iDream Athlete Spotlight

The sport of running gives us a sense of hope and a future. A way to process life. Running races gives us the vision to set goals, and dreams, and pursue passions! More importantly running also gives us so many opportunities to give back to our communities. 
And that’s exactly what the iDream Athlete Foundation helps with! From athletes like Zach and Jessica iDream exists to elevate the community through sports. From race fees, sports equipment to travel expenses they exist to serve athletes who otherwise may not have these opportunities.

Introducing Jessica Payne – iDream Athletes Spotlight Foundation Scholarship Winner

Local “coach Jess” hasn’t always been a runner.  In fact, she comes from a background of little to no exercise, avoiding PE (physical education as it was called back in the 90s) at all costs! It wasn’t until her first child was about six years old that she found running! It quickly became a liberating stress reliever from the demands of working full-time in the pharmacy as a single mother.  

After running her first 5k in late 2011 she decided it was time to go big or go home. Let’s run a marathon! That marathon finish line propelled her to later become a personal trainer, run coach and cheerleader for others. From running 5k training boot camps to coaching runners online she wants nothing more than to encourage others in the race of life. If she could find joy from pain through running she wanted others to find that hope as well.

Running from PPD and PTSD

Since then she has been married for seven years and added two more little ones to the mix who are four and two years old.  As you can imagine her life got overwhelmingly busy, and fast! But, in-between that time she found pockets of time to train and take over an hour off her marathon time! 

However, things took a bit of a nosedive after she transitioned to a becoming more of a full-time stay-at-home momma to care for the kiddos.  Not being able to work left little extra for things like running but it was more so of a critical point in her life to save her mental health. Battling with postpartum depression and newly diagnosed childhood PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), running became even more vital to her well-being. During this time she decided to get professional therapy to help her cope, manage her mental stress, and to literally save her life. Through hard work and humility she has regained her mental health and continues to learn more about PTSD.

Now more than ever Jess is motivated to pursue both her personal running goals and coaching career goals. 

jessica payne, run in rabbit, firecracker 5k, iDream athlete, idream sponsored athlete

What’s Next for Jess

Jess has some pretty big goals ahead included breaking 3:00 hours in the marathon before she turns 40.  She knows that age is just a number and we can be faster as a master.  Her other goals include raising her children in love (priority number one), learning how to move past her childhood PTSD, educate others on the subject and be an eternal cheerleader for others who may be wading through the valleys of darkness.

Leading up to these goals you’ll find her racing the RAD 10k this June and the Black Bear Half-Marathon in October as tune up races for her marathon this November where she hopes to break 3:10 on her sub-3:00 hour marathon quest before 2025! 

“It’s not only opened avenues for personal development and growth for myself but also opportunities to help others on their journeys as well. It’s given me the chance to be a light in the community. Thanks to the team at iDaph and iDream for sponsoring me as an athlete I now have the gift to continue racing and training! This also helps me to spread the love for the sport and testimony from childhood trauma to living a life of LIGHT and love. Joy after trauma is possible with therapy and running! And I’m on a mission to spread the joy of running and how it can help teach you how to move forward.” - Jessica Payne

iDream athlete,

You can connect with coach jess over on Instagram here.

To Give or Apply for the iDream Athlete Foundation

Entering the sport of cycling, running and multi-sport can be costly. Removing the cost barrier for athletes who are interested in training for or participating in a running, cycling or multi-sport event is key to growing our WNC sports community. With iDream Athletes Foundation, we will be able to provide an approachable and comfortable setting for young adults to gain exposure, experience, and training in their sport. This allows us to support and spur on healthy, active lifestyles in our community members.

Jessica Payne was awarded a scholarship from the iDream Athletes Foundation Scholarship Fund. The scholarship has helped fund the race fees needed to work towards her ultimate goal in the marathon distance as a competitive athlete. 
Do you have a swim, bike, and/or run dream that you need financial assistance to accomplish? Learn how we can help you achieve those dreams.  To give to the iDream foundation or to apply for a scholarship visit here for more information. No aspiring athlete should feel stuck due to finances. They are here to help those dreams come true. Asking for help can feel awkward and hard.  But, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email.