Introducing Swim, Bike and Motivate to the BDN Maine blog network

What is she talking about?

Welcome to my first blog post for Swim, Bike, Motivate! First, a little bit more about my fitness journey. It’s been a long, tedious road that has helped make me who I am and helped me focus in on who I want to be.  Technically, this journey started back when I was 9 years old in a little coastal town, donning that bright purple Little League shirt. From then on, I was hooked.  A ball in my hand felt natural, bruises on my knees were normal.  And a successful and rewarding high school and college athletic career followed. But then, it ended.


I tried golf. I bought the pink golf cleats, got the cute plaid shorts and even took lessons with my husband.  It was great socialization and fun- but it wasn’t what I was looking for.   On a whim- I signed up for a local triathlon. It was a women’s only event to raise money for the Maine Cancer Foundation.  When I was in high school, volunteering had been a large part of my life so this gave me that “do good” feeling again.

I trained. I thought at the time, I was training hard. Looking back, I had that cocky “I’m a kick ass athlete” attitude towards it and really put about 75% into it thinking my natural athletic ability would kick in for the extra 25%.  I forgot to account for the cocktail consuming days following graduation that took 15% tax out of that ability.  I finished into the waiting arms of my husband and parents. I was proud. I had an average time.  Then, a day later, I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant.

Fast forward 5 years, two children, several half-hearted race attempts and 60lbs later.  I had a wonderful, full life. I had a wonderful husband and two young boys. I had an amazing circle of close mom friends. All of whom were getting back into their fitness journey too, faster it seemed than I.  One New Year’s Eve, that competitive athlete spirit crept back in and I found myself making a promise to finish a race each month for the next year.  In that year, I found my inner athlete again. I found that thirst for sweat and sore muscles.  I finished that year with over 12 races completed.

In that year, something else also happened. Something, that I was equally saddened and motivated by. My little sister, whom was equally as successful in high school and collegiate athletics, whom cheered me on from the dugout and from the side of my bed during child birth, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I saw her get weak and have to take a sideline to things in her life that I know she wanted so badly.  It was then, that I dug my heels in and said I was going to fight for her. I couldn’t do the actual fighting of the cancer. Only she could endure the chemo and radiation treatments, endless meds and countless needle pricks.  But, I could fight to raise money, raise awareness and later in her journey I could fight to be healthy and athletic for her and others like her who could not anymore. I wasn’t going to waste any more of my life on the sidelines.

I got motivated. I completed two more triathlons for the Maine Cancer Foundation- coming in each year as a top fundraiser. I finished two more triathlons and numerous 5ks.  And I started to share my journey with whoever wanted to get motivated too.  I started getting messages from people thanking me for sharing and thanking me for inspiring them to find their motivation too.

So, that’s what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about sharing my journey to inspire women and men to get fit and stay fit. I’m talking about beginning somewhere and digging deep and finding that motivation.  I’m talking about what inspires me and how I can motivate you.

Jana Grant

About Jana Grant

I am a qualified, and I like to think fairly skilled, Occupational Therapist specializing in geriatrics and hospice care. I have an undergraduate degree from Springfield College in Springfield, MA in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from Springfield College as well. Prior to that, I was a standout student-athlete from Bucksport High School- later following my passion and skill of softball onto Springfield at the collegiate level.