Thinking Out Loud
I’m Jen Bergman, a professional runner, a first-time blogger and full-time employee at FlipBelt here to bring you the honest truth about my journey to reach my full potential as a marathoner. Reach my full potential? What does that mean? Hopefully for me it means becoming an Olympian after I compete in the 2020 Marathon Olympic Trials. I realize the stats for becoming an Olympic Athlete are 0.000001%. You have one shot every 4 years to be the very best in your country and then hopefully the world. Luckily this is my second shot. My very first Marathon was the 2016 Olympic Trials where I finished 61st place. That’s 58 spots lower than what you need to make it to the Olympics. So going off of my finish in 2016, that raises my chances to a whopping 1.639% of becoming an Olympian this next time around. However making it to the Olympics isn’t a lottery, it isn’t about percentages and getting lucky, it’s about persistence, hard work and a whole lot of UPS and DOWNS. Anyone that is a runner can relate to the roller-coaster journey of just making it to the dang start line of a goal race.
Running is a funny thing, even though it hurts and it takes up all of your free time and energy, it makes you feel invincible.
I relocated to Boulder, CO three months ago to chase my Olympic Dreams. I found a company to work for that supports my crazy goals and training schedule. In a recent conversation with my co-worker, he asked me “why are you training for the Olympics Trials?”....the answer is obviously “to make the Olympic Team”.....he responded “but why?”. That’s not a question I get asked very often, but I do have an answer because I’ve asked myself the same question 1,000 times. I realize in 10 months when the Olympic Trials come around there’s a high probability it won’t be me headed to Tokyo to compete in the Olympics after the Trials. I could finish 4th place, or 61st place again, or I could be injured. Making it to the start line isn’t guaranteed. So I think my answer to his question is similar to why anyone starts the long and painful journey of finishing a marathon, it’s to reach my full potential. I want to finish the Olympic Trials and be able to say "that was the very best runner I could be on this day", "I gave it everything I had". I try and apply this to everything I do because when I look back, I'll be able to know I gave it my very best, under all circumstances and in all conditions. Then I’ll be so grateful for how far I’ve come, no matter what the outcome. I want to use this experience, passion and motivation to share it with everyone I can.
My other passion besides a ridiculous amount of running is helping other people do a ridiculous amount of running. Running is addicting, I’ve hooked hundreds of people to it by coaching group fitness classes for three years when I previously lived in Portland, OR. I’ve learned that when someone chases after a goal (literally) they start to realize their potential is higher than they ever imagined, and those people inspire me everyday. When I started coaching I had a client who had never run a full mile in their entire life. They recently finished a full marathon. 'Some runs make you feel defeated, but every run makes you stronger. One run can change your day, but many runs can change your whole life.'
I'm here to share with you why I run, why do you run?