The Book

Pre Order Your Book Today to Support the Advancement and Mission of Helping Athletes Transition After Competition Ends

What to do When the Last Whistle is Blown?

Let’s start building a movement that prioritizes our athletes health (mind, body and spirit) and forever connects them to the athletic community in their second life chapter. Let’s create energizing events and programming that can unite us in our similarities and highlight resources to our families for those athletes who may be struggling.

We as a society should leave NO ATHLETE BEHIND. (No matter how long they played and competed in their sport). Each of our athletic journeys should not have an expiration date because life is a team sport. In short, we all need to keep moving forward, let’s do it, together.

We Will Be Here When the Lights Turn Off

The topics covered are the following: Physical Health, Mental Health, Athlete Identity, Strategies for Success, Community Interaction, Leadership, Bike Basics and much more!  The materials from Always An Athlete® Book and Workbooks, Lectures, Seminars, Classes and Events lay out the argument and methodology that Athletes need to be prepared for the transition.

Utilizing the stories and expertise of Jenne’ Blackburn and Always An Athlete® Ambassadors, the materials and programs will help answer the question of “what’s next” for Athletes. Connect with us today and share how the Always An Athlete® Mission helps you thrive in the next chapter of your life.

Kickstart the Conversation

The Always An Athlete® Book chronicles the journey that Blackburn took and the people she met along the way to articulate her ideas and proposed solutions around the athlete transition. After she outlines the problems that athletes face, Blackburn outlines the importance of coming together as a sport community to provide tangible solutions and resources for athletes.

She specifically discussed why the Bicycle IS an incredible TOOL for all Athletes as they transition into the next season of their lives. Bringing together athletes on bikes for rides is a great FUN event to kickstart the conversation, build community, and receive next steps along the journey.

"The crowds go home. The lights go out. Lockers are emptied. And the athlete leaves the stadium for the last time. They go to sleep that night on the life they built over years and potentially even decades. And then the sun rises the next morning."


Available now!
The Book

Order Your Book Today to Support the Advancement and Mission of Helping Athletes Transition After Competition Ends

moving the
discussion forward


First and foremost, this book is for the athlete. Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. Each of us are unique: our backgrounds, our hopes for our lives, and even who we root for in sports. If you ever have trained, competed and love being able to move your body— you are an athlete.

The hope is that this book and subsequent materials can help make the inevitable transition much smoother for all athletes, at any level, anywhere that sports are being played and enjoyed.

Coaches and Executives

This book is also for coaches, administrators, athletic directors, general managers and other executives at every level – from high school on up through the professional ranks. Chances are high that if you are in one of these positions of authority, you also played sports at some point at the beginning of your journey.

You hear the uncertainty and the confusion in the questions that your athletes are facing as they transition. You are essential to this conversation on how to help athletes. You have the opportunity to be on leading edge of the conversation and solution about how and why we need to help athletes begin the transition before the locker room is excited for the last time.


This book is for the parents of our athletes at every level. You want the absolute best for your children. You want them to grow into the amazing men and women that you know they can become. You are going to create memories and lasting traditions within your family around shared activities. This book is meant to help you understand what your child has gone through, is going through, or will go through, in the hopes of giving you the opportunity to help them before the day inevitably comes that they enter the next chapter of their lives.

fans and media

The public. The fans. The media. You fun, crazy people ready to buy t-shirts for every championship, wear the same jersey every game and engage in postseason rituals involving underwear and socks. You people who buy the tickets and watch the games. You make sport more than just the game. This book is for you because, at the end of the day, you have the greatest influence on how we – as a society – treat, support and encourage our players.

This book is for many people. It is for every person who has played sports. It is for every person who has coached sports. It is for every person who has managed sports. At the end of the day, this book is for every person who has ever loved sports in some form or who has been impacted by sports. Each of you has a unique and necessary role to play in moving the discussion forward and to ensure that each of our athletes remains in an athletic posture— mind, body and spirit.

Together, as an athletic community, we should encourage all athletes to stay in an athletic state of mind, even after we have hung up their pads, cleats and jerseys.

