“Don’t be afraid to conquer your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau
Hi there! Welcome to Balanced Pursuits, so glad to have you on this journey! I’m Jen Hudak, a personal-development-obsessed writer, retired professional skier, X-Games analyst & field reporter, coach and mentor. I was put on this earth to help others get out of their own way to create a life they’ve always imagined (or perhaps, have never dared to imagine), to reach their greatest potential, and live a balanced life.
Of many things, I am an eternal motivator. I believe greatly in human potential and the power of trying to do something that you’re not entirely sure you can achieve. I use the word “no” with caution and try to never use it just because I’m afraid of what saying “yes” might mean. I’m almost always willing to take one more step, to peek around one more corner, before I really say “no.” More often than not, this strategy has led me to greatness, unforeseen opportunity and growth. Sometimes it has gotten me into trouble, at times it has caused pain and heartbreak, but it has made me stronger, more compassionate and more prepared for life than simply saying “no” could have ever done.
If you’re looking to live life more in balance, but still want to strive for greatness and take on grand adventures, you’re in the right place. First things first, a balanced life does not equate a boring life. A balanced life does not mean you coast around in a perpetual zen-like state experiencing mid-level excitement without highs and lows. It means you have an awareness that life ebbs and flows. An understanding that after your greatest moments of triumph, you’ll often feel sad, that out of your darkest days, the world will seem brighter than ever. Balanced Pursuits helps you maintain perspective when everything around you, starts to spin completely out of control.
I don’t believe in telling people how to live, but in asking the right questions. The kind of questions that get you thinking and lead you to tapping into your inner wisdom to find the answers you never knew you had. I’m a guide, not a dictator. Ready to find your balance? READ BLOG
Still want to know more about me?
Since I was a young girl, I’ve always been fascinated with personal development– always striving to be more, to do more, and be better. I’ve kept a journal since I first learned to write, have always loved exploring my thoughts and emotions, and making those around me feel supported. I also loved being active, from playing traditional sports like soccer and lacrosse to outdoor sports like climbing and skiing. I’m fascinated with psychology and started reading sports psychology books in high school. From there, the world of personal development, self-improvement, and spirituality captivated me. I practiced what I was learning and applied various approaches of self-improvement to all my endeavors, which led to a fruitful 12-year career as a professional skier.
By age 23 I was on top of the world. Everything that I set out to achieve, I had. 5 x-Games medals (2 gold) to my name, 2 world championship titles, 4 national championship titles, sponsors knocking at the door, endless media opportunities, VIP parties, ESPY nominations, my very own house, a healthy, happy, loving and supportive family. It was all mine. And I thought I was just getting warmed up, that the best was yet to come, that more victories, more success, more winning, more dream-come-true moments were right around the corner. Until it all came crashing down…
Losing It All
Within a period of 3 years, I suffered numerous great losses. From a crash that erased my delusions of control, to the death of a friend from a ski accident, to a devastating knee injury, followed by a near comeback, resulting in failed Olympic dreams, the end of my ski career and then, worse of all, my father’s death. It seems like a whole other life ago that I was an over-confident twenty-something with everything to gain. Yet it was more through those failures, setbacks, losses, and heartbreaks than the victories I had and medals I earned, that I’ve grown the most. Despite the challenges that came from my sport, what surprised me most was how hard it was to walk away.
Every story has multiple chapters, and, that chapter came to its end. In November 2015, I took a lead of faith and retired from halfpipe skiing. I needed to explore what else life had in store. What once served as my sense of purpose, passion, and profit, was now a distant memory. (For more on the details of that career, click here.) I learned a lot through my ski career, but one of the main lessons that I took away from it, was that we humans are a lot more alike than we are different. The feelings we get amid our struggles and successes are vastly similar. The power of coming together to explore our vulnerabilities is astounding. So that’s why I’m here. To share with YOU and invite you to explore what scares you most.