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Jeni

Introduction

A remarkable woman, indeed. As a Professional Journalist, Jeni was seen reporting live from Kandahar, Afghanistan, running alongside soldiers and delivering the war’s news with unwavering poise. She worked in TV News for 14 years before transitioning into a consulting role, helping companies with press related to their own news and current events. Along the way, marriage and children have helped shape her outlook on balancing being a full time working wife and mom and we were so happy that she could make some time in her busy life to share some of her wisdom with us.

Give us a little background about yourself…

I’m a working mom and wife with two awesome kids. A year ago I made a big decision to leave the career I knew for 14 years and try something different. 
 

What is your profession?

I’m a communications consultant. After 14 years working in the TV news industry, I am now working on the other side helping companies communicate their news and events.

 

What do you do to stay fit?

To be honest, this is something I still struggle with each day, while balancing work and family life. In the nice weather, we are pretty good at making fitness part of our family routine. We love going for family bike rides and hikes on some nearby trails. In the colder weather, it’s more difficult but we try to get out skating, snowshoeing, or for walks at the neighborhood or at the nearby dog park. On weekends I have been trying to take yoga classes, but during the week it’s difficult to fit an outside gym into my routine. Instead, I try to take a few minutes at the end of the day to work in some exercises. When I worked closer to home I used to love biking to work and I will try to build that into work-from-home days when spring arrives.

What does fitness mean in your profession?

While fitness doesn’t have a direct impact on my profession, I find more people are aware of the fact that we spend a lot of time sitting – while working on our computers, during our commute and drives between meetings, and while making phone calls. My coworkers have found ways to work the gym into their schedule, and a few of our clients have on-site fitness centers which they make a point of using even during the busiest times. We all recognize fitting fitness into your day is not only good for your body, it reduces stress and sometimes gives you that mental break that ends up bringing you some of your best ideas.

Do you eat a certain way or follow a particular nutrition plan?

We don’t follow a particular plan, but want our children to have healthy eating habits and know we have to lead by example. We try to make as much of the food we eat as we can, instead of buying store bought options (like granola bars, yogurt, muffins, soups, etc). I have a dairy intolerance so I have to use alternatives my recipes, such as cashew milk, coconut milk, or soy-based cream cheese. I’m a big fan of batch cooking on Sunday so we have healthy options for busy days during the week (though, I don’t always get it done).

What are your hobbies?

I am a bit of a crafty person. Lately, I have really enjoyed sewing and at other times have taken on knitting and pottery. Before I had my children I enjoyed mountain biking, but I haven’t been back on a trail since I was pregnant. That is something I would like to fit back into my schedule. I love biking in general. At one time, I used to bike one-hour each way to work and loved it. Our oldest daughter can pedal her bike now, so I really love getting out on family rides.

Any advice you want to share with others?

I think carving out time for sleep and some form of fitness are some of the most important things you can do for yourself. I remember reading a quote at a gym I used to go to that said “I really regret that workout. ~ said nobody, anywhere” and it’s true. Even when we are exhausted at the end of the week and have a bunch of stuff to get done around the house, if we get outside for a walk, a skate, or even just to play in the park we feel so much better. If you can’t take an hour for yourself, find away to make fitness part of your routine (or your family’s) and you’ll all feel better.

Did you play sports as a kid and did you have an influential coach or mentor that has stayed with you?

I danced throughout my childhood and attended a school for the arts, where we danced every day. My two dance teachers in high school were definitely major influences. They taught us a lot about tolerance, and standing up for those who are different. We also learned a lot about working hard for what you wanted. The lessons I learned in the dance studio have stayed with me to this day.

Closing Remarks

Jeni – thanks for sharing your insight with us….suggesting some more sleep and a consistent routine as well as just getting out and enjoying movement, like a skate when the Rideau is frozen, is a perfect way to share time with your family and still incorporate more physical activity. Thanks for leading by example and we wish you all of the best!

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