Friendspiration, Girls on the Run Edition: Meet Jordanna!

When I think about the people who inspire me, I always come back to the women who are responsible for making Girls on the Run of Franklin County such an amazing group to volunteer with. Their tireless dedication to providing the Girls on the Run experience to as many Columbus-area girls as possible is absolutely amazing, and I’m pleased to share their stories with you.

Jordanna, Board Member and Site Coordinator for Girls on the Run of Franklin County, is proof that a “Girl on the Run” is much more than just a runner. She’s a cook, baker, traveler, mentor, friend and tireless advocate for Girls on the Run and the impact it has on young girls. Beyond that, Jordanna is a genuinely fun person to be around, and I’m glad to have the chance to know her.

Meet Jordanna!

Pick your poison – what’s your activity of choice?

I love to run; however, I’m also a huge fan of cooking and traveling. I lived in France for a year and worked in a French bakery. In “my bakery” I worked on perfecting baking skills and try to utilize them as much as possible today!!

What has this activity added to your life?

Running is so good for me because it allows me to process thoughts and unwind. It is my time and I find it very relaxing and rewarding. I also run so I can bake and not feel so guilty when I eat everything! Cooking is wonderful because I get to experiment with different flavors, spices, dishes etc. I get to apply my creativity in the kitchen and then eat whatever it is I create! Traveling is amazing – I love exposing myself to other cultures and lifestyles. I am very fortunate to have dual citizenship and love when I am given an opportunity to travel!

What made you get involved with Girls on the Run, and what is your favorite GOTR memory?

I first got involved in Girls on the Run in Kalamazoo, Michigan while a college student at Kalamazoo College. I was a mentor to a little girl who participated in the program. To this day, she tells me that the program changed her life – I believe every word of it because it has also changed mine! I was a coach in Kalamazoo for a year. When I graduated from college and moved back down to Columbus, Ohio, I contacted Kathy Hayden because I was determined to stay involved in the program!

I have sooo many memories of Girls on the Run I don’t know where to begin! I love to watch how Girls on the Run impacts the life of every girl that completes the program. One of my most favorite (and recent) memories was at our last 5k when a participant crossed the finish line – she started screaming “Mom, I did it” … she ran into her mom’s arms – they were both crying and her Mom kept repeating “I am so proud of you” It gives me chills every time I think about it!

What has challenged you most in your lifetime and how did you tackle it?

I love to keep myself busy; however, I am starting to realize how important it is to slow down and take a deep breath (every once in a while J). This concept is very foreign and difficult for me. While it seems simple, sometimes I struggle with it. I tackle this challenge by stopping at least once during the day and taking deep breaths. I also try really hard to “be present” when I get home and focus on the now instead of the 100 things on my “to do” list.

What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?

Finishing my Master’s (almost – only a few weeks left!) and getting accepted into an Administrative Fellowship program! It has been a lot of hard work; however, it has been so rewarding. I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my career and look forward to all the challenges and learning opportunities that will present themselves. I also like to believe that living in France on my own for a year was a huge accomplishment! Immersing myself into another culture was difficult, yet so rewarding – I changed in ways I would have never imagined and am so grateful for the opportunity!

What goals are you currently working towards or would you like to accomplish in your lifetime?

My current (short term) goals: finishing school strong, training for a marathon, and working on balancing family time with professional time.  Long term goals: travel to Thailand; buy a house, saturate Franklin County with Girls on the Run. Life time goal: I know I want to get married and have a family; however, the rest is still in the works…

Who or what inspires you the most?

I have lots of things and people that inspire me… the most important – my mom, Jane; my boyfriend, Kelvin; one of my good friends, Markita; all of my Girls on the Run co-volunteers and all of the participants!

Favorite quote?

My favorite quote changes frequently; however, some of my favorite ones at the moment are:

“You create beauty with: your attitude, your behavior, your actions … it’s all up to you”

“Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen”

“I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it”

{ Maya Angelou }

If you happen to be in the Columbus area and are looking for a fun and fabulous spring race,  join us at The Girls on the Run of Franklin County 5k on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Wolfe Park in Bexley! Help us celebrate our wonderful Girls on the Run, and support a valuable and life-changing experience for our girls!

Friendspiration introduces you to the people who inspire me the most. Each and every one of them has amazing stories to tell, and have pushed me, in no small way, to be the person that I am today. I hope you enjoy meeting them all as much as I enjoy having them in my life!

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