Where Is He Now? – Jared Lenahan
It has been eight months since Jared Lenahan, 2019 NSHF Wounded Warrior of the Year, shared his story with us. Jared recently sat down with me and talked about what he has been up to.
Jared began working toward his goal of opening a climbing gym tailored toward adaptive athletes and special needs climbers when he entered the Dog Tag Bakery Fellowship program in January of this year. The Fellowship focuses on preparing post 9-11 military veterans, spouses and caregivers with the skills they will need to enter the work force and even start their own small businesses. For Jared, the exposure he had to successful professionals allowed him to gain valuable insight into how profitable businesses are structured. Upon completion of the program he obtained a Certification in Business Administration from Georgetown University and an extensive network that will provide ongoing support to him in his journey. Jared graduated from this program in May–unfortunately, his graduation ceremony was interrupted by COVID-19–he has a great sense of accomplishment in completing the program and feels ready to take his first steps toward establishing his business.
Part of his business plan includes joining forces with other businesses interested in supporting the adaptive climbing community. Jared is currently an Ambassador for ARC’TERYX Washington DC, a global design company specializing in technical high-performance apparel, outerwear and equipment. He is also an Ambassador for Move United, an organization that’s mission is to assist individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through sports. He feels positive that these two relationships will enhance his ability to provide a safe and valuable experience to his communities.
The next big thing on his road to success, is to find an appropriate home for his gym where he envisions a climbing wall, an adaptive fitness center, and an adaptive obstacle course. All climbers will be welcome, however his goal is to tailor the gym to meet the needs of the disabled, adaptive athletes, and/or wounded warriors–his communities.
In the little free time he has, he has also found great satisfaction in converting a van into a living space. He envisions traveling all over the United States, climbing, exploring, taking pictures, visiting friends, visiting family, while creating Adaptive Sports Events through his sponsors, and then participating in the events by driving to them. He looks forward to waking up to the sound of the ocean one morning and going to sleep with the view of a mountain at night. He is constantly putting forward one of his own personal motto’s, do what you love, into practice here.
Jared’s story is an inspiration to all of us and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship with him as he realizes his dreams.
Author: Heidi Weller
Photos: Courtesy Jared Lenahan