What’s one word to describe Jenn? What do you think you know about Jenn?
She’s a badass.
…Or is that a mask?
Long Island is known for it’s gossip. This event embraced the gossip and went straight to the source. Jennifer Hunter-Marshall is a Coach at CrossFit Garden City. She not only coaches in Garden City, but she also works for CrossFit to train new coaches. As a lululemon ambassador, she is known around Long Island for showing off her six pack abs on the store’s wall. But what is Jenn really like? Who is she beneath the tough exterior? That’s exactly what May’s Word of Mouth event taught us!
Jenn shared her story with a small group of people. Some were lululemon employees, some CFGC members, some friends, and some friends of friends. Starting back when she was eight years old, she referred to a picture of herself that is kept on her desk; striking a sassy pose and sticking her belly out. Jenn talked about her first year of college. She had an ROTC scholarship and she was working hard in classes when some major medical issues came up. That is when she learned the act of putting on an exterior to protect what was really going on. So she put on the mask that she was still living a healthy life and became determined to overcome. Her best friend basically told her to burn it all to the ground- go skydiving, hang out with frat boys, and do it all without care. But Jenn is true to her values and never let the speed bumps change her attitude. Jenn touched on the dreams of the girl in the picture and how they differ from the dreams of the woman she is today. The dreams that she and her husband have for their future and their family. The challenges that have come up and the masks she has worn over the years while overcoming those challenges.
“What would you tell the girl in that picture?”
“Suck it in!”
The truth is there will be speed bumps. There will be dark times. But you get over those speed bumps. You come out of that dark place. And the gossip you hear may only be a mask that someone is wearing. You see their tough exterior, but need to take the time to learn what’s happening on the inside. That’s how the gossip changes. You strive for that girl’s six pack and see only your stretch marks- maybe she wishes she had stretch marks. We compare our story to someone else’s highlight reel; thinking: Why not me? Well, why NOT me?
L: Before I knew Jenn, I knew her as this ripped chick lifting weights in a picture on the wall of lululemon Roosevelt Field. When I worked at lulu, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Jenn whenever she came into the store. She has a tough exterior, but once she opens her mouth, you know she is a sweetheart. Listening to Jenn talk about how we all put on these “masks” made me think about the masks I’ve worn. Sometimes you cry in the shower, but then it’s time to pull it together. It’s about finding your inner strength.
P: I had never met Jenn before this evening, but I HAD heard about the badass woman that ran CFGC. I was so excited to finally meet her and learn more about the journey that has led to where she is today. My favorite message I took away was the idea of perfection. Especially as women, we feel this immense pressure to be perfect and when we come up short, it means we have failed. But is it really failure? Or is it exactly where we are supposed to be at that moment in life? I personally believe that when we shed the preconceived image of what exactly a perfect life is, we can then live the life that we are meant to have. Jenn was a perfect example of adapting to the curve balls life throw her and using them to propel her to the next step in life.
The event was intimate with several couches set up in the lobby of CFGC. As people arrived and Jenn began speaking, there was still a group completing the W.O.D. which we casually peaked in on. Before and after Jenn spoke, everyone mingled, sipped some wine and enjoyed some snacks. Belkis Bites made the delicious treats including salmon cakes, grilled vegetables, stuffed mushrooms, and turkey lettuce wraps- yum!
Thank you to the lovely Coach Jenn for opening up your heart to us and sharing your story! And a big thank you to lululemon Roosevelt Field for hosting a great event. We’re not sure when the next Word of Mouth event will be… but you know we will be there.
Louise & Pam
PS. Their bathrooms are fantastic. It literally had everything you could possibly need post workout to transition to the day. A mirror selfie was required 😉