Jen Libis was this cutie patootie of a spitfire athlete, she was a sweet kid who dug up every ball and had an infectious smile. I kept her on my team because she was athletic and knew she would be a strong addition to the team. Her sense of happiness and self confidence is what we fell in love with.....and what really helps a team. Jen was on one of volleyball team eons ago. EONSSSS.
We lived in the same neighbourhood, I matched up with her older brother in school and she was the baby. She was always outside running around and playing tag, hide and go seek with our whole neighbourhood. Yes, we had and still have a neighbourhood that plays outside.... I love it. I had no idea Jen felt different inside and didn't feel like she could be herself then.
As Jen aged, she knew she liked dressing different and hanging out with girls and liking girls....but never said a word until she felt safe.
Her awesome moms advice, "You do you Jen, you do you!!" Her mom was always so positive when we were at a track meet or a school game she would cheer us on. I remember losing a race and came second and she told me "Larissa, you get to move on honey, it will be ok, think of the other 30 girls that didn't" "Oh, yes, you are right" I thought.. She patted me maternally and my dad nodded thank you. I looked up at her and realized I was being selfish and thinking of myself but these other girls didn't make any event.... It was a good talk, I call those GROWING UP MOMENTS!!! IT TAKES A VILLAGE RIGHT? Jen had a village and had confidence to help her through her own marathon of an internal journey.
Jen finally shared her sexuality when she saw a LGBTQ symbol in her friends room. What a weight lifted. Learn about her story that threads through her TRACK, RUGBY, and MARATHON running.... This girl is on fire and identifies as a non=binary woman who likes woman. I applaud her and her family who offered nothing but support and love. LOVE WINS!!!!
Have a listen to this amazing chat and journey of Jen's.