“It’s small and black. Weightless and travels with me everywhere. This is my painbox. It’s my trusty sidekick that I’ve used to help deal with the physical and mental challenges of a life of adventuring and racing. Team expedition adventure racing is where I got my first real taste of what is meant to suffer. IF you can embrace pain the way I have, it just might be your ticket to travel the world, meet incredible people, and push yourself in ways you never thought possible.”
And THAT is how Jen Segger opened up her FEAT Canada talk. Do I have your attention? She certainly had mine!
Jen Segger is an amazing woman, with some pretty badass accomplishments behind her name. Jen was the youngest female to compete in the Badwater 135, was the winner of the Ultraman Canada (and didn’t have an tri experience prior to the race) finished the Vancouver Island Questi (a 750 km run and biking expedition), and placed 5th at the AR world Championships in Brazil with her adventure racing team.
When asked about her greatest accomplishment though, Jen said, “Being a Mom.”
Well, what a mom she is! Jen is a professional coach for endurance athletes and trains people from all around the globe. She said it’s the best job in the world as she gets to be on the journey with others. I was thrilled to catch Jen in between her races, coaching, and family time to steal her for an interview.
Jami: In your FEAT Canada talk you mentioned a whole host of different races that you’ve done across the globe. Has any of that changed since you’ve become a Mom? Are you still adventure racing? What’s your most recent accomplishment. Jen: Being a mom is my number one priority now but I remain extremely active with my outdoor pursuits. I haven’t toed the line of an AR for a few years as I mentally needed a break. I sure miss my team though and the fun that we always have. The past few years have been childbirth and an Achilles surgery. I’m now back strong and feeling amazing.
I am currently preparing for a project called #Arctic2Atacma which is a 100 degree temperature span project, beginning with a first ever crossing via fat bike from Kikatarjuak to Pangritung via the ice fields and Akshayuk Pass in Canada’s Arctic. Minus 50C and 250km on bikes unsupported. We then head right away? to mountain bike the entire length of the Atacama Desert in Chile, 1200km with temperatures of 50C+”
Jami: For those who haven’t seen your presentation, can you explain the pain box and why that’s important to “carry with you.” How has that identification of the pain box helped you?”
Jen: “My pain box is my metaphor and way of coping with being uncomfortable. I put all my aches, pains and mental fatigue into it when I’m racing. I never open it until I finish the race. This allows me to know that as long as my pain box is closed, I can and WILL complete what I’m doing. Pain is temporary. So is being uncomfortable.”
Jami: Fevers, shorts full of red ants, throwing up… any other unexpected stories from the trail that you can’t train for?
Jen: Hmmmmm, where do I start……leptospirosis, African tick fever, Montezuma’s revenge, being charged by grizzlies, coming face to face with mountain lions, nearing being run over by freighters….the list goes on!
Jami:I love your quote, “get the job done” What quote motivates you? Jen: Challenge by Choice – you can choose to challenge yourself or you can choose not to. The choice is yours.
Jami: Can you tell us about a time that you were scared? Jen: In Primal Quest Utah, we nearly lost one of our team mates due to heat exhaustion. It was a whole bunch of factors that added up to go wrong. Super scary times that our team and his family went through. Thankfully he made a full recovery and is as badass as ever. Made me realize truly how lucky I’ve been to race and adventure with some of the most incredible people ever.
Jami: Who inspires you? Why? Jen: “My partner Norm. He is the humblest person that I know yet he has done some incredible feats, all in the name of protection and conservation. He inspires me daily with his message. Watching Norm with our son and how he shares his knowledge of the environment and his passion for animals with him is incredible. He is a great teacher and so passionate about his work and his efforts. Check out www.normhann.com”
Jami: “What do you do when you’re not adventure racing? Jen:
– Travel in my Sprinter Van
– Drink way too much coffee
– SUP expeditions & guiding with my partner Norm Hann
– Compete in ultra running & adventure racing
– Dream up cool new adventures
Jami: What is one song that always makes you get up and dance… Jen: Anything by GREAT BIG SEA (love this rad CND East Coast band) Jami: Can you finish this sentence, “My favorite family adventure is___ Jen: Overnight SUP trips with our son. Boards loaded with camping gear and off to find a remote place to spend the night! Jami: Last question, Girl Guide Cookie Talk: Do you like the chocolate or vanilla ones best? Jen: Vanilla but dang, haven’t had one in years! Jami: If people want to connect with you where can they find you? www.jensegger.com www.challengebychoice.ca www.rimcycling.ca
I’m a Family Travel Writer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC. Our family adventures take take us all over BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. You'll regularly see us hiking, biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and camping our way around the province. Our passion is recreation and our mission is to explore and protect this beautiful earth of ours.