Jen is a full-time working mother of three who is undoubtedly on top of the fitness game. Yoga, weight-lifting and calisthenics - You name it, she's got game in them all.
A peek into her instagram account (@jlipose) unveils an active lifestyle which extends far beyond the gymnasium. Fronting a grid peppered with photos of trail runs, it is no secret that this fit-mum has a love for the outdoors. She is also a familiar face in various competitive races, and always seen grinning atop podiums at Spartan Races.
We had the privilege to join her at her training ground for a conversation, and gain insight into how she strives for a balance in her career, personal life and fitness.
When did you begin your fitness journey?
I’ve always been incredibly active. As a kid, I was playing pee wee softball and basketball. In middle and high school, I was on the varsity cross country team, varsity track team and dance team.
In college, I was on the New York University Dance Team and danced competitively with them in national competitions. Even after graduating, I would make time after work to hit the gym, take a yoga class or simply jog around my neighborhood.
If I was traveling for work, I would make sure I was staying in a hotel with a good sized gym and never leave home without my trainers!
People will tell me to stop.
But where it all really started for me as a daily routine/part of a lifestyle was when I was pregnant with my first child. You’ll be surprised how far we have come along in accepting women who are pregnant to be weightlifting or doing handstands with a belly.
You couldn’t find much on the internet about workouts for pregnant ladies except “gentle yoga” moves. This fueled my passion to prove to myself and society that it's possible - It's healthy to be working out while baking a baby.
I’m also quite a rebel especially if I have people telling me off.
What is one piece of advice you would give to women who are new and navigating themselves in their fitness journey?
It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you keep active. When you start your run, or walk into a gym or class...
Set an intention and follow through.
What is one rule in life which guided you to where you are today - Being healthy, fit and all while having your hands full?
Being a fit mum means being confident and being able to be a role model for my kids.
It took a long time for me to realize that you need to have self-love to be a good mother.
I’m a full-time working mother of three and it is important to me that my kids see that I have a career and that I can provide for the family – and at the same time, be healthy. So I try as much as I can to lead by example.
Self-love for me means focusing on myself, taking care of myself and, for me, it has always been through fitness and nutrition. I always try to put away time in the morning to go for my workouts, whether it be a trail run, lifting, yoga etc.
I try to participate in multiple races a year – obstacle racing, half marathons etc. – and I make sure my kids are a part of it, whether in the training or at the finish line with the rest of my team.
Hopefully, in time, they will develop a healthy habit of being active and know what it means to put in effort to achieve something.
What keeps you motivated and driven in the fitness game?
“I can. I will”.
I love that quote and I live by it. I truly believe that when you can visualize what you want to achieve whether it's in fitness, business, or a parent and you’re consistent in what you do..
Results will appear.
It’s amazing when you tell your mind you can do it, you can. So I live by that mantra. I set an intention i.e.
“Today I’m going to learn to do a pull up”
and I’ll keep practicing that movement until I get it. When you have done that once, you realize the possibilities are unlimited.
That to me, is empowering.
Who has been the biggest influence to you?
My parents. A big part of who I am is how they raised me. They have always been my biggest cheerleaders at my races and supporters of my dreams. Just knowing I have their unconditional love has given me the confidence to “just go for it”.
What are some values you live by?
To be kind and empathetic. Most of all, to have integrity.
What is your idea of success?
Having a loving family, a roof over my head, warm food on the table, being surrounded by friends and family, a career I am passionate about and love. To me, that is success.
What does women's empowerment mean to you?
What makes me feel empowered is seeing other females own it in whatever they do: be it in business, raising a family, or in their respective sport.
Most of all it's the comradery - Women supporting women.
I have experienced it first hand at races - even though we females are competing against each other, we are also cheering on each other on the trails. I can’t even begin to tell you how empowering it feels. And unconsciously I do find myself supporting women-owned businesses more and more (hooray!).
Also, as a mother of a daughter, I want to show her that there’s no “right way” for girls to dress. I want to encourage her to be her authentic self.
Lastly, what is the one thing about motherhood you did not expect or see coming?
I didn’t think I had the capacity to give love to more than one child and here I am surrounded by 3 amazing kids.
Love does expand and there are no limits.
Also I didn't expect to develop such love for alcohol (laughs out loud). Thanks to having kids!
Follow Jen on Instagram @jlipose.