Here For Good: Faith and Fitness
Here For Good at Chase Oaks is a movement reminding us what type of church and what kind of people we want to be. We are surrounded by endless needs in our community. But for people like fitness coach Jenny Innis, those needs are also opportunities to make a difference. As she says, “If you have the desire to do something for good, pay attention to the signs in your life and God will lead you down the path you should take. Everyone needs something and there is always a way to help. It is a matter of surrender.” Read more about how God has led Jenny to be Here for Good for others around her, below.
Yearning to Make a Difference
Jenny has been with Chase Oaks Church since 2005, back when the church had a different name and only one campus. She continued attending at the Legacy Campus after it was built and stayed there until moving in 2014. After her move, she transitioned to the Sloan Creek Campus and has been there ever since.
Jenny has always had a yearning to give back to her community, but she didn’t know what platform she might have or how she could possibly make a difference. Her life is chaotic. She has a 13-year-old daughter and, since the pandemic, has been not only her mother, but her teacher. She and her husband also have two other children, ages one and two, who are 15 months apart. Her husband works three 12-hour shifts a week at a hospital in Dallas. Not only is Jenny a full-time mom, but she also works part-time at a dental office and helps her friend as a bridal party stylist.
Finding Time for Fitness
Jenny's crazy life has left little time for fitness. She was always active in sports growing up, and also worked out recreationally until becoming pregnant with her last two children. Both were high-risk pregnancies which left her on bedrest for upwards of 20 weeks each.
When her youngest child turned one, she decided it was time to reprioritize her own health. Given the pandemic, it was vital that her workout program be online and not in-person. Jenny also wanted variety in her workouts, as she gets bored easily.
After some searching, she finally found her perfect program through the recommendation of a friend. Not only was it virtual and varied, but it also provided involvement opportunities for her children. Jenny loved the program so much that she wanted to share it with everyone.
Her friend also mentioned how great she would be as a fitness coach. She was immediately interested in what she thought could be an ideal platform to encourage others. Her friend’s recommendation coincided directly, time-wise, with Jeff Jones’ talk about being Here For Good.
Inspired by the call to make a difference, Jenny took the opportunity to start her own health and fitness business that hosts virtual bootcamps. She maintains a FaceBook page to encourage her clients, helps them with weekly meal plans, and schedules their group workouts.
Jenny also decided from the outset to donate all of the proceeds from her fitness coaching to charity. Coaching has provided the platform she always desired. Now, because of her commitment to be Here For Good, Jenny not only helps people to invest in themselves and feel better, but she can also invest back into the community.
Making a Difference
Jenny received her first paycheck on January 28, 2021. January has always been a tremendously difficult month for her: her brother committed suicide when she was younger, and both his birthday and death anniversary are in January. She has always felt that awareness about mental health issues is sorely lacking. So she decided to donate her first proceeds to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ("AFSP"). The Thursday that she received her first paycheck was also the anniversary of her brother’s death. It was a sweet blessing to donate her proceeds in his name, that very day.
By her sharing her story, Jenny received an outpouring of love. Countless other individuals felt compelled to share their stories too. Her vulnerability and sharing helped to build connections that would not have formed otherwise. One family who also suffered from the devastating effects of suicide chose to match her initial January donation. Their combined gift totaled $1100 towards AFSP in memory of her brother.
Jenny continues to give to causes that hold a special meaning for her, her friends, and her family. Other donations have helped a local school to replace items damaged in this past spring's devastating winter storms, and to support an infertility awareness organization during National Infertility Awareness Week. She is always looking for recommendations for additional causes and charities.
Jenny is a great example of how we can all make a difference when we commit to being Here For Good.
Looking for ways you can be Here For Good? Find more information about opportunities to serve with the Local Good Center, here.