Meet Jenny Noonan: actor, dancer, Zumba lover, student, small business owner… and most importantly, mama of 6!
“I’m a mom of six kids ranging in age from almost 17 to almost 8. I’m a writer (find my blog at formerlyphread.com), actor, and Zumba instructor, and I run a small cooking business. I’m enrolled at a local university as a student and I’m working, slowly but surely, towards earning my bachelor’s degree. Being a single mom means I’ve got to knuckle down extra hard, and the work I do allows me the flexibility to pursue personal goals and interests, which in turn fills my cup so I can be better at what I do: be a better mom, a better person.
I’m currently a Theatre Performance major. I’ve always loved performing, but I stopped after high school. For years I dreamed of being back on stage, but just couldn’t see how it could work with the daily demands of my life. At the end of 2012, after having just minimal experience with working as an extra on film sets, I learned that a production of the musical ‘In The Heights’ was scheduled at a local theater the following summer, and I decided to audition. To prepare I took an auditioning class at the university as well as private voice lessons. I was eventually cast in the production and it truly changed my life forever and definitely for the better. Getting back on stage resulted in finding a part of me that had been lost for many years. I remembered not only how much I love it (acting, singing, dancing, performing), but also that I’m good at it! Being in that show was one of the first steps in my journey towards remembering who I was and what I am capable of accomplishing.
With a big family, scheduling is vital. School, homework, chores, activities: it all needs to be on my calendar, and we all work together to support each other in what we’ve got going on. At times we have to get creative, but I like that my kids have an awareness of what it means to work together and support one another in our family.
I work out 5 or 6 days each week. My fitness journey began in 2009 when I did my first triathlon. I was over 60 lbs heavier than I am now, and came in dead last for that race. Two weeks later I was right back on that horse and this time I placed 4th from last. I wasn’t worried about what place I was in or what my time was. Finishing was my goal and I did just that. Finishing those races sparked something inside me, and I started making my health and fitness a real priority.
When I found Zumba a few years ago I was thrilled, because I’ve always loved to dance and it’s since become a real passion of mine. I was certified as an instructor (B1 & B2) almost a year ago. I enjoy dancing, and I share brief clips of dancing at Zumba on Instagram and Twitter (@formerlyphread) and my Facebook page. Any time I start to think I should stop sharing those, I get comments and messages from people thanking me for the entertainment and/or inspiration. Showing my kids the benefits of exercise is really valuable, and we all love to dance and be active together.
I exercise because it makes me a better person. It’s a stress-reliever, and it shows and reminds me that I can work hard, reach goals, and achieve things I didn’t think possible. I lift weights and run (this summer I’ll run a half marathon and Ragnar, my second time for both). Swimming and especially Zumba are like my exercise dessert. I love skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.
My current goals are centered around being a faster, stronger, smarter runner. I like the racing atmosphere and community; being a competitor in that realm is a far-off dream. Being overall active and healthy, particularly for my cardiovascular health, is important to me. I have a lot to work on– getting enough sleep, eating, clipping into my bike pedals faster– but when I focus on how far I’ve come, I know I can keep going.”
*These women may or may not be actual users of IdealFit products. We simply want to share their story.
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