Sports Cannabis Interviews

Dani Horan Jenny

Moving the needle in Crossfit Dani Horan Jenny joins Sports Cannabis to share her story in an effort to normalize the Cannabis Conversation for women across the globe.

When we think of women’s CrossFit, one name stands out as being synonymous with the sport, Dani Horan Jenny.

Over ten years ago, Dani Horan Jenny decided to leave the Competitive Equestrian world for a new challenge.  Through a referral from her dentist, she found CrossFit, and was instantly hooked to the constant push and opportunity to defy limits. With an incredible work ethic and sheer determination, Dani Horan Jenny went on to dominate the sport, competing in several CrossFit Games.

Athletes from all levels of fitness are looking for alternative modalities to help combat their day-to-day ailments.  CBD/Cannabis has hit front stage across the world as a medical option that can provide a clean, natural solution without the long term side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals.

CBD

Despite a slow adoption from medical professionals and research communities, sporting leagues and athletes are pushing for a better understanding of the plant and opportunity to integrate it globally. CBD can help athletes strengthen their immune system, reduce stress and anxiety, speed up recovery, relieve pain, help with sleep as well as has the potential to reduce inflammation.

Dani Horan Jenny //25

Today, Dani Horan Jenny is using her platform to advocate for CBD and the pivotal role it’s played in her life.  Unlike many athletes that have incorporated cannabis for recovery, relief, anxiety or inflammation, Dani partnered in the plant to help deal with severe menstrual cycles. 

With an opportunity to break the stigma and create awareness, Dani shares her journey with Cannabis;

Jay :

It’s great to connect with you, Dani, how are you doing, where are you joining us from & how are you keeping?

Dani :

“It’s great to be here. Thank you. I’m joining you from Vermont.  You know, doing the best that I can. I think everyone’s kind of been riding the waves this year, just given a lot of unknown but I’m doing my best to stick with my routine and really thankful for where things are going.”

Jay :

For the vast majority of our Sports Cannabis Community, they grew up following your CrossFit career.  Later in life, you become known as a huge advocate and a groundbreaker within the cannabis world, it seems like you’re always pushing yourself to the limit, you’re constantly busy. Where does that drive that relentless pursuit come from?

Dani :

“I think it’s just something I was born with, I think ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be better and do the best that I can and continue to grow as an individual and constantly learn. So, you know, it’s something that I’ve, I’ve always been like, for the last 32 years now.”



Jay :

Before we get a better understanding of your cannabis journey, why CrossFit, what was it about CrossFit that ultimately made you fall in love with the sport?

Dani :

“At first, it was really hard, I was really uncomfortable. I wasn’t good at any of the movements, and I just really didn’t like that there was this huge area in my life that I wasn’t strong at and I wasn’t good at.  I wanted to get better at it, and then I just kind of fell in love with the sport. I fell in love with the process of struggling and learning and figuring out and really, you know, I just loved how it made me feel. I loved how it transferred to every area in my life. It was making me a better friend, it was making me a better individual, it was making me a better daughter. It was just making me better overall. And it was really helping my confidence.  I just fell in love with the sport. My now husband, who was my boyfriend at the time -he showed me the 2009 CrossFit Games, and what I learned is that you could compete in the sport. I knew how challenging it would be, but I wanted to do everything I could to make it happen.”

Jay :

As a CrossFit Athlete competing at the highest level, you’re dealing with a demanding schedule -a constant grind, if we focus on your training, is there a big difference between your process off season compared to when you’re trying to qualify for the games?

Dani :

“I think there’s a difference between CrossFit and trying to qualify for the games. As far as training goes, if I was just doing CrossFit, and I wasn’t trying to compete at a top level, you know, I would be in the gym, staying in class 45 minutes, an hour, you know, three to four times a week, but when you’re trying to compete at the top of the sport, or you want to get to the CrossFit Games, you know, you’re talking, you’re training five, six days a week, anywhere from four to six hours a day. So there’s a pretty big difference for that.”

Jay :

The sport consists of a  brutal schedule as well as constant nagging injuries, when did you ultimately introduce cannabis for training for recovery and relief & what was your ah-ha moment?

Dani :

“I would say it started, actually not necessarily for CrossFit recovery. But for more just the female side for the menstrual cycle.  That’s kind of how I got introduced to it. I just had really bad, bad cycles. And I didn’t want to  go on birth control.  It’s  not something that responds well to my body, and it’s not something that I wanted to put into my body.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of research on other ways to help assist your cycle and make it better. So I had to do a lot of research on my own. My doctor or my natural path was the one who recommended that I try to start using cannabis. And then I started doing more research to help, you know, because I knew I was like, Okay, well, if cannabis is one thing that can help me like what or there has to be other areas of my life that I can change.”

Jay :

How effective has CBD/Cannabis been for you and how you have you ultimately figured out which ratios and products work best for you?

Dani :

“Depending on where I am in my cycle, I’ve done a few things. CBD I’ll  use a local company called VTerra and their nano is extracted CBD products. So prior to using them, I didn’t get quite the relief from just your regular type of CBD. But I noticed with the usage of the nano extracted from the VTara that it really was a lot different and became more absorbed into my body. So I use their gummies and I’ll take anywhere from 20 milligrams to maybe 16 milligrams based on what type of pain I’m in because sometimes my cycle can get really bad & it has really helped me balance out my cycle. When I was getting started on the CBD cannabis journey I implemented something called seed cycling. It’s where you take two specific seeds together for 14 days and the first half of your cycle and then you take two seeds the second half of your cycle and it helps balance out your cycle. So I did that and that took a couple months and then I also really cleaned up my diet. I followed a specific dietary protocol that was based around your cycle, you know, specific foods to eat, a specific way to cook them. So I did all of those things. I added in a ton of meditation, a ton of water, I cut out gluten, and all of those things have seemed to really be helpful.”

