Jen Cochran is our Featured Endurance Athlete for the month of August. Jen makes appearances at both the Tues/Thurs AM group and the M/Thurs evening group. She has seen some great improvements in her running form and times since joining CFE. We are proud of all your hard work and dedication Jen, congrats on being the CFE featured athlete and thank you for representing CFS and CFE so well.- KT, Chad and Elizabeth
My name is Jen Cochran. I’m a coach here at CFS, and have been a CrossFitter for 3+ years now. Prior to discovering CrossFit, I had a limited athletic background. I ran distance on the track team in high school, which I loved. Primarily, though, I was a dancer throughout my childhood. That was my passion. I ate, slept, and breathed ballet. And just so you know, if it came down to a leg wrestling contest between any strong man and a ballerina–my money would be on the one in the tutu. 🙂 Ballet dancers are strong and conditioned. So at the time, I was a natural at running. My strong legs and lungs served me well. My best 3200 time was 13:33.
Fast-forward to adulthood, where I had fallen to a deconditioned state as many of us do. I remember passing runners while driving down the road, and being so intrigued. I wanted to run and be healthy again! I joined CrossFit, and remember not being able to run to the stop sign and back without stopping. Its funny, because as much as Jessi claims to despise running–she was instrumental in forming my reclaimed love of running. I recall three runs with her, that rank among my most cherished memories in life. Seriously. First was a bootcamp run, 2.1 miles, in the early morning darkness with a beautiful full moon. It was crisp and cool, and it was the longest I’d run since high school. I was elated to finish it, and the overall sense of comraderie and achievement between those of us who ran that day is something that as a coach, I must always remember–as these kinds of experiences can be a game changer for people who are new and longing for a personal connection to what they’re doing here. Second was my first “long” run, a ridiculously hilly 5.5 miler through Ravenwood South, that left me limping and barely able to walk the next day. That was probably a little dumb in retrospect, but to this day–finishing that run is one of the most absolutely victorious experiences of my life. Additionally, that is the run in which Jessi taught me that YOU NEVER WALK ON A HILL! I’ve never walked on a hill since then, and probably never will. The third was a 7.5 miler with just Jessi and me. It was January. Twenty-five degrees and sleeting. We ran through the Nature Center. No music. Just us. While we were running along the boardwalk, the sun was shining through the trees causing the falling sleet to look like glitter in the air. It was silent, except for the quiet and graceful sound of the sleet falling on the withered leaves–and the sound of our footsteps. Jessi was a few feet in front of me, and I just vividly remember feeling the most enormous sense of gratitude that she was in my life. That probably sounds a little sappy, but this is why I love running. I don’t find any negativity, or displeasure in it at all. Running allows me to clear my head, and reminds me that I am very much alive, able-bodied, and blessed to have good friends and mentors in my life.