She’s a legend. A creative living pioneer. A name that has come up over and over again as a teacher and leader in the network I’ve been introduced to since getting involved with Muse, a non-profit dedicated to lifting the voices of women and girls creating social change. Jennifer has been a guest on TV shows and quoted in countless publications. Her retreats are highly praised and sell out in a flash, (plus, she literally wrote the book on retreats), which is why I was struck a bit speechless when I heard she was interested in collaborating with me at WILDER in August after she heard Marianne Elliott had a conflict.
We talked on the phone. As it turns out, Jen has become pretty obsessed with running in the past year since discovering the sport at almost 53. “When I moved to Colorado, I promised myself I would be a yes to everything,” she said. “There is a running/walking group in our neighborhood and I thought, ‘I love to walk.’ But that first night there was only one other walker. She was slow but I didn’t want to just walk off and leave her so I said, ‘Hey, I think I’ll try this running thing,’ and I haven’t stopped since. Then when Marianne told me about Lauren and Wilder I was like 'Running and writing, the two things I think about or do everyday put together? Holy shit. What might happen if you combine these two disciplines?!?' I got a friend to introduce me to Lauren and tell her I’d love to work with her. I can’t wait to see how showing up fierce in your body helps your writing voice come alive, and how being truthful on the page helps you relax as you run."
From that first conversation, I knew we’d have fun working together. I also knew that once again, I’d be learning as much as the guests.
The design of the August Wilder Retreat will offer opportunities for both of us to tap into our existing strengths, and create new challenges for us to dig into together. Jennifer and I will work to create an environment for men and women with experiences to get to the wilder heart of running, and write like our pen is on fire. We’ll uncover connections between the two that can open us up, and be supported by Susanna Spies and Erin Taylor, with comedy and yoga, respectively.
I feel nervous excitement, and an eagerness to dive in. But mostly I feel gratitude. I don’t know what the future of WILDER will be, but I know I want to make these two 2017 retreats awesome. Having Jen as a teacher in August is something I will pinch myself over for a long time.
There are many ways you can experience Jen’s work, from her books, to her personal retreats and workshops, to her coaching. WILDER is just one of these ways. Please check out her work. And check out the details of what the August retreat has in store, and if you are interested, apply! The application window closes 12/3/16 at midnight.
Looking forward to reading your applications!