A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
About the Author
Jenné Blackburn is an author, social good activist, entrepreneur, and lifelong athlete. Founder of Always An Athlete® and Ball2Bike®, she is passionate about helping athletes transition to the next phase of their personal and athletic lives. The book "Always an Athlete" chronicles the beginnings of Ball2Bike®, and aims to engage audiences in the story, mission, and vision of this national campaign to keep our nations athletes moving forward on a bicycle.
More Behind The Story
Blackburn was ignited to make a difference in her own life after a bike ride at the espnW Summit. Inspired to complete her first mini triathlon a week later in Orange County, she wrote an article for her sponsors. A title was needed to quickly capture her story and new found energy. As soon as she saw the words Ball2Bike® she knew that this idea was important to inspire our nation and world.
This book outlines why transferring athletes to the bicycle after the "ball" career ends is necessary for today's society. By pointing athletes to the bike our sport community will build a physical and emotional bridge to help combat anxiety, depression, apathy and obesity.
Blackburn is on a mission to inspire millions of athletes around our country that need community and support as they transition out of organized sports into the real world. Thankfully there are already well established, well-run and exciting sports communities already in existence to help bridge the gap.
From Little League to the MLB, from Pop Warner football to the NFL; our county needs to be sharing the message that the bike is the next step after the whistle stops, and to create new opportunities for all to ride.
Before Ball2Bike was established, Blackburn played D1 Volleyball for Baylor University. She was not an All American, BIG 12 player of the week, nor did she ever make a starting roster. She rarely played due to a recurring knee injury, but according to her teammates her time as a bench warmer did elevate the atmosphere with her motivation and passion for the game. (Enthusiasm and optimism continue to be her strong suit.)
Like the majority of our nations athletes she fell off "the cliff" earlier than expected. Not being able to excel athletically, her dreams of reaching the professional level of competition did not come true. Her story is no different than most who enter the world of sports. She is apart of the 98% of athletes who never play professionally.
She missed the game, but accepted her new reality and diverted her positive energy into international social justice. By the end of her time at Baylor she was honored to be the top social impact graduate in her class.
From 2007 to 2013 Blackburn could not find a new athletic rhythm. Running felt like punishment, the gym felt empty, and yoga was a completely different energy. During that time away from volleyball, she never found an activity that challenged her or connected her with other like minded athletes, until she went on a group bike ride.
Blackburn believes there are many more just like her who need the message of "Always An Athlete". This is how she plans follow the challenge of "Make An Impact" from espnW and is optimistic that the sports industry will respond to the need to bring balls and bikes together for the greater good of all who love sports and want to stay active.
Professional and Educational Background
Blackburn professional background is in marketing and communications for public companies, Olympic athletes, public figures, music artists, national brands and non profits. Most recently she launched and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Give It Back Foundation founded by members of the USA's Women's National Volleyball Team.
During her time at Baylor she was honored to be the top social impact graduate in her class by helping to develop the athletic community outreach, a street kids rehabilitation center, a remote indigenous technology lab, and HIV micro enterprise in the country of Kenya.
Blackburn resides in Los Angeles California and Wichita Kansas. She is most recently volunteered with Wichita State Volleyball and was a color broadcaster for ESPN3, The Valley. Her favorite activity is riding along the pacific coast looking for the best coffee and fish tacos.
Do not be surprised to be greeted by Blackburn with a hug and high five on the court, field or board room. Hopefully her black lab Wrigley, will be by her side!