I’m so excited to feature a great friend and someone I admire as a mom, as an athlete and as a business owner – Janna Angell. I first met Janna in 2014, when she an her husband, Cody, had recently moved to St Petersburg with their young daughter. Janna came to a few of my Baby Boot Camp classes, just before I took a short break to have baby Audrey. I was so impressed with Cody and Janna’s business concept and passion for their new store, St Pete Running Company. In the past three years, we have partnered together on multiple events and training programs – from bra fitting events, to fitness challenges, to kids triathlon clinics. Each and every time a friend comes back to me after visiting SPRC, they are so very impressed with the level of customer service and the friendliness of the employees. They truly have a love for not only running, but also a love for sharing their passion & inviting others to join their community. Saturday, March 4th is their featured
annual event, the Race for the Cupcake 5K. This race is on Pass-A-Grille Beach and features a kids fun run as well. This is just one of the many ways the Janna and her staff at SPRC foster relationships with customers and build a fun, active community of runners.
1. Tell us about a time in your life when things were not easy for you. How did this point in your life shape who you are today? “I have always loved to travel. When my husband suggested moving to Australia, I thought this sounded like a wonderful idea. I was very excited about getting there. Packing up our house in America, leaving my family and pet cat – I was very excited during the whole process- until I was in Australia. Once there the reality of it all hit me – I was thousands of miles away from my family, friends and the life that I loved. Plus the culture shock of being in a new country. I had a hard time finding a job, making friends, and getting adjusted to the new country. Even though I was in a beautiful country, with some of the best beaches and parks I had ever seen – I sat in our apartment sad and crying. I cried a lot and wondered why I thought this was a good idea. I also became angry with my husband for making me move from my comfort zone. I felt lonely, angry and lost. My life was not what I thought it would be, and every day was hard for me. It took me several months to get out of my slump.
I started forcing myself to do something small every day that I liked – reading a book, cooking, baking cookies, riding my bike. We would even take late night walks to McDonald’s (yes, McDonald’s) to eat American food, we never ate at McDonald’s before we moved there and we don’t eat at McDonald’s since moving back – but while there it helped reminded me of home. I spent a lot of time by myself, as I didn’t have a job and my husband was at work all day. So I continued to do something every day for myself, something every day to put a smile on my face. Some days it would be something small like drinking a coke, walking to my husband’s work to join him for lunch, going to church on a Tuesday morning or it might have been going for a long bike ride. I had to mentally start being happy (again) before I could start to enjoy Australia or before I started to make friends – which both of these did happen.”
2. What is one thing you would want others to know about why you persevered? What did you learn along the way? “I came to appreciate Australia, the beauty of the country and the time there and I did start to make friends. I started being a substitute teacher. I also got into triathlons while in Australia (as I had a lot of spare time), which helped give me a purpose. I completed my first half Ironman (70.3miles). I continued to set small running and biking goals – which gave me a mission and a purpose. We began to travel around Western Australia, we went swimming with Whale Sharks, watched Cricket games. Met friends who continue to be our best friends (and we miss every day). I feel like this time while was a hard time in my life, it really helped me to learn about what makes me happy, help me to be more thankful for small things in my life. And it helped my relationship with my husband to grow, as he was my only family and my only friend for many months.
We have since moved back from Australia, after the birth of our first daughter in 2012. I was so excited to move back! We now live in St Petersburg, Florida. Where we opened a running specialty store, St Pete Running Company. Where we have tried to build not just a running store, but a running community and our family. I get to work with my husband every day of my life which is a blessing, and also very hard some days. We now have our own family – with two beautiful kids. I continue to do one thing a day to make myself happy (some days it might just be to take a shower without any interruptions).”
3. What is one goal you have, either personal or business, for 2017? What keeps you motivated to reach this goal? “In 2017 I want to complain less. Lately I have found myself complaining about things a lot more. I am trying to take time to reflect upon the things that I am thankful for. I try once a day to make a mental list of ten things that day that I am thankful for, even if it is the same things everyday. I want to take the time and remind myself that I have great things in my life.
My running goal in 2017/maybe even 2018 – is to run a 5k in the low 23 minute range or to break 23 minutes (which is a big goal as I have never broke 24 minutes). I have been a runner since high school, but it has always been a bit of a love/hate relationship. For the first time in my life I am loving to run! Maybe because it is time to myself away from family, business, social media. It is just time to myself. I know this goal will not be an easy one but it’s not supposed to be easy.”
4. What is your name and occupation? Where can we find out more information about you? (Website, blog, social media) Janna Angell- Mother, Wife and owner of St Pete Running Company – www.stpeterunningco.com
Have you ever moved to a new location without any friends or family nearby? How did you cope? Did you learn a new skill or pick up a new passion from this experience?