I promised I would get more consistent on the blog, so here I am. I am still working on updating the subsequent tabs of the site, but the main thing is – I AM POSTING. I thought it would be good to reintroduce myself. What I have been doing over the past two years and what people are reading a lot of on my blog.
This is me Jen D. Jenny D. Jen Duf. In my former life, I was a college pole vaulter at Virginia Tech. I moved to Charlotte after getting a graduate degree in Accounting. I passed my CPA exam and went to work for a large accounting firm before I realized for me to have babies, I physically had to be around my husband. I traveled for work most weeks Monday through Thursday. While on the road, maintaining my fitness was extremely difficult.
As good as corporate America thinks they are at maintaining “wellness” programs for their employees, they are failing. There is no such thing as work life balance. I have learned it is all a counter balance. You simply cannot balance it all. I left public accounting the week before my wedding. I started my new job in industry (a 40 hour a week in town job) the Monday after my honeymoon. I also started my career in fitness a few months later when I joined the Flywheel team.
Long story short, I found out once I was physically in town, getting pregnant wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I began hormones to get a normal period before taking Clomid to conceive my first child. I started my blog in private while I was pregnant with my first child. I shared with close friends and family once a week. Each week, someone else wanted to be added to the list. Eventually, I made it public.
During my second pregnancy, you really got to see the full story. My first trimester, I suffered a subchorionic hematoma and didn’t leave my couch much for 2 weeks. We slowly watched the hematoma disappear as the burden of miscarriage passed. My daughter Morgan is a blessing. To this day her infectious smile shows the joy that she has for life.
I left full time work to be a mom. I passed my personal trainer certification. I started a new hustle. To get started in personal training, I did a few things to learn:
- I worked at the YMCA for an hourly wage.
- I taught bootcamps at SmartCore Fitness.
- I visited everything.
- I started training myself for various events. Played around with methodologies.
- I formed Cross Conditioning.
- I continued to seek out the people that are the best at what they do (and people did’t know them yet).
- I ALWAYS ask for feedback. Trust me, you can always get better.
Through documenting it all, I learned a bunch of cool things, which I will share, but before I do, let me share where I am at now.
- I have three little girls – My angels. If I can teach these girls anything, it’s how to love themselves. Be proud. Work hard. Treat everyone the same. If you train with me, you have likely seen them, met them or been entertained by them.
- Cross Conditioning is still going strong – I guess I should start posting again on the Instagram site. You see, what happened is, after I had my third daughter, I decided that my core group would stay my core group with less workouts per month. No longer would this be an obstacle race training group, but rather a group centered around intentional planned workouts each week both in person and on your own. I will now admit that running plays a big part in that. We still meet regularly. We still compete. I simply haven’t had a need to market it.
3. My personal training business has significantly grown. Both in person and through programming. Most people need guidance when it comes to exercise. It isn’t natural to them. The thought of getting to a gym, figuring out what to do and executing is overwhelming. I literally spend hours a month doing that for people. When will you be out of town? Where do you like to workout? What are your goals? There is a way to do it. Most importantly, I hold you accountable through human interaction.
4. I co-founded a pop up fitness company called EMERGE – Let’s face it, exercise is not in a great place to the mass. Some trainers are fueled by the appearance of big numbers over the quality of instruction and execution. Through EMERGE, five fitness gurus in Charlotte look to come together to bridge that gap. How do you execute effectively, giving participants a safe workout, while also feeling the energy of a big group? In a few pop up events a month, we give that to you. Check it out.
5. I’m still teaching Flywheel. If you know me, I would do any workout that I would give a client. I am still a hardcore believer in the Flywheel ride in regards to cross training and low impact exercise. If fulfills a gap that other brands cannot hit. I also feel the value in being able to provide my clients with that service when I am in the studio. I’m pretty limited to early mornings, but you can catch me subbing in the evening windows once every other month or so.
6. I am still running a lot. I love competing. I don’t chase people. I know what I want to do and I try to execute it. I don’t make excuses. I can only learn from each experience. I want my people to do the same thing. The next two races on my calendar are the Orthhcarolina 10K and Around the Crown 10K. Join me for one or both. I will also be competing in Beers and Burpees in September.
Grand scheme of things, I’m present. I love what I do. Sometimes I’m too much of a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy. I am learning though. I am getting tougher. what are people reading on my blog these days:
- A lot about pregnancy – specifically, pregnancy on a bachelorette, my hematoma, postpartum and my weekly logs.
- ARUBA – my husband and I went on this amazing vacation to Aruba after the birth of my first daughter. I posted a lot of good tips on Aruba. Eats, drinks, activities. I also posted a workout on the beach!
- Race Recaps – obstacle racing, run racing, you name it. People want to hear about the course and how tos on hydration, obstacles and time.
What have I learned from all of this:
- Small groups are the best groups. I love a big crowd. It looks cool right? I build long term clients in intimate situations though. Small groups. I like talking to people. I like helping people. I want to see people feel good about themselves and feel acknowledged.
- Everything is not what it appears. Don’t read too much into someone’s social. I know a ton of fitness professionals that are killing the game and never get on Instagram.
- The fitness hustle is real. I talk about this a lot. Most fitness professionals are not set up for retirement. Hi millennials. When you decide to pursue your passion understand this, do you want to be teaching cycle classes when you are 60 because you didn’t save money when you were younger? While all of your friends are retired what will be cool then? Take a good hard look at that when deciding to go into a profession that doesn’t have insurance, benefits, retirement. This is my CPA side talking. Did I tell you I like to help people?
I hope this was an easy to read version of what’s good for my new peeps. Sorry to reiterate if you already know me. Like something you read? Contact me!
Love, love, love. Jen