The road to destiny is often painted as the yellow brick road, but we often fail to remember, that even Dorothy encountered her fair share of obstacles along the way to her destiny.
I love the idea of free will, because without free will there is no passion, there is no choice, and choice is a beautiful thing in the human experience. But to speak of free will without the underpinning of destiny would mean that nothing ties together, that life's events are seemingly disconnected and therefore we too are just drifting from one best or worst experience or opportunity to the next.
I loved sitting down with Jenn Brown because not only is she a dynamic host, she approaches life with everything that she has, making the most of every opportunity by fully committing herself, while still being true to herself and listening to that little inner guide and voice. The listening to that quiet voice, acknowledging those dreams even with re-routes along the way, is definitely not for the faint of heart, and requires a consistent discipline to ascertain and receive what some like to call, divine orchestration, or providence.
Jenn and I made a connection on our obsession with crime cases where we saw glaring points of injustice, and we further connected on our common efforts and desire to see justice for children, giving them a voice. Jenn has had first hand experience with this though. As a freshman in college, embarking on an one of the most exciting times in a teenagers life, she got the news no sister ever dreams of, and every parents' worst nightmare. Her 14 year-old sister had been killed in a car accident, and not just an accident but her best friend's parent's reckless behavior. College was put on hold and Jenn remained with her mother as court proceedings began against the friend's mother who was driving. It was the unimaginable. In the midst of grief and loss, their family was thrown into court proceedings which would become public through the interest of 48 hours.
As Jenn had approached college she was already interested in being a criminology major but this experience, this loss and injustice of children, especially her own little sister, being the victim of an adult's lack of discipline, this solidified what would become a lifelong dedication to justice within the criminal space in particular. After the trial ended and she returned to college, Jenn graduated college, summa cum laude and began studying for her LSAT to begin law school. Applications sent, acceptance letters began rolling in. As a woman who was as hardworking as she was passionate and a leader, Jenn found herself at a modeling casting call to make some extra cash while she awaited taking the LSAT. As fate would have it, she was invited to tour the world, host a travel TV show and make a hefty sum for a recent college graduate, and did I mention travel the world for a travel show! Her inner voice and the honor she gave to that, and of course the incredible opportunity, poised her to begin what would be her next 15 years working fully in broadcasting and hosting. Jenn is a two-time Emmy Award winning sports broadcaster, mother of two boys, wife and entrepreneur. She is best known as the first female correspondent for Inside the NFL, a former host & reporter for ESPN, host of American Ninja Warrior and currently covering Bellator MMA.
I love this part of Jenn's story, because so often we disqualify ourselves because of experience or other societal things that we use to give permission for saying yes. Having no training in journalism, no experience in broadcasting, she said yes, she agreed to a year of traveling doing the coolest travel experiences imaginable, having an apartment paid for, a great salary and began what would be that part of the tapestry that's behind, that didn't seem like it's in line with her initial mission, her vision for what she undoubtedly knew as part of her calling.
As we talked, I loved hearing Jenn share her experience in athletics, coming from a family who trained olympic gymnasts, she had it in her blood from an early age. But what I loved hearing most was "I wasn't the best, I just worked hard." And this carried over into every area of her life and became clear as she expressed how unqualified she was for her first hosting job and the next few to come but how she worked hard continuously which led to repeated opportunities, amazing relationships and support and growth in a career which wasn't part of the plan, but one she couldn't turn down.
I sat with Jenn, reflecting back on her chance opportunities and strong, generous relationships that had been nurtured and developed to a beautiful course for not only her career but her entire life. I thought, how often have we listened to the inner voice less and charged ahead on roads that were "part of the plan" while we were simultaneously being drawn on a somewhat magical route, a route that we can't necessarily see but nonetheless holds moments that are our hearts deepest longings.
Jenn's approach to life in this confident, hopeful and magical manner crosses both her professional life as well as her personal life, even her love story with her husband has these sorts of inspiring moments that, at least for me, inspire me to show up more and let go more!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart and life with us, Jenn! Your life and love inspire all who know you! I am excited to continue watching you create and embrace a beautiful and adventurous life, throughout the twists and turns!
Love, Katee Grace