Weekend inspo: Everything is Possible by Jen Bricker
Everything is Possible is an uplifting book for readers of all ages that tells the story of Jen Bricker, a woman born without legs, who refuses to let anything get in the way of her living her life to the fullest.
Jen has a positive attitude unlike any other. Now 29, she played sports all her life, such as basketball, softball, volleyball and power tumbling—yes, I said power tumbling! As a former gymnast, I know how hard tumbling is to do with legs, but to tumble without just doesn’t seem possible. But as Jen and the book title say, “Everything is possible!”
I can tell you, even a simple cartwheel would be extremely hard to coordinate, not to mention a back handspring. The level of upper-body strength you would have to have is crazy. Yet, not only does Jen power tumble, she actually became one of the best in the state of Illinois. And she and her positive attitude didn’t stop there. She went on to become an aerialist, acrobat and dancer. The level of strength and commitment someone must have to have to do all of those things is crazy, but Jen makes it look easy.
I have been utterly inspired by Jen’s book, and excited and honored to have the amazing opportunity to ask her questions. Read on for all the inspo you need this weekend.
Corynn R.: Throughout your book you showed such a positive attitude, how do stay so optimisitic?
Jen Bricker: My positive attitude definitely comes from my faith in God, growing up knowing that I was born on purpose and for a purpose not by mistake. I would also say I’m just a naturally upbeat, kind of a “cartoonish” person by nature, anyway, and thankfully my parents encouraged my quirkiness and actually loved it! I read my Bible every morning, pray, work out five days a week and make sure I get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. All of that goes a *long way* into making me be and stay positive!
Corynn: What advice would you give to men, women and children who struggle to accept their differences?
Jen: I think it’s a bit of a de-programming that we have to do to ourselves, getting a new perspective of ourselves, our purpose, our bodies, and really stepping back to see the “bigger picture” and constantly fighting and striving for that, peace, happiness, balance. I think when we step back, things that we’ve made as “mountains” become much smaller in the bigger picture, it allows us to break down the “scary mountains” and realize they’re just little ant hills and we can easily overcome. All of us *through* our differences is what makes this world so unique and the more unique you are, the more opportunity you have to stand out, shine and touch more lives.
Corynn: How do you deal with people treating you differently?
Jen: We have a lot more control over how people treat us than we think. For example—if I lived my life insecure, feeling down, woe is me, people would treat me like that 100 percent. If I felt awkward with myself, people would feel even more awkward about me not having legs. But if I’m OK, confident and happy with myself and the way I am, then it puts people at ease and takes away the “sting” to a certain degree. When people treat me differently sometimes I just want to react with an attitude, but that isn’t going to get anyone anywhere, only backwards, and no one wants to go backwards. Those are the real teaching moments, and also, it's never actually about me, it's about them and where they are in their lives. So I have to sometimes bite the bullet, swallow my pride and remember all of these things I’ve just said and try to respond with kindness not pride or attitude.
Corynn: What has been your favorite experience?
Jen: Wow, there are so many amazing experiences I’ve been blessed to have around the world, it’s hard to narrow down to just one! One of my coolest memories was on Easter of 2013, I was in Dubai to perform my aerial act in a venue that was just opening. All of us “opening performers” were from all around the world and we did an all day safari “experience” way outside the city in the desert. Rode camels, went “bajaing” and drifting through the sand mounds, 4-wheeler riding, belly dancing. Henna tattoos. And at the end of the night we all sat down on the ground at this huge long table and shared a meal together in the middle of the desert on Easter, it was beautifully epic!
Corynn: How does it feel to be such an inspiration to people around the world?
Jen: Yikes! That’s such a big weight to carry! I’m fully aware of it, but I never really see myself as that person. I’m actually really glad I just see myself as “just Jen” from a small, middle-of-nowhere town, country roots strong and quirkiness in full swing! It’s a massive responsibility and blessing that I do take very seriously and I make sure that in everything I do, it is fully authentic and truly who I am. It’s a blessing, honor and privilege to do what I get to do and I am forever grateful and thankful.
Corynn: What was your inspiration for writing a book and how did you go about writing it?
Jen: I’ve known pretty much my whole life I would eventually write a book, I just thought it would come much later in life, kind of in retirement from performing. But God put it strongly on my heart a couple years prior to the release that now was the time to start the book. I was at a place in my life where I was comfortable with opening up about certain things and I just knew the time was right. So I told my management team and we got a literary agent and then a writer, then publishing company and the rest is history!
Jen’s story is not only amazing because of her accomplishments, but because of her attitude throughout every challenge she faces, and and how she meets them head on. Everything is Possible is available now at bookstores everywhere.
What's the biggest challenge you have ever faced? How did you handle it? Share your stories in the comments.