How To Be Inspiring

A lot of people throw around the word “inspiring” when they talk to me or most recently talk about me in the news. I read a lot of blogs-and one I really like that my best friend Ally (read her blog post below!) got me started on is called Zenhabits. I read one this morning called “Be Inspired” and borrowed parts of it to write my own “How To Be Inspiring” mantra (with my thoughts mixed in) below.


Step one: Be thankful for the miracle that is your life.
Step two: Ask yourself-is this how I want to spend it?
Step three: Get going. Begin to create.

Please remember-that my journey didn’t start when I left Chicago Yacht Club on June 15. It began over two years ago when I started dreaming about a rowing trip. On day one it was just me-with my little idea, full of doubts. It’s been a roller coaster- and the ride is about to end. I feel lost. I feel happy. I feel sad. I know that I have to celebrate- but my mind keeps dreaming about the next adventure. I am thankful for this miracle, this life. This is exactly how I want to spend it. The adventures will continue and I will continue to create and share- for you and for me.

Step four: Pick yourself up and get back on the bike, the horse, the boat (whatever you’re doing) when shit happens. Because inevitably, it will.

Step five: Don’t let anyone take away your dream. It is yours. Protect it. Never forgot how important it is to you. Nothing will ever be as rewarding as the day you put that dream in focus, letting all the negativity and every obstacle become blurred around it. People who try to stop you don’t matter. Nothing else matters.

Dear Chicago:

You are all that I can see, you are all that I have on my heart and in my mind- and you have never looked so beautiful.

See you Tuesday morning.

Love, Jenn

6 comments on “How To Be Inspiring

  1. I read the Zenhabits blog too. You have certainly demonstrated Step 4 and 5 repeatedly. See you soon. Enjoy these last few days.

  2. Jenn – Our local paper (Binghamton,NY) recently ran a story about your row and your experiences along the way. I was so moved and impressed by the story that I almost missed seeing another ‘old friend’ in the photos – the beautiful Liv. My family was part of the Row for Hope team that built Liv, packed her up in the Canary Islands, and then followed her amazing journey across the Atlantic. She is certainly the best companion you could ask for. It’s good to see Liv still inspiring people and working for great causes. My own mother is a breast cancer survivor – it seems fitting that ROW brought Liv back into our lives. Best of luck to you – stay dry – stay strong – Regards, KRock & WildBill

  3. Hi Jenn, you are truly an inspiration and a woman of couragous spirit. I have been sexually assaulted several times in my life. …That is the first time I’ve ever written those words, in type, feels very strange, makes me feel open, wounded and vunerable. But I wanted to write a comment here to let you know how much I admire your spirit. I have hidden what happened to me for almost 30 years. I have felt ashamed of myself for it and have felt as if somehow I deserved it, although I know I did not. I see you going through what you went through, yet still facing the world with a smile, with courage and with faith and belief in yourself and in what you were out to accomplish. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be like you in the face of what I’ve been through. I’ve hidden so long. Thank you for your smile, your strong soul, your courage and your faith in our fellow man. I wish you success in all you strive to accomplish, I wish you sweet dreams and I send you love and healing thoughts for the places inside that I feel I understand, might be broken. in friendship and admiration. Bonnie

  4. Inpressive perserverence, energy and success! Please keep in touch. If ever in Portland, would be nice to bring you to an Intel senior manager’s meeting and have you discuss your learnings and how you aspired to achieve such a challenging goal.

    Keep me in mind when visiting the NW.



  5. Jenn, I ran across your story by chance on another page I was looking at. From your blog, I jumped to Zenhabits. I think you embody # 7 from the 8/10 post. Your story is fascinating and you did something simple and yet profound. Congratulations.

    The fact that you were sexually assaulted is awful, made worse happening while you were doing something altruistic. I cannot understand how anyone could do that to another person. The way I’ve reconciled that is that I can’t understand because that is an action by someone who does not think the way a healthy (sane?) person thinks.

    I’m sure you have a lot of mental adjustments to make as a result of completing your journey and coping with the trauma. I wish you the best. Keep being who you are.