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Athlete Spotlight: Jenni Cox

Before we dive in, here's a quick message from Coach Vicki:

Jenni came to Tri Fitness through one of my college teammates whom I had the pleasure of reconnecting with after 20+ years. Jenni, like many, is a highly motivated athlete. One of many that we have had to "pull the reigns in" more than once. Although the year didn't turn out as we had hoped (dang those injuries), she started out strong with her spring marathon and, without any hesitancy, has found her way into the triathlon world. It will be fun to watch Jenni as she learns more about herself and how her body works as she continues toward her new goals!

Tell us about your family/career: My dear husband Jeromy and I have been married for 16 years and have 4 awesome children: Samara (15), Maggie (14), Graham (11), and Jameson (9). We live in rural Milltown, WI. After leaving the teaching world 2 years ago I started my own business, Better View: Yard & Paint, specializing in clearing and maintaining lakefront properties. How long has fitness been part of your life? Definitely forever but not as a traditional athlete. I’m an “up north” country girl raised exploring the woods, gravel pits, and the St. Croix River area. I enjoyed running with my dad from a young age, snowboarding during my teenage years, and have run for fun on and off ever since. What are some of your favorite hobbies? I enjoy fishing, going on mini adventures/travels, learning new skills, meeting new people, motorcycling, snowboarding, snowmobiling, hunting…. Do you have a favorite quote or motto? YOLO What keeps you going when you really don’t want to go? Pain is progress that I’ll thank myself for later. Also, remembering that physical health and a passion for endurance activities is a gift I can use and enjoy while I’m able to. What got you started with training? Losing both my parents in the past five years propelled me into a new phase of self-care and discovery. I chose one passion to pour more of myself into: Running. It’s been good for my mind, body and spirit. At first, I hesitated, thinking hiring a trainer was reserved for elite athletes but then thought how cool it would be to learn from the best in the beginning of my journey, if it was available to me. I’m so glad it is for every level of fitness! When you tell your friends/family about beginning your journey what was their reaction? They are glad I found something that fills me up and are very supportive. How long have you been training? I started with Tri Fitness in March knowing I’d want to train for both Grandmas and Twin Cities full this year. I’ve run each of them once before following online beginner plans. After only a few months of training, dialing in on speed work and strength, I shaved off 37 minutes, going from a 4:55 to a 4:17! Also, because Vicki organized a women’s triathlon, I thought I’d try that as well and competed in the Women’s Trifecta virgin course. I can see a passion developing there as well!

I also did my first Ragnar relay from Minneapolis to Duluth and joined a team of ladies not knowing anyone and we’ve grown into a great network of ongoing encouragement and fun! Were you involved in other competitive sports prior to your adult years?

Yes. I tried basketball and volleyball but then stuck with cross country and track in middle and high school. Best tip for someone that is thinking about starting a fitness program. You don’t need to be at a certain level of fitness and you are worth every penny of the growth and encouragement you will receive! Hiring a trainer will enable you to get personalized plans, and ongoing communication and coaching to avoid injuries and burnout while stoking your enthusiasm for the sport. Who is your biggest inspiration? My dad. He started running in his fifties and completed countless races including 16 marathons, pushing himself to the point of running sideways in delirium. He taught me in action about the joy and reward in pushing your limits. What is your biggest struggle? I am learning to recognize and identify self-limiting beliefs that could slow or stop my progress in living my best life. I’m also learning how to create and follow a solid nutritional plan for training. Goals for the upcoming year? My next big goal is to complete a spring and an Olympic distance triathlon!

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