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Millennial Perspective: Christian Jensen

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - Joe Kiedinger

Millennial Christian Jensen started his professional career as a personal trainer with Bellin Health in Green Bay in 2007.  That summer, he met a woman named Mary Cox who he started training to help improve her functioning which had been severely limited due to muscular dystrophy. Photo: Christian Jensen

The training was focused on helping Mary to slow the progression of the disease however in the long run, it was Mary who trained Christian through her positive and resilient spirit!  As part of Mary’s therapy, Christian and his wife would take Mary for runs on the Fox River Trail with the use of a specialized racing chair. They also started participating in local endurance events such as the Bellin Run.  Participating in endurance events gave Mary the freedom her body could no longer provide her.  In 2009, Christian and Tiffany guided Mary to complete her first Marathon. Upon crossing the finish line, Mary gave the spark to start something that they believed would change our community when she said “I feel free when we run”!  In 2010, the Wisconsin Chapter of myTEAM TRIUMPH, a non-profit athletic mentoring program for challenged athletes was started!  Together, Christian and Mary have completed 15 Marathons, 3 Half Ironmans, the 50 mile Door County Ultra Marathon and the 2013 Wisconsin Ironman. 

Somewhere between Ironman’s, Ultramarathon’s, and fundraising for myTeamTriumph, Christian Jensen was able to catch up with me to give his Millennial perspective!

1.) Your role with myTeamTriumph requires your involvement on both a soulful and physical level.  What keeps you going (besides the perfect balance of protein and carbs)? 

There are two sides to this answer. Within mTT, I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most positive and service focused people!  Having people who care about each other as individuals and a greater purpose at the same time is a dynamite combination!  We strive to create and nurture a culture where people are excited to come and can’t wait to come back!  Outside of mTT, I protect my time with my loved ones. Being that I’m in the public arena a lot, I make sure to build in quality time with my wife and our family spending quality time together! 

 
2.) In working with corporations and businesses for fundraising, you may be working more often with decision makers who are Baby Boomers.  This generation is known for their interest in team work.  Tell us more about your experience with this generation in terms of team work.

Great question!  I have found that the leaders in this generation can be very focused on having definable roles and responsibilities while seeing tangible results and documentation of the impact that is taking place.  My biggest advice is to communicate what’s important.  Ask up front what information is expected and then deliver this information.  Don’t over communicate. 
 

3.) It’s said that “Millennials work to live rather than live to work” – meaning Millennials are less about work/life balance and rather about intertwining work life and social life.  Can you relate to this?  How has this integration played to your successes?

I can certainly relate to this.  The lines between work and social life are definitely blurred.  There are inherent positives and negatives to this.  The benefits come from building relationships with partners or clients while also demonstrating your authenticity as a human being…something that I believe is essential to a long term relationship.  The challenge in this is knowing when to “turn it off”.  In the beginning of our career cultivating a high number of relationships might be best.  However, in my opinion long-term success requires boundaries between work and life.  Such boundaries help professionals preserve and direct their passions over the course of their career.Photo: Prophiteers join My TEAM TRIUMPH

4.) What can Millennials do now to positively inspire the next generation?

Great question!  I had to really think about it!  I believe it is essential to demonstrate and encourage the discovery of the individual core values.  If one has a strong set of core values and really has an understanding of what they believe, then they will have resiliency to the challenges of their day to day life and their ultimate goals will become achievable. 

Check out pictures and videos (and cool drone footage) from mTT on Facebook! Interested to learning more about myTEAM TRIUMPH? myTEAM TRIUMPH (mTT) is a human services organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with diverse abilities through a teamwork approach of endurance athletics!  mTT achieves its mission by bringing “Captains” – people with disabilities and “Angels” – able bodied individuals together to train for and participate in road races and triathlons of all distances.  mTT is non-competitive and focus on building impactful relationships which go beyond the race! 


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