magnetically drawn to gymnastics. I used to tell my mom I was going to be an Olympic gymnast! I grew up in SUCH a small town that we didn’t have any gymnastics programs, but we had gyms that offered power tumbling. So I told my parents I wanted to sign up. I competed in power tumbling for 4 years, won state champion and got 4th all-around in Jr. Olympics. I was at the time and I believe still to-date, the only “disabled” person to ever compete in power tumbling.
3. What were the hardest things to overcome in high school?
High school was a very fun time for me, I was very popular and an extreme social butterfly. I loved Homecoming week because of all the different dress up days, I was very into fashion and clothing! There weren’t a lot of “hard” things about High School, I think the hardest thing was keeping my shorts & hands clean while going up and down stairs all day!! Our building was VERY old, built in 1912, it was a 4-story building and no elevator. I had my main chair that I used on the ground level, my little pink chair that I used in the basement, my blue chair on the 1st floor, & I didn’t use a chair on the top floor because I would only have one class per semester up there.
4. What projects are you working on in the film industry? (That you are allowed to talk about.)
I’m actively pursuing my hosting and on-camera personality career now more than ever. I am using fitness & performing as platforms to one day reach my goal of being an on camera host. There are many things that are coming up for me, but I would like to keep you guessing …hehe 😉
5. What would you like to accomplish in the next 10 years?
Wow, 10 years! SO many things can be done in 10 years! I would say a couple of my biggest goals are to write a book, be a talk show host, be in a movie, travel more of the world speaking & performing, and hopefully to reach millions of people with a positive, uplifting message of encouragement, hope, & inspiration.
6. Tell us about your workouts and what you listen too when you sweat it out.Ahh workout time!!! I tell ya, NOTHING beats that feeling after a KILLER workout, its seriously the best!! I love listening to ALL kinds of different music! My FAVORITE music is country, yes yes I know. But I’m from a small town, what can I say? I love classic rocker songs to workout to as well, nothing gets ya goin’ like a lil “Pour Some Sugar On Me” or “You Oughta Know” Love me some old school Alanis!
8. How did you first hear about FIGHT CHIX?
I first heard about FIGHT CHIX at the Europa Fit Expo in Orlando!! I got the pleasure of meeting the owners of the company! I was instantly hooked! Not only were THEY awesome (and from IL) but the clothing AND mission were absolutely in alignment with everything I loved and supported! So it was a no-brainer for me 🙂
9. What other passions do you have that you don’t always talk about?
I LOVE people watching and meeting new people. It could honestly be a hobby of mine! There are so many different & interesting people in the world, especially here in L.A.! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel! I’ve realized I’ve learned and grown the MOST because of traveling, it gets you out of your comfort zone and opens you up to new ways of thinking, living, and being!