Monday, September 24, 2012

Media Blitz

Last week I got to meet with the local paper, The Portland Press Herald, to chat with reporter Steve Solloway about my adventures. It was really nice to relive some of the shining moments of the last few years.

It really has been so cool! From making the Rev3 Team to being asked to be a part of an amazing project, From Fat to Finish Line-The Documentary. There is but one simple message I hope to convey to everyone; 
It is never too late to change your life for the better! 

This is the article that went online last week and I a bit disappointed when I initially read it. There were a couple errors in the article and while I was most likely hypersensitive to it, I just want to clarify a couple points. Ahhh, the media...they can be so liberal with words.

But once I saw the actual print in the paper, I have to say I was quite blown away. I certainly was not expecting to see me and my beautiful bike plastered front and center on the front page of the sports section. Who would have thought that THIS girl would grace any page in the sports page just a few years ago...

The Press Herald

September 19

Steve Solloway: Trying, trying, and now a triathlete

Jen Small cut her weight in half and plans to enter her first full triathlon next summer so she can be a role model to her daughter.

SACO — Jen Small was a party girl. A regimen of Diet Coke and cigarettes by day, and much stronger beverages, good food and more cigarettes at night.

Courtesy photo
Jen Small decided a change was a must. She was 33, her weight had soared and her habits were not good. That was five years ago. Today half of her body weight is gone, she’s competed in a half-triathlon, and is planning for a marathon and full triathlon. And most important? “I’m very happy.”

Jen Small, before and after.

She married a football player from the glory days at Biddeford High and had a good job at a medical lab. Life was fun. Her weight reached 250 pounds but she didn't hear any alarms. She wasn't listening.
That was about five years ago.
Tuesday, I walked into a pub in Saco for a lunch date with a 38-year-old, 125-pound triathlete*. A very fit blond-haired stranger sat alone in a booth with her laptop open. Jen? Jen Small?
It's difficult to downplay the transformation. She was never an athlete at Biddeford High. She tried competitive figure skating and showing horses during her middle-school years. She tried more traditional team sports. She wouldn't commit herself to any. Run? She was a self-described couch potato.
Just three years ago she cheered herself after completing a mile on a treadmill without stopping. On Sept. 1, she swam, biked and ran 32 miles* in the Revolution3 half-triathlon at Old Orchard Beach. Small finished 190th out of 444 entries and eighth out of 27 in her 35-39 age division.
Three days after the coming New Year, she'll join 11 other runners in a 200-mile Fat to Finish Line relay race from Miami to Key West, Fla. The individual stories of those who lost an average of 100 pounds will be told in a documentary film centered on the two-day relay.
She plans to enter a marathon and next summer, a full triathlon in Cedar Point, Ohio. She has picked up sponsorships through her new membership on the Revolution3 triathlon team. Her racing bike, she says with some amazement, is worth more than her car and her husband's truck.
"It's an older truck," said Small, "but you get the idea."
She has a new job as a personal trainer. "When I started, I didn't have the money for a trainer or a nutritionist or any of the support people you should have. But not all trainers have walked in my fat shoes like I did." She realizes she can be that coach and that trainer for someone else.
The former Jennifer Ouellette got religion soon after she got pregnant*. Certainly the nicotine and the alcohol had to go. "Oh, I really abused my body."
After daughter Lauren was born, Small decided she didn't want to be a fat mom. "If you're healthy and happy, you'll be a better mom and a better friend."
Small sat back and smiled more broadly. She and Casey Small have been together for more than 13 years. He was the youngest of three brothers who played for football coach Mike Landry when Biddeford was the dominant high school team in the 1980s. This summer Casey Small got religion, too. He pushed away the beer more often, talked to his wife about a training plan and started running. He did his first three miles recently. The last time he did that was in his college days at the University of Southern Maine, running around Portland's Back Cove with his hockey teammates.
Now he wants to beat his wife on the bike, which has become her strength.
"They called her the freight train (at the Rev3 competition). She was moving," said Casey Small. "But I'm coming."
Jen Small dreams about becoming a professional triathlete* although there's relatively little money in the sport. Being a role model to her daughter is more important. "I want my daughter to think she can do anything."
Small has a blog: She doesn't want mothers to think it's too difficult to compete and raise a child. She also knows her husband has stepped in to care for Lauren when mommy is away from home training or competing.
"I think it's awesome what she's done in the last two years," said Casey Small. "It doesn't surprise me. She's always been very strong-hearted. You can't tell her she can't do something."
Jen Small knows she's changed. She doesn't hide her so-called fat photos. She wants people to see where she's been and where's she's going. She also knows this:
"No camera can go inside me and take a picture of what really changed. I'm very happy."

So yeah, it is a very nice article but I want to clear up a few things:

1- I do not weigh 125lbs. I never said I weigh 125lbs. I guess the writer took a little creative license there because we never talked weight. I weigh 145lbs and I am proud of that. I was 262 at my heaviest recorded weight. 

2-A "half-triathlon" is not 32 miles, it is 70.3 miles. A 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. Every mile counts! And Rev 3 Maine was on August 26th.

3-I quit smoking and drinking before I was pregnant. The idea of getting pregnant is what motivated me to get healthy in the first place. I wanted to be smoke free for a year before getting pregnant. It happened a little faster than planned but I had a solid 6 months of smoke free and alcohol free living before I was pregnant. It was always my goal to be a healthy Mom so I could be a role model for my child. 

4-I DO NOT DREAM OF GOING PRO. My dream is to be able to make enough money to be able to continue to live my dreams by helping others reach their own goals through personal training and coaching. I enjoy racing but I do not have the talent to go pro! That actually made me laugh a bit. 


On Saturday I found out that my friend, fellow blogger and From Fat to Finish Line team mate, Jen was featured in Health magazine!

Photo: Pick up the October issue of Health magazine and read about our own Jennifer Roe. Runner #7 and Producer of the film!

 How fabulous is this picture??

...and there it was! I was in the article too!!

Health got all the facts right too!!
Guess you will have to go check out this months issue of Health to read about Jen and me! 


Heather-O said...

That's so cool! Nice article, Jen!

TriMOEngr said...

Great article(s)! Even with a few facts askew, the pictures and the message are clear - you can do anything you put your mind to. I needed this. Having a bit of a struggle finding my happy place lately. Thanks for sharing.

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

That's so awesome Jen!

Katie Duffy said...

That's awesome! Congratulations, local celebrity!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

That is so cool!!

Scott said...

Stop It!! We all know you want to go pro..don't deny it!! Keep it up continue to impress.

Robin said...

I just stumbled across your blog this weekend. It's awesome! Great and thanks for clarifying the "literary freedom" the newspaper wrote!! You're a very honest person. I will definitely be one of your followers.
:) Robin

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I guess I should print a copy of my on-line article, huh? I can't wait to get my copy of the magazine so I can pose with it! And why can't you go pro?

Karen said...

Love it! Nice job Jen!!!

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome- way to go! Even with a few facts wrong, the gist of the article is definitely something to be incredibly proud of :) Looking forward to more adventures!

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Wow congrats on the article and all of your accomplishments! I had to chuckle at some of the mistakes in the article only because it happens all the time with people who are not in the sport. Keep up the awesome work!

Maggie said...

Love it! Congrats! Now i'll have to pick up my next issue of Health to read all about my rockstar teammate! Seriously, so impressed.

Suz and Allan said...

That is so neat! Congratulations on both articles Jen!

Mike said...

You are both rock stars! Very cool articles for sure.