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A Chattanooga mother discusses The War On Normal

Jenny Baker talks about the new book she co-authored with Sarah Blight, The War On Normal.

In Making History we're telling the stories of people in our community who are creating new and interesting things.

A couple of years ago Jenny Baker and her husband Franklin packed up their children and moved to Chattanooga.

"I have a six year old and a four year old," Jenny said.

They had been to the Chattanooga area many times to run trail races and camp. They decided they wanted to be a permanent part of this community..

"We always say 'I'm a pioneer and he's a settler'," Jenny Baker said. "He brings order to the things that I go out and create chaos doing."

Jenny says a good example of that is when her husband went to run the Georgia Jewel, an ultramarathon in Dalton

"I over hear the race director say she doesn't think she's gonna do it any more. She's moving to another country, and she's just gonna let it go." Jenny said. "So I said well I'll help you."

Not long after that Jenny and Franklin became the organizers of the race. They wanted to give back to a running community that had given so much to them. Jenny says she learned a lot of life lessons through running specifically when she was a brand new mom.

"Six weeks after I had Lucy, my oldest, I was released by my midwife to go exercise and go play again," Jenny said. "So, I thought that it was a good idea to sign up for two back to back half marathons."

So twelve weeks after having her first child she ran two half marathons over a seven day period. She says nobody told her that wasn't a good idea, and it didn't go well.

"I was so mad at my body, and I was so disappointed that it had failed me. It felt like it had failed me and in reality it wasn't that it had failed me it was that it had just done this amazing thing of giving life to life and it was going to be different" Jenny said. "Things were going to be different."

Jenny says that experience was the spark for her new book, The War On Normal. She and co-author Sarah Blight worked on this for the past two years. They did a research project with more than 300 moms. They asked a series of questions including how they felt about their bodies.

"It was amazing to read the responses from these moms. I really thought they might have been more positive than what they really were," Jenny said. "Starting out on this journey it gave us a lot of just encouragement" that a book that addressed these issues could be powerful for these women.

She says one goal with this is just to get women to embrace their differences.

"We'd like to see that term just thrown out the window. I'd like to never hear the word normal again because there is no normal," Jenny Baker said.

If you are interested in reading the book, The War On Normal, it's now available on Amazon.

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