Running is so much more than running and has taken her to places she would have never imagined, or even dreamed of.
Jessica is a 40-year-old very stubborn, strong-willed runner from Sweden who loves endurance sports and extreme challenges.
Life hasn’t for sure always been easy, and thanks to running Jessica has found her inner peace and strength…
This is Jessica’s story…
Who is Jessica and your story behind?
I am a fulltime working mother of three boys with a big passion for running and training! I love to inspire people to movement and a healthier lifestyle; I’m very family and friend orientated and tend to be very emotionally involved. Running for me is ´me time` and helps to focus and relax. It’s my place where I can put the anxiety and stress of day to day life away.
It all started when I was younger with my dad. He was a runner too. I often rode my bike along on his runs, and I loved it dearly. I also excelled at football and cross-country horseback riding; it was that sense of freedom that excited me the most.
In my late teens I went backpacking in Australia for a year and ended up coming home (to Sweden) 10 years later with 2 children and a husband. It was the birth of my first child that I rekindled my passion for running and with that i discovered a passion for the outdoors and nature.
What is most important for you in life?
The most important thing in my life is the happiness and wellbeing of my family and friends. That my children have all the chance to explore, grow and respect the world and people around them.
Your passion for Skyrunning & Trailrunning where is that coming from?
My passion for trail running grew from my general fitness/road running. Having friends with a similar running passion, that I usually run together with.
We gave a few trail-races a go and the thrill of being with likeminded people and the outdoors really hit a chord with me. I started to look for increasing challenges with my fitness and running and started to not only enjoy the tougher events like OCR and the longer distances. I found the harder i pushed myself the better I did.
It was a lifestyle that I can easily combine with my love of travel and the great outdoors, for me the best holiday is a marathon in the Swiss Alps! Views, nature likeminded people and pushing myself to do things I just thought I never would. In a way the love of longer distance running (100km plus) is that I just can’t get enough when I am in the moment.
Can you describe your significant personal strengths that took you all the way to this level of running?
What has brought me this this level of running is a stubborn head and ethos of success through hard work.
I always believe that the harder I work and more I give of myself to the situation than the more I can get out of it. This is a two way street of course, I can often become to invested in work or personal life situations ( just caring to much) but then running becomes the balance to that, it is a form of personal escape where my attributes take me to places I never imagined and further than i ever dreamed possible.
Is Skyrunning/Trailrunning a hobby or is it something you do for a living?
Running isn’t a job for me nor a hobby, it’s really a passion and essential part of my life, it’s part of who I am and what I do.
Running is the holistic and community side of me where I can hopefully inspire and give to others by showing what is possible while providing a good mental balance and outlook.
Working at a chocolate shop it is also a necessity, making a living of running would of course be the dream.
Which is the most challenging and demanding situations in life that you been through to get you where you are today as a person?
In my early childhood the divorce of my parents put me in a more of a career and protector role than I would have liked as the older sister. Later I faced bullying and intimidation in the workplace by my employer and at the same time I was dealing with a sister who had problems with alcohol, this made he hit the wall mentally. It was during this time I was still strong physically thanks to running, the mental strength and toughness I developed in facing and overcoming these situations translated to a more of a `grit it out` and `push through the barriers` approach to my running.
Do you usually push yourself outside your comfort zone? How does it feel at the time? Can you see that the rewards coming out of this is worth this little extra effort?
The thrill of pushing yourself outside the comfort zone is really part of the attraction of long-distance running. Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable is a way of developing and growing myself. It helps in redefining what I am capable of achieving when I put my mind to task at hand, it’s also just a little bit of a rush.
How does your race plans and goals look like for 2020?
This year 2020 I have settled on racing distances of about 100km. This seems to provide a distance where i can push both for endurance and pace while avoiding to much of a body break down. I still have to be able to function for day to day life on the Monday after a race. I have raced 2 races this year so far Sandsjöback Trail 90km (3rd) and Tjörnarparen Trail 100km (3rd) and my next events are;
March – Edsvidsleden 56km,
April – Täby Extreme Challange 100 miles
August – Idre Fjällmaraton 84km
Sept – Blackriver run 50miles
Nov – Kullamannen 100miles
And maybe a few other adventures 😉
How does a normal week with training and all that look like for you right now?
My training is a mix of:
- Running 5-6 times week
- Heavy resistance bike riding
- Gym Strength training ⅔ times a week
- Pilatees and core work.
- And long walks with my dog Loki.
Are you involved in any other types of running-projects that you like to talk about?
I am ambassador for Asics Frontrunner Sweden and its many focus is on inspiring others to get out and get active through running and movement.
What is your advice to other people that is dreaming of an active lifestyle running in the mountains as good/much as you?
My advice is to get out there and enjoy it. Be it a walk with your partner, children or even the dog to a PB marathon time to going further than you ever thought possible, be it 5km of 50km you will find a world/community of likeminded fantastic people who can help and cheer you on to see and do more than you could ever dream is possible.
Just start and before you know it you will find your `runhappy`
Thank you, Jessica, for taking your time sharing your amazing story! Very inspiring!
Wishing you all the best luck in the future with your running and everything that you want to do in life.
Name:Jessica Ståhl Norris
Family:Married 3 children
Your team or sponsor now:Asicsfrontrunner Sweden
Occupation: Restaurant Manager/ a bit of everything
Education: Leadership, Key Account Management
Facebook page: Jessica Ståhl-Norris Asics Front Runner