Meet the inspiring Jen Yang, a nurse/kiter/coach who lives in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Follow her at @jenlyang and learn more about her when she takes over our Instagram feed on Saturday, September 12!
I have so many that I love depending on the location and season (snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, running, yoga). For now, I consider kiteboarding to be my current main sport because I can do it year-round where I live on the Outer Banks and I am making strides in my second season! A few years ago, my boyfriend and I spent a summer in Squamish, BC to mountain bike and climb. We drove by the spit of the Howe Sound and saw so many kites in the air! We counted 67! We were mesmerized for weeks just watching people soar and glide. He said, “I want to do that,” so we booked our first group lesson. Over the next year, I spectated from the beach while Tim took it up naturally, so I had a lot of exposure to kiting by helping him set up gear, launch and land the kite, but I was too wary of going out again myself without an instructor. At the time, we were living and traveling in an RV. When it broke down, we sold it in Lake Havasu City, AZ, moved everything we owned into a U-Haul trailer, and had to pick a place to live ASAP. So, we decided to book it across the country to check out the Outer Banks, North Carolina – a top kiteboarding destination in the country. The water is shallow in the sound for learning, so that’s where I finally figured it out, and that was where I met Sensi! I was in the water at least 3 times a week for 6-hour days learning kite control, getting tugged and hot launched, and then finally crossed that threshold of getting up on the board when it started to click. I’ve been introduced to so many inspiring female athletes in kiteboarding just by being part of the Sensi Graves Swim Rockstar team. It’s a huge confidence booster to be surrounded and uplifted by positive, like-minded women who have once been in my shoes as a newbie in this sport.
Learning to kite? Read Sensi's 8 Steps to Kite Stoke
Do you have a daily routine or practice that's important to you, and if so, why?
I’ve recently started a daily routine of doing mirror work and reciting my daily declarations. Declarations, you ask? YES! Stronger and more powerful than affirmations, with intention and conviction. The words you use with yourself are so important, and to do this first thing in the morning is fuel for the mind and soul. The following quotes were extracted from a video I once saw and they help explain why this daily practice is important to me: “You can’t talk negative and expect to live a positive life. Your life will move in the direction of your words. Your words will become your reality.”
What’s one of your 2020 goals?
To launch my coaching practice and work with inspiring women who want to turn their dreams into reality for alignment and freedom! And of course, a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean to kite and dive!
What’s your favorite mantra?
I am at peace with my past. I am in love with my present. I am excited for my future.
What five words would your best friends use to describe you?
Compassionate, adventurous, intuitive, genuine, fearless
What do you do to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly?
I carry my Hydroflask with me everywhere! It is a visual reminder for me to not only stay hydrated, but to also be conscientious of refilling whenever possible to keep it full. I also use an insulated tumbler for coffee or tea in the mornings when I’m on the go. Pre-COVID, I would bring my tumbler with me to coffee shops to reduce use of to-go cups and lids. I also re-use plastic ziploc bags HEAVILY. I do have a stash of various types of plastic bags, but I save them to bring to my grocery store to recycle properly, same with any styrofoam. When I go grocery shopping, I always keep several reusable bags in the car with washable reusable cotton mesh drawstring bags for produce. After unloading the groceries, I leave them by the front door to remind myself to store them back in the car. I also use shampoo and conditioner bars to reduce use of plastic bottles. I save glass jars for everything! I repurpose banana peels in a jar with water to create plant fertilizer. I use wool dryer balls with essential oils instead of dryer sheets. I also make my own makeup remover wipes with essential oils and washable face towels. I buy reef-safe sunblock. I opt out of using plastic straws at restaurants or when ordering iced drinks. I keep sporks and reusable straws in the car at all times.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who have dreams that scare them. These are my kind of people, those who have a vision, purpose, and the motivation to take action. I love having conversations about these topics, it allows me to get to know people on a deeper level. I enjoy surrounding myself with people who are open to collective growth and change.
What is your day job, and how do you manage work/fun balance?
I work as a private duty nurse for a pediatric patient and am a Holistic Wellness Nurse Coach. At this very moment, I work 12 hour days as a nurse while I’m building my private practice and coaching clients! It is a lot of hours dedicated to just work, but I make sure my evenings are completely free to relax. I have a planner that I love writing in it to keep my schedule in line and my wellbeing in check, such as to-do lists, appointments, goals, gratitude, etc. I spend weekends either being outside or working on passion projects. I also make sure to plan a camping trip or road trip every few months for a mental reset and change of scenery. Nature is my medicine. Balancing work and play is key!
Working from home? Check out Sensi's tips for WFH routine to help you thrive.
What are you currently struggling with?
I love this question and I love sharing vulnerably. I am struggling with entrepreneurship. As a nurse, I’m so used to following systems in place, orders, and protocols. As an entrepreneur, I have full autonomy and creativity of my personal brand and business! I MUST show up to create, connect, and coach! It’s new territory for me and it’s overwhelming, but I love it and I’m embracing the challenges that come with it. Entrepreneurship is a beast of a mind game. I am tackling the overwhelm and streamlining the steps by working with business coaches who are rocking my world! Without them, I would not be on the path I’m currently on to turn my passion project into a thriving business to be proud of.
What's something you're really proud of doing or accomplishing?
I'm really proud of myself for following through with building my coaching practice. It was a mere “that would be cool if…” thought just a year ago. I didn’t have any intention of starting my own business or shifting from my safe, trusted role as a nurse to believe-in-yourself-and-lead-with-your-heart wellness coach. It takes bravery, action, and navigating past those limiting beliefs to live your dream life. I am here to say that anyone is capable of doing exactly that.