Jay :

Since you’ve started sharing your experience, do you find more athletes have started connecting with you, and how prevalent is CBD in the crossfit world today?

Dani :

“I have a ton of individuals that have reached out to me and continue to reach out to me and, you know, the biggest advice that I give them is that, you know, it’s part of the solution. It’s not the solution, it’s like something that helps something that significantly helps. But, you know, I always really tried to really reiterate that there are a lot of other areas that need to be addressed as well. It’s just like a piece of the puzzle.”


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Jay :

How far off do you think we are from seeing CBD as a prevalent, natural source for relief for women?

Dani :

“I hope sooner than later I just think that there’s unfortunately not enough research or information out there to help females who have really hard menstrual cycles, they want to just put you on on the pharmacy, they want to put you on birth control and they want to just, you know, stop your cycle so you don’t have the symptoms and like that’s, that’s not healthy. Like I don’t believe that that is not healthy for an individual to just not get their cycle there has to be another way another way around it.”

Jay :

Today, you’ve integrated cannabis/CBD into your life, what does your CBD routine look like?

Dani :

“I guess I’m just going day to day.  For activity, I’ll usually take V Terra gummy which is 20 milligrams. It’s really good, it’s fast acting and I find that it really helps my recovery. If I know that I’m going to be getting my cycle soon I’ll kind of almost like load up a little bit like one to two days before because I find that it helps almost lower my inflammation a little bit in my body. And then you know when I get my cycle usually it’s like every other cycle is a little more uncomfortable than the other. So you know if I’m really uncomfortable I’ll take anywhere and you know, this is just for me specifically, this is what I’ve found works best for me. I think that’s something that everyone should be mindful of with CBD and cannabis is that every one’s body metabolizes differently. So you may need way more than me and I may need, you know, way more than you. I think we’re all different. But when I’m, you know, if I’m in really uncomfortable pain with my cycle, I’ll take anywhere from 60 milligrams to 80 milligrams of the V Terra, I’ll do their their nano dropper tincture, and I find that within 15 minutes it makes the world of a difference, you know, I used to take like a Tylenol, and that does help, but I just don’t want to be putting that in my body, and then Midol is considered a banned substance in CrossFit. So you can’t take that. I took that when I was younger, and that never really did anything for me. So that’s why I’ve kind of found CBD to be the most effective way of relieving pain.”

Jay :

We’ve talked about how you discovered the profound effects of the plant, the numerous ways it can help the body, and ultimately you became an advocate, the plant as a whole has been layered in stigma, You’ve been a pioneer, speaking freely, to BREAK THE STIGMA , educate and Promote awareness, pushing for inclusivity and community, why is having a transparent conversation vital to the movement of cannabis and what ultimately pushed you to become a huge advocate of the movement?

Dani :

“I think that the reason that I’m such an advocate of it (cannabis  is because I’m a female, and I’ve struggled from really painful, uncomfortable menstrual cycles, like the point where I’m crawling on the floor, can’t get out of bed. And I know that I’m not the only individual out there female that’s felt like that, and I also realized, through my own research, there’s not a lot of information out there, and there’s not a lot of support out there to help females figure out like, why is my menstrual cycle so uncomfortable. So if there’s any way that I could help, if I can help one female, get out of pain and live a normal, you know, have a healthy cycle where it’s a little uncomfortable, but not so uncomfortable, that you can’t get out of bed and you’re crawling around like you know that mean? That means the world to me to just be able to help others and help others get out of pain.”

Jay :

Outside of being an outspoken advocate for Cannabis and women in weed, you’re also an entrepreneur, and actively involved with your community, talk to us about Champlain Valley Community Fitness and what you guys have created today?

Dani :

“The gym is located in Wilson, Vermont, it’s about 10,000 square feet. We, in my opinion, have, you know, one of the most amazing communities out there, we have athletes of all levels. We have athletes where, you know, they come to class, and they’re training for competing as in CrossFit, or they’re training for competing in another sport. Or we have athletes that come and they just want to hang out and chat and that’s totally fine. So we have athletes of all different levels, and everyone is really kind and super supportive of one another. I love all of our members. You know, they’re very much like family to me, and I feel really lucky for what we have.  Our goal is to make that hour of that athlete’s day when they come to class like the best hour of class, and to help them become the best that they can be.  We want to help them become confident, to be there for them, to support them and to see them be the best that they can be.”

Jay :

You’ve been an outspoken advocate, constantly pushing for change, creating transparent and open conversations, for other athletes or individuals listening that are looking to follow in your footsteps, if you could offer a piece of advice, what would it be?

Dani :

“I think you have to do what makes you happy in life.  If there’s something that you want to do, or there’s something you’re not happy with, you have to realize that you’re the only individual who can can get you where you want to go and realize that it might be challenging and you might have to overcome a lot, but just keep going after you know, what really sets your soul on fire and, and what makes you happy and just don’t stop til you get what you want.”

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