I was so happy when this week’s mom-spiration reached out to me through our My Fit Family Facebook page. Jeantette shared with me she set an amazing goal of running 14 half- marathons in 2014 and I knew she would be an inspiration to all of us. I felt connected with her because we have both decided to make our races this year about running for others, my cause is the Lung Cancer Foundation and Jeanette’s cause is a dear one, raising money to bring her daughter home. I hope you enjoy Jeanette’s story as much as I do!
My Fit Family: Tell us about you and your family.
Jeanette: I was born and raised in Alaska, and until two years ago had never really lived anywhere else. My husband Jesse and I met when I was a senior in High School and got married six months after I graduated! It’s been almost 10 years!! We have two awesome little boys, Zeke who is 7 and Titus who is 5. We moved from Alaska to Texas about two years ago and are loving the South. I mean I miss the mountains but I love the Texas summers, so it’s a nice trade. Jesse works a full time job, and I am able to stay home with the boys which is such a blessing!! I love to run and read and be outside with the kids. As I mentioned, I love summer so we are always in or near the water, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Jesse and I have been having fun lately by making things like shelves and tables out of pallets and reclaimed wood. It’s a lot of fun to be out in the garage with him and be creative.
About a year ago, we decided to adopt a little girl from Africa. The orphan crisis is heavy on my heart, and we both believed we should do something about it. So we jumped out in faith into the world of international adoption. This past year has been full of paperwork, hope, fundraising, patience, and a lot of new emotions I had never felt before! International adoption is a long process and we jumped in blind, but we have learned so much about ourselves and the world around us. We have a Facebook page and our family blog TapleyEverAfter that chronicle the process for those that want to know!
Jeanette and her family. I cannot wait to update this when they have their daughter HOME!
MFF: What’s your favorite physical activity?
Jeanette: I love running! I started running shorty after I had Zeke, not far distances but just trying it out. Running didn’t click for me until after having Titus. Jesse and I both gained some nice baby weight with pregnancy number two, so we did P90X and shed some weight. It was great! When that was done, we both began running. I would go out for 3 miles and leave my phone at home. It was quiet, just me and the road. As a mom of two little boys, you can imagine how much I craved the quiet and alone time and with running, I got both of those! So, I began upping my mileage and started running 5 and 10ks. The following year, I did my ﬁrst half marathon. Running has been the most constant physical activity I’ve done because no matter where I am, I can always run!
MFF: How do you juggle mommy hood and finding the time and energy to work out?
Jeanette: Honestly, I don’t think I could run or workout if I didn’t have Jesse’s support and help. He is such an awesome supporter! Also, we are members of an AMAZING gym (Fitness Lab and FitnessLab CrossFit) that has awesome childcare. My boys beg to go to the gym and hang out with their friends, and that makes being at the gym so much easier! Now that both boys are in school, I am able to hit the gym ﬁve times a week and have found a new love for CrossFit. Yes, I drank the KoolAid…it’s delicious! I don’t run as much as I should or even really want to, but I do jump on the treadmills and try to get some miles in here and there. For long runs, I try to go early in the morning. I try to get out of the house before the kids wake up, so when I get home I haven’t missed a whole day with them. I think for me it’s about ﬁnding the balance where I don’t feel guilty about being active. I want to be actively engaged with my boys, while at the same time making sure I am healthy and happy and able to be a good mom to them. I think that’s been the biggest part of juggling my “me” time and mom/wife time.
MFF: Tell everyone about your 14 in ’14.
Jeanette: It started out as a challenge set by my running friends. We thought, “Hey, let’s do a half marathon every month next year!” Then it changed to 14 halves in ’14. How that happened, I’m not sure…Ha! They are crazy friends, and I liked the idea. After running the Chosen Marathon in October as an adoption fundraiser for our adoption, I knew I couldn’t go back to racing just to race. My future races needed purpose, so ‘Run For
the One’ was developed. When I run, I am thinking about my daughter and the journey my family is on to bring her home. It’s a goal and fundraiser wrapped into a one year event. The fundraiser goal is to get as many
people as possible to sponsor $1 per race mile which adds up 183.4 miles this year. It’s been fun so far, and those who have sponsored the runs have made me push myself harder each race. Now I’m not only running for our sweet girl, but for those who have believed in me!
MFF: Have you always live a healthy/active lifestyle?
Jeanette: I wasn’t an athletic child. In fact, my parents often quote me saying how much I hated to sweat in high school. All of that changed after having kids though. After Jesse and I gained weight with each pregnancy and after having Titus, we started working out and loved shedding those pounds. At ﬁrst, it was purely the “get skinny” mindset, but it slowly changed to where I wanted to set an example for my kids. There was also that mind shift where I wanted to be able to run and play and jump and keep up with my kids! I didn’t want couch potato kids, I wanted my kiddos to be active little athletes. I knew I had to set the example. Thankfully, my husband is active too, so I am not alone in this endeavor. We now spend Saturdays watching the boys play soccer and enjoy family activities like bike rides and walks around the neighborhood.
MFF: What is your family’s food philosophy?
Jeanette: Food is honestly where we struggle the most. Working out is easy because we love our gym and the people we work out with. Skipping a work out is like skipping friend time! Food, however, is hard. Honestly, we eat what we want and just try to really watch our portions. We are fruit loving family, but we don’t eat our veggies like we should. I know we have a long way to go on our diets, but I like ﬁnding ways to take some of our favorite recipes and clean them up. It’s always a surprise!
MFF: Who inspires you?
Jeanette: Jesse’s Aunt Connie inspires me. She is the best and strongest runner I know, and she is full of love and encouragement for fellow runners. She is the one who helped me ﬁgure out the running world. She never scoffed at my low miles, just encouraged me to continue on. She is also just the sweetest Aunt in the world! I am so thankful I inherited her as an Aunt!
My kids inspire me as well. They push me to try my best and to leave it all in the gym or on the road. One time, while pushing my youngest son in a jogging stroller up hill he looked over at me and said, “You aren’t running very fast mom…Go faster!” HA! Thanks bud I’ll try! My daughter who is now halfway around the world inspires me. I think of the things she may have seen or endured, and I think if she has had to face these things then I can push myself harder. I want to become the best me I can be for her and the boys!
MFF: What advice would you give to someone just starting out on their health and fitness journey?
Jeanette: As cliche as it might sound…Never Give Up. Not every workout is going to be your best, and you aren’t going to feel strong after every single workout. When you have those days, don’t let that stop you! Push on and push harder. Don’t let one bad run/ workout ruin your progress or your day! Remember that you are working on you, and let your workout help build good character.
Good luck on your 14 in ’14, Jeanette and be sure to check in soon with your updated family picure!
Never Give Up,