I have always enjoyed sports. Not necessarily playing them because I’m not particularly athletic and mostly prefer to participate in activities where I’m unlikely to be injured, like reading. But I love watching sports and I’m often amazed by the abilities of athletes who perform seemingly miraculous feats of endurance, strength, speed and agility. It is not lost on me how much effort goes into becoming an elite athlete.
It is also not lost on me how much effort can go into being a decent human being, someone who chooses to shine a light of goodness into a world that can often be a dark and despondent. When I sat down with NFL wide receiver, Greg Jennings, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, I got the impression that he is not only a dedicated and accomplished athlete, but also a genuinely decent person.
Greg and Nicole Jennings invited me into their Edina home to discuss the Greg Jennings Foundation for a feature story in this issue. Nicole answered the door with a whisper. She and Greg were in the process of putting the littlest of their four children down for afternoon naps. They invited me in, asked me to make myself comfortable, and then they tip-toed upstairs to finish tucking in their kiddos. They re-joined me after a few minutes for a wonderful chat about their mutual passion for helping others. Like many who’ve either grown up in Edina or moved here later in life–like the volunteers who created a public butterfly garden or the philanthropists who’re helping fund the Fairview Southdale emergency room expansion project–the Jennings are shining their light alongside a community that together can be a beacon of inspiration.
editor, Edina Magazine