I started this blog December of 2009 – never imagining what it would be, or what I might do with it. It originally started out as a “newlywed blog” – for lack of a better description, as I had enjoyed documenting the planning and subsequent recaps of our small DIY wedding that fall in my first blogventure.
The first few dozen posts were really all over the place – with updates on life, to the documentation of my first iPhone shopping experience and other unrelated topics. Some posts were short, some were long, but there was one general theme – not a lot of people were reading (other than family members and a few close friends). Still, it was a fun outlet, and I enjoyed writing, so I kept at it.
Then, that spring and summer (2010), there was a BIG change. I mean, catastrophically big – though I had no idea just how enormous it was at the time: it’s when I discovered RUNNING. First, it was with an introduction to Couch to 5K, then it was my first race…the rest was history. My life changed, and so did my blog. I started connecting with other bloggers, building my social network, finding new healthy outlets, discovering new products, and much, much more.
2010 was also a big year of transition. With the new life changes, there were also major geographic ones. Hubs and I packed up and moved from our life in Orlando up north to Virginia. There, running flourished and my blog became even more of a tool for me to reach out and discover. I watched my focus become more specialized, my social media circle growing, and before I knew it, I had more than a handful of “blends” (blogger friends) that I considered so much more than “my friends on the Internet.”
One of these friends that I had the honor of getting to know was Jen. She wrote a blog that (formally – one that referenced her relocations from WV > CA> LA and beyond, now “Daydreams and Shoestrings“) that focused on her life of travels, fitness and finding herself in her everyday adventures. We bonded over a mutual love of Oiselle (I even won a giveaway she sponsored back in the day) and would later become teammates on the Oiselle Volee team. She was always a positive and fresh voice and although we weren’t incredibly close, I always felt a connection with her.
Finally, in 2013, we met in person for the first time! She was just as warm and friendly as I imagined, and though we didn’t have a lot of time to hang out, I was glad that we had the chance to meet.
Since that time, we’ve kept in touch via social media and blogging. She moved again, this time to Calgary. Jen continued to live each day to its fullest, embracing the outdoors, and finding fun in everything she did.
Which leads to today….
As I was doing my post-work day sweep of Facebook posts, and group updates, I ran across news that stopped me immediately in my tracks. A colleague, and mutual friend, Sarah, had posted this:
I could not believe what I was reading.
Now, I know accidents happen. And, I also know that, well, she died doing something that she loved. Still, that doesn’t take away the sting of knowing that I’ll never see her at another race, or see another post from her. It does not bring her back to her family.
It just hurts.
Now, I know that this is cliche, but I just have one request to you, my friend, reading this post today. Call someone up. Give a hug. Smile at a stranger. Even a simple tweet to someone you haven’t chatted with in a while can help.
Think of the Jen in your life – that vibrant and effervescent soul that just loves life – and tell them how much you appreciate them. You never know when you might not have another chance.
Jen’s family has started a Memorial Fund to benefit deserving cross country runners from Jen’s high school to help with their college expenses.