UR Team Highlight- Jackie Gross
We're all here because we're athletes, but that's not the only thing we are. We're mothers, wives, sisters, and friends. I wanted to pick Jackie's brain to learn even more about her- outside of running and UR.
What is your favorite thing about running?
Getting outside and using the power of just my legs to take me on an adventure. Running just takes you further faster and often to places you can only see on foot.
What is your go-to pre-race meal? Like what are you eating for dinner most nights before a race and/or what is your go-to breakfast right before a race?
Pre-race meals are still pasta or pizza. I am gluten free now so it would be a gluten free of either of those options. I think it is more a mental thing at this point, but it feels better if I eat carbs before a race. I just need to be careful with tomato sauce since some sauces are too acidic for my stomach. Breakfast is oatmeal with peanut butter and honey or peanut butter honey on toast. I know that those two things will not cause any bathroom issues (knock on wood).
Do you have a pre-race/long run routine? What helps you prep for your big days?
Hydration Hydration Hydration. Good nights sleep before I go run and nutrition planning. I go through all my needs the day before so I am not scrambling in the morning.
Is there a memorable run that you’ve done that stands out? Something that will be hard to top?
Of 2020 I would say my run through the Cascade mountains only because it was one of my first very long runs I did back from an injury.
Overall would be the Enchantments in Leavenworth, WA it was the first longer run I navigated myself (I am horrible with direction this was before they added better trail markers in 2020). And because of the epic climate and ecosystems changes you can see along the way.
If you couldn’t run, what would your activity of choice be?
It would have to be mountain biking. Although the idea of that scares me. It is the closest thing to running.Oh also XC skiing would be cool, but not possible year round. I also climb as well, so I would still do that.
We know you love to climb when you’re not running. What else do you like to do when you’re not being a total B.A. out in the field?
Like what do I do if I am not running or climbing? I work? I like to still be outside as much as I possibly can. I do like to draw and sew and create things. I am also remodeling my condo and enjoy that from a creation standpoint as well. I am definitely an activity based animal, so I have a hard time sitting and reading or things like that. But I am learning to lean into unstructured time and letting things just happen while being present in the moment. Those are times with friends and my partner. Just being in it instead of thinking what’s next.
Who inspires you to be a good person? Not just in representing women as the ethos of your brand, but everyday.
After my sister had her daughter Eva. I started thinking about myself and how I could help her navigate life. How certain things of my upbringing impacted me and how I could be the best person for her. It propelled me into self discovery and reflection on how some of things in my life that weren’t serving me anymore. I also would say certain concepts have led me to being better. I feel like as a person we can’t stop learning. I read Layla Saad’s book and in it she says if you believe in love you will do this work. I have really applied that to a lot of things in my life. Also being the best person for myself. Accepting myself as a flawed person who makes mistakes and takes responsibility for them. Realizing I am not going to be perfect has allowed me to be more equipped to grow as a person.
What do you hope to be when you grow up?
Better than I am now. Also I would like to have been on some of the most epic adventures possible. I want to be a business owner and a facilitator of adventure in the way of UR sportswear and give inspiration from TSC and WEA.
What issues do you think women face that are not talked about often enough and how do you do your part to try to address those?
I definitely think there is a lot of research that has yet to be done overall of hormones and how we are cognitively impacted by them. I also think women face a lot more obstacles when trying a new activity as far as what is safe for them or not, because we are a target of violence which causes fear as well. It is changing but I think the way many of us women were raised they don’t realize what they are capable of, and so I try to share stories on Women Empower Active of everyday women who chose to do something amazing. That is to say these are women just like you. They don’t have any different ability they trained they planning and the accomplished and you can too. We are planning to do a series on periods and the impact they have on athleticism because I definitely don’t think that gets talked about enough. There are things I am still learning as well. Same with Trail Side Chat. We want to talk about the emotional sides of being active, because it plays a big part in exercise and not just mental toughness but all the things we are working on. Being present, anxiety, stress, support systems, work issues etc.
Ultimately, what do you think your personal purpose is? What is YOUR ‘why’?
I love adventure and lately I am realizing that it is the thing that adds value and how I see myself. Recently I went on a hike with a friend. We ended up getting lost and never finding the end of the trail where there was supposed to be a lake. I think that was one of the best experiences, because it was truly an adventure with no structure and no goals. Even though we didn’t “succeed”. I felt so much value from it. I want to create those moments for other women. I want to create space for them to know themselves and just go on an adventure whether it is running a race, hiking, biking etc. I want to help women feel like they can and I want to hear about it.