I am not a journaler or writer! I am definitely not a runner, but here I sit sharing a blog post with you about running. I knew God had an amazing sense of humor when He called me and my two good friends to lead a running group!

This post for me is about reflection and realizing when you get distance from a situation or an event, you can see God’s hand at work. When I think of the story of LAUGH it really goes back to the year I turned 40. I decided to journal goals that I had set for myself. I called it my Get Out Of My Comfort Zone Goals for my 40th year. The last goal on my list was to run a half marathon. Last summer, I found the long lost journal while unpacking a few boxes (yep, I still have unpacked boxes from our move 4 years ago).  I sat in disbelief as I scanned the pages. Disbelief because I could see LAUGH being created as I wrote about this journey for my 40th year.

I had forgotten I had journaled 13.1 reasons I was running a half marathon. I enjoyed rereading them so much that I thought I would share them with you. I’m typing this just as it came out of my journal.

April 15, 2010

Over the next week, I will journal 13.1 reasons why I trained and ran a half-marathon.

1 – It’s my 40th year! I did decide to set a few “get out of your comfort zone goals for this 40th year. The last goal to go on my list was the 1/2 marathon.

2 – I was invited by my dear friend Melia to attend Run Camp last year. My thought, “No way! Are You Crazy? I’ve never run before! Every Saturday for 13 weeks? No, No, No! The seed was planted!

3 – I decided I wanted to “Age” not “decay” thanks to the book, ‘Younger Next Year For Women‘.

4 – My kids are watching everything I do so I wanted to give them a few better examples than the not so good ones.

5 – I bought $100 shoes, $200 Garmin watch, $150 in wicking material running clothes, $36 in Smartwool socks, $75 for 13 weeks of Run Camp and $35 for the entry fee for the race.

6 – I’ve become a person of great intentions and poor follow-thru. I needed to prove I could finish something I started.

7 – Being a wife and mother I have put myself last on the list for many reasons. The training for the half marathon forced me to put myself first. Things were put off or just didn’t get done because I had to get my run in.

8 – Of course, I would lose weight! I was sure the pounds would fall off! NOPE! I officially weigh 5 pounds more than when I started.

I stopped here because of emergency gall bladder surgery 6 days before the race?

9 –  I had to take revenge on my gall bladder since it decided to cause my body so much havoc 6 days before the race.

10 – I began to enjoy the training. The social aspect of runs with my girlfriends and the solitude of runs alone with me and the Lord. I enjoyed dedicating a mile to prayer for my kids, friends or other family members.

11 – I used my training as an example to my kids. As Max was learning to ride a bike this summer to the girls trying to perfect a cartwheel. They would get upset that they couldn’t do it right the first time. I would explain to them it took me 13 weeks to be able to run 13 miles, I couldn’t do it the first time. I can tell you they are tired of hearing it.

12 – I bought another $100 pair of running shoes, $40 race registration fee, two $70 per night (thanks to my dutch friend Melia) hotel stays, $20 ferry ride to Mackinac Island for my first 1/2 marathon.

13 – I don’t want to become complacent at 40, that this is as good as it gets. I know God isn’t finished with me. I just had to be willing to step out (no pun intended) in faith and stretch myself with a difficult goal.

13.1 – Maybe there is something stirring in your heart a goal, a dream you’ve been contemplating and now you have said to yourself, “If Jen can do that, I can do__________!”

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Jennifer Hoffman
Jen is the heart and soul of LAUGH. She is a woman who listens to the whispers and nudges of God and then is fearlessly obedient. She has a heart and passion to help women embrace the concept that they are more than their circumstances. They are more than what they are dealing with. Jen lives and breathes this philosophy and leads by example. She is our LAUGH CEO. Jen’s genuine smile permeates the love of Christ to anyone who meets her. She exudes a warmth and an air of encouragement that speaks to the inner most places of women. She knows the importance of authentic community and strives to create an atmosphere through LAUGH where women are being embraced, encouraged and equipped to carry this movement to their realms of responsibilities. Jen is a co-founder of LAUGH, a former Interior Designer, the “Can Do” woman behind our LAUGH website and an incredible mom to her three kids. She has been married to her Superman for 23 years.


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