Greetings my MAD COOL FITNESS CREW and Happy Monday! What a week I’ve had. The last seven days have been a relationship reset week, reflecting and re-connecting, and a major trip down memory lane of a Jennifer from years past. First, I went home for Mother’s Day, the subject of last week’s post. It’s always good to check in with mom and be reminded of the tremendous sacrifices our mothers have made for us, the years of struggle to give us the resources that enable us to find our way in life, and that limitless, unconditional love. No one loves you like your Mama!
I was further reminded of the sacrifices my mom made on my second trip down memory lane, when I went to a gala at my old music school, The Merit School of Music, which was honoring their longtime president, Duffy Adelson, and the McGill family, who in spite of incredible odds, have raised two black male, professional, classical musicians in Demarre and Anthony who are not only world class and top of their fields REGARDLESS of race, but are also world-class young men, giving back to their community in so many ways.
It reminded me of the importance music played in my life and how becoming fit actually allowed me to stop putting energy into worrying about weight and to put my energy into activities I loved. At the gala, I was inspired by the honorees, as well as the phenomenal talent of the young musicians who performed, to use my good health to do even more for my community, not only in terms of health but also as a musician and as someone who has been fortunate to have had the educational opportunities I have had.
Which gets to the third moment in my week of reflection and re-connection. This past weekend was my 20th reunion at the University of Pennsylvania!
It was so great to go back, see friends, walk to the classrooms where I spent so many hours, and to visit my old school, Wharton.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since I graduated…A lot has changed since I was 22. I have changed, and I would say on the whole mostly for the better. I was reminded of the great friendships I had in college, how much they meant to me, how much we fun we had, how we had grown up together…
And then I realized, somewhere in the “getting things done”, checking boxes, crossing things off the list, I had not done a very good job of maintaining these relationships. This weekend was a good reminder that I want to be fit not just to look good or worry about if I need to put Spanx on or not (BTW, not knocking Spanx; a fabulous invention!) but I want to be fit so I can be more present and active in my life, not just in the producing and box-checking, but also in the connecting to my friends and family. These last few years, and certainly the last few months, have been crazy juggling school, work, MAD COOL, my own training…somewhere in there I just hunkered down and was just trying to get to the next checkpoint.
Seeing my mom, going back to Merit, seeing my classmates of 20 years ago and my very best friend and roommate from college, reminded me why I want to be MAD COOL. Sure I will work hard, there is much more for me to do, but I will also take time to reflect and reconnect, remember that for me being fit is not the endgame, but a vehicle to enable me to live my best most present, empowered, and connected life.
So this week, as you’re plugging through work, workouts…life, think about what your endgame is. Let that be your north star, not only in fitness but in your life over all.
Go get ’em.
Jennifer and Your MAD COOL FITNESS CREW