Hello, Goodbye

So here I am, nearly a year later and back to the blog I started years ago, the Lake Michigan adventure that I’m proud of, thankful for and always learning from.

And here I am again- sharing and vulnerable- because that’s how I roll.

The new bike adventure website will launch in the next two weeks. It’s exciting- and I thought about writing this blog when we went live with it- but I also think it’s important that I give this blog a proper farewell.

February of 2013 I sold Liv after my Lake Michigan adventure and with letting her “go”, I think I also began to come in to a new phase of recovery, of hurt, of life, of growth.

When you plan a single event, or in my case, 59 days of events to consume your life- it’s not just about the 59 days. I spent nearly two years planning, training and fundraising to make my way around the perimeter of Lake Michigan. I put stress on every relationship I had, my body, my finances- just about anything that could take a toll, did. While I came home and was hungry for adventure- I was also (perhaps, unconsciously) hungry to heal.   It wasn’t just the 59 days I had to “come down” from, it was the years of dedication, of sacrifice, of love and energy spent.

Over the last year I’ve been stopped by strangers on the street, at the pharmacy, at the gym- sharing their support of me, my cause, and my work. I spoke and traveled the country to talk about my adventure and to inspire others to overcome adversity. I had always been public about my life and it always helped people understand and connect to what I was doing-I always thought of it as a strength.

While I tried hide it, 2013 was also full of a lot of pain and healing wounds I never knew I had. Privately, I struggled with my assault. I leaned on people to stall the process of accepting problems I spent months denying I had. I hurt people I love.  I spent a lot of time questioning my identity – who was I if I wasn’t the girl that rowed around Lake Michigan? What was I worth without it and who was I supposed to become now that it was over?

I struggled with it all- I felt powerless, weak, and depressed- all those not so fun things and not so fun things to talk about.  I overcame them with therapy, fell back in to them again- overcame them again, numerous times. The healing process was painful, long, and I can honestly say- the most challenging thing I have ever faced.

As far as I know it will always be a process- but it hasn’t been easy. I’m sharing this here and now because I don’t want there to be any misconceptions about me or the last year before we launch this new website and adventure.

I could have kept the last year to myself, but I don’t want anyone to think that I went from rowing and experiencing sexual assault to hopping on a bike with ease two years later. That’s not what happened.  I don’t want someone to find this blog or learn about me, unaware that I went through all those things or didn’t struggle with them. It was hard. It was damn hard. And I didn’t do it alone.

I am beyond thankful to my family and friends for getting me through this last year. My boyfriend Andy and my dog Sam deserve trophies for their endless amounts of unconditional love and support. The real heros are these two.

 I’m human, it’s a beautiful thing, You’re human, it’s a beautiful thing.

So hello, goodbye…. to this adventure. See you soon for the next one and all the good, the bad, the ugly it brings. Thank you for sharing this journey with me, for all of your love and your support.

GO ROW!

-Jenn

 

 

 

4 comments on “Hello, Goodbye

  1. There is only one word to summarize this blog, “Beautiful” May love, caring, and compassion following you all of your days.

  2. Thanks for sharing the struggles of living after abuse, so that it isn’t seen as something that is easy to get over, but that it is possible, if you are willing to do the hard work.
    And, it is a life long journey, you are changed forever, but not always in bad ways. A deeper you has emerged…Thanks for being you.

  3. Love following you and your love of life. Love to see the continued triumph of the human spirit. Keep on rowing.

  4. Your courage, spirit and strength always inspire me. May your journey be full of love, healing and laughter. Go ROW!