By Di Morelli
Posted in Blog
At Di Morelli we discuss the importance of committing to a consistent skin care routine, like washing your face every night, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of healthy skin. This is why we are so inspired to see that kind of commitment and unwavering determination in one of our long time Di Morelli fans Jenn Morrell (daughter of our Founder!).
Jenn is the founder of a fitness company called Fit Happens and recently crushed her goal of competing in the 2017 Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Blue Mountain, Ontario. On top of running her own business, she is an athlete, a mother of two boys, and an all-around inspiring person.
I met Jenn seven years ago in Victoria, BC, and have seen her grow her business from the ground up. As her friend, it’s been amazing to watch Jenn build this wonderful community where everyone is getting healthier and trying to the best versions of themselves. Now I’m just one of many fans and friends who adore Jenn for her bubbly personality, empathetic nature and positive vibes. (And her infectious smile!).
I caught up with Jenn to find out about her recent goal crushing at the OCR World Championships. I wanted to find out from Jenn how we can crush this kind of goal when the challenging obstacle course is crushing your body!
What inspired you to do this event?
For the last four years I’ve enjoyed training and participating with clients in OCR events. I tried my first competitive event in April and my next inevitable step was this big goal. This goal was something that wasn’t even on my radar until I met a guy, not this summer but the last, who looked like he was doing the same kind of training as me. He was taking a sand bag up and down Mount Doug (a local mountain) while I was running up and down the same mountain with a weight vest on. As we passed each other we noticed one another and introduced ourselves. It turned out we were both training for the Beast ( Spartan Race at Sun Peaks Resort.) He was using events to pre qualify for OCR World Championships and through meeting him he told me all about his training and encouraged me to also try out for the World Champs.
Tell us how you went about your goal crushing?
I was determined to do well at the competitive qualifying event in Seattle, and this forced me to put in the training to make it happen. I knew what many of the obstacles looked like, and what kind of conditioning it would take to do well. I trained to my weaknesses (grip strength and carries) but also trained my strengths as well (speed over distance and elevation.) I was primarily motivated by the event itself and as it being the qualifier for the bigger event.
What about at the event itself, how did you maintain your motivation?
I believe life circumstances require us to be stronger versions of ourselves. The more extreme the circumstance the bigger you are forced to become. My struggles in the last 4 years have given me strength I didn’t know I had, and its this strength that pushes me through the challenges of the training and the race itself.
A testament to this at the worlds was at one point I reached an obstacle known as Devil Stairs. It is an A-Frame ladder where you essentially have to do 10 kipping pull ups to the top of the A frame then traverse the top and essentially reverse pull up your way down. I heard someone below calling up, cheering on a woman saying, “you can do this, you beat cancer, you can do this!!” That was an amazing moment for me in the race. It made me think of all these people who have faced their own challenges in their lives, and how they were drawing strength from this during the event to get them through. We all draw from here.
Was there a time along the way you thought you might just opt out and go grab a beer instead?
No, I’m not that person. Once I’ve mentally committed to something I am in. Like 200% in. That being said, it didn’t happen immediately. I pulled up the registration page to submit my qualifying results that would get me to the Worlds. And then I sat on the page for awhile. I actually couldn’t press send for three months. But once I hit send, that’s the point I knew I was really in.
What or who inspired you along the way?
I think my initial inspiration was the man I met from New Zealand who proposed the idea of this race. Then showing up in Seattle for the Spartan Race qualifier and seeing the calibre of athletes just inspired me on another level. My drive to do even better than I had done at that race in Seattle was the last bit of inspiration going into the final race. I wanted to do my best.
As the owner of a fitness and wellness co., do you talk about commitment with your clients?
All of my training at Fit Happens is goal directed. Once you’ve reached your goal then we elevate the bar. It’s all about bettering yourself, which requires commitment to yourself. A life principle that also applies well to conditioning.
Finding passion and purpose in what you’re doing is also key. With my clients, I preach picking out what’s important to you, then gearing your lifestyle and habits to achieve your goal. So sometimes it’s strength and fitness, sometimes the focus is on nutrition, just depends on where you are at. I focus on having fun with your fitness and on always building upon previous successes.
What is important is that each fitness journey is individualized and sustainable. What works for one person may not work for someone else. I guess that’s the same in skin care, giving someone with oily skin something for dry skin doesn’t work – it’s not a one solution fits all, it has to be individualized.
In terms of your training, were you using your own tactics to motivate yourself?
My gift is my ability to have vision and to follow it all the way through. This helps me be able to coach people with the end goal in mind. But I’m the first one to say that attaining goals requires the support of your community. We are all stronger with the support and cheerleading of others. That’s also a reason that when pushing clients to meet their goals, I enlist the Fit Happens community. The momentum and support you get from like-minded others is unparalleled. So, following this bit for myself, I recruited all the support I needed to make my goal happen. I am at the point in my life where I know where I fall short and where I need the extra boost. I made sure I had the support here and then made myself accountable to my friends, family and fitness community just by discussing the race and my goal to do well.
I think also my goal as a trainer is to find out what excites people. I commit to knowing what my clients enjoy on a personal level. Once I know what sets their soul on fire, I can help them achieve ANY goal. It was the same for me. I had to maintain my focus on what excited me about participating in this event. The challenge of competing on this level and bettering myself. That’s what it’s all about for me. Bettering myself all the time. And having a lot of fun with the process.
Favourite Di Morelli product and why?
Cleanser – I like its neutral fresh scent and it’s gentle/ good for my sensitive skin.