Take a close look at the picture to the left (click the pic to enlarge it). Do you see the mom pictured there? That is Jennifer Temperley, mother of two darling kids ages 6 and 3. Also, did you notice the time on the clock above? That is the time it took her to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. Even finishing one of these events in 5 hours would be an accomplishment. But Jen did all three events in 5 hours and 27 minutes (oh yeah, don’t forget the 5 seconds). She placed 4th in her age group and 20th for women overall. Best of all this time qualified her for the Half Ironman World Championships and the National Age Group Championships. Just two weeks later, she placed first in her age group for an olympic distance triathlon- piece of cake after doing a half ironman (I guess).
Jen proves that it is possible to achieve your goals even if you are a busy mom. Competing in triathlons takes prioritizing and dedication, both of which she has mastered.
When Jen was training, she invited me to ride along for 32 of her 70 miles. Let me just say something- this girl doesn’t mess around. You see, I joined her on her LAST 32 miles and when I got home, a fell into a heap on the floor. She probably put on her running shoes and sprinted 10 miles; but, in order to save face, I pretended to be fine and told her to call me anytime she needed company for a ride.
I wanted to share Jen’s story for a few reasons. First, she is a committed mother of 2 kids who does an amazing job of juggling so she can train to be an extraordinary athlete- living her dream. That is truly inspiring to me. Jen is also humble. Besides the fact that she has no body fat and you can see every muscle in her body and you might already guess she is some sort of athlete, you sort of have to pry to find out that she has won triathlons. Finally, Jen is starting her own business- Climb Fitness. The commitment and dedication that Jen applies to her family and her own training is now going to help all of us aspiring athletes here in the South Bay. A big part of training for any event is knowing how to train smart and having someone who is experienced to inspire you to get there. I can’t think of a better inspiration than Jen Temperley. She is working on her website: ClimbFitness.com and you can contact her at: email@example.com
For this interview I sent Jen a questionnaire- a format that I am testing so I can continue to share stories without spending several hours typing and editing. Read on to see what advice she has for being successful in reaching your goals:
Me: Let’s discuss your 2010 racing season.
Jen: I had the season of my life, consistently placing in the top 1-2 of my age group and completing my first ½ Ironman post-kids. My goal for the ½ Ironman was to have a podium finish (top 5), a PR, and qualify for Worlds – all of which I accomplished!
Me: Why did you set this goal?
Jen: In 2002 I completed a full Ironman and finished 2nd place reaching my goal of under 12 hours. I took some “time off” when my kids were born and only raced periodically. I was excited to get back into racing and shortly after my daughter was born I focused on two local races and was the first (overall) female to cross the line in both of them. I also qualified for 2010 Age Group Nationals and thought to myself “I really want to step it up and do better”. Around the same time, I had a revelation – I also wanted to help others improve and reach their goals. I love competing and without triathlons, it might just be me racing you to the checkout line of Trader Joes!
Me: What sacrifices have you had to make so you can work toward your goal?
Jen: I think about this everyday. But I’m making sacrifices to enrich my life and do what I love. Most of my workouts happen in the early hours so I can maintain some sense of balance between family and training. Yes, it’s hard leaving the family everyday, but I am rewarded in more ways then just crossing that finish line. The kids are watching my active lifestyle and are demonstrating a similar determination. I have an extremely supportive circle of family and friends that know racing is a part of me and they ‘allow’ me to make these sacrifices. You find out what works for you and you modify around it. Being successful doesn’t mean you have to wake up with the sun everyday, but, for me, it works.
Me: Do you ever have an “off” day?
Jen: Of course there are setbacks and other priorities, that’s only normal. I don’t beat myself up about it, as long as the training sessions I do have are smart and effective. People need to understand they don’t need to train 3-4 hours a day to be successful. They need to be dedicated, motivated, and smart about their training.
Me: How do you motivate yourself to stay on track and continue to work hard?
Jen: I stay motivated by setting goals and finding new ways to challenge myself. Of course there are plenty of days when it’s difficult – i.e. when the alarm goes off and I’d rather hit the snooze button, or when the family is kicking it on the couch Saturday morning and I’m headed out to go on a 5 hour bike ride, when I’m not improving, when I can’t do a workout due to another commitment, when I miss Sunday morning breakfast with the family. There are lots of potential distractions, but I simply see them as excuses that could prevent me from achieving my goals.
Me: How do you find time to fit it all in?
Jen: Competing in triathlons can be as little or as much as you want – which is a beautiful thing. I generally commit to 7-8 months (out of the year) and during that time period I am going to give it my all. The other 4-5 months I mix up my training schedule and don’t schedule any races. My daily workout routine has been a part of my life as long as I can remember and over the years I have managed to create balance through smart training and prioritizing life’s demands.
Me: What advice do you have for others who would like to achieve a personal goal- but haven’t been able to get started?
Jen: Just get going! If the goal is large, break it down & start small. There will always be something to get in your way (if you allow it). There will always be excuses (if you allow it). Sounds simple, but just don’t allow it. Make time for yourself and don’t be the person that says “I’ve always wanted to __ BUT ___”. Be that change you dream about. It’s this particular question that encouraged me to start my own training / coaching company.