The Book

Pre Order Your Book Today to Support the Advancement and Mission of Helping Athletes Transition After Competition Ends

Supporting thiS message

Billie Jean King

Sports Icon and Equality Champion

scroll for more ▼

This book is a must read for anyone who loves sports and is serious about helping athletes make a successful transition from the field of play to the next phase of your journey.

Dr Nicole LaVoi

Nicole M. LaVoi, PhD., Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, former coach, NCAA D-III National Team Champion and 2x Academic All-American in tennis.

scroll for more ▼

Blackburn weaves in landscape analogies to bring the reader through the athletic journey of multidimensional triumphs, tribulations and transitions, for all sport stakeholders, but especially the athletes, who love or have been impacted by sports. The book ends with a surprising but simple solution for coping with the loss of athletic identity and one I have embraced successfully!

Chris Voelz

Former Collegiate athlete, coach and administrator Executive Director, Collegiate Women Sports Awards Athletics Director Emerita University of Minnesota, Women’s Sports Foundation steward & ambassador

scroll for more ▼

A former collegiate athlete with an insight into the journey of elite performance takes the reader on the journey that follows. It is a journey which provides guardrails and strategies to make the next phase as enjoyable and successful as the past athletic one. This book should be helpful to the athletes in transition as well as parents and those leaders and organizations who wish to bring the best of the athlete into the best of society.

The pillars provide new goals and tools for the next journey where the athlete transitions. The bike serves as an example of a kick start to this next journey - one which might occur on a surfboard or in open water swims or kayaking but in all cases continues with movement and using one’s life lessons gained from athletic performance and participation.

Kathy DeBoer

Former Athlete, Coach & Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Author of Gender & Competition: How Men and Women Compete at Work and Play Differently

scroll for more ▼

In Always An Athlete Jenne Blackburn analyzes the challenges of transitioning from elite competitive sport to a healthy lifestyle. What most consider a counterintuitive concept for body-focused athletes, Blackburn correctly identifies the very real struggles that face accomplished performers upon retirement from competition. Read any biography of a college or professional athlete and you will find a story filled with years of focused training: most were introduced to their sport when there were in elementary school and started specializing in middle school; most bore the weight of a family that was equally committed to their success in sport; and, most made their college and career choices based primarily on the institution’s reputation for excelling in their sport.

Blackburn details how this twenty-year, single-minded focus inevitably leads to a loss of personal identity once the scoreboard goes dark. She also provides pragmatic strategies for transitioning to new ways of being an athlete and developing healthy life habits.

“Above all, cycling is fun. It can be a great way to get outside, spend time with friends or even one’s regular teammates on another sports team”
Bill Walton, UCLA and NBA Basketball Legend

“Everybody always does a golf outing, but you can only get so many people involved in that because not everybody plays. And I wanted everybody to be able to participate. And what does everybody know how to do? Ride a bicycle! It’s fun and it’s good exercise. A lot of times when people are riding a bike, they don’t even realize that they’re exercising. So doing that was a no-brainer to me.”

Bo Jackson,
NFL Pro Bowler, MLB Allstar

executive synopsis

pen to paper since 2014

scroll for more ▼

Always An Athlete is a comprehensive study of the ways in which every athlete’s climb up what Jenne Blackburn has called “The Mountain” - the journey from youth sports, through high school sports, college sports and finally professional/olympic sports at the peak - sets up the athlete for an inevitable fall off “The Cliff” after they retire.

In the first portion of the book, Blackburn takes the reader through what she has identified as the four levels of “The Mountain” of sports in America: youth sports, high school sports, college sports and, finally, professional and Olympic sports at the “Peak” of the Mountain. Through each of these chapters, she examines the characteristics of athletes and the growth of the athletic identity from an early age. She digests the influence of coaches and family, and the ways in which their influence is building a greater and greater athletic identity that will be the base of their fall off the Cliff at retirement.

In the second portion of the book, Blackburn examines what she has identified as the Three Pillars of the Cliff: Identity, Mental Health and Physical Health. The issues that athletes have in each of these areas after they retire from competitive sports collectively forms what she calls “The Cliff.” After training, sacrificing and devoting years and sometimes decades to a game, she believes that athletes at every level of the Mountain will fall off the Cliff in some form.

Obviously, athletes who fall off at a lower level such as youth sports, will not have the disastrous fall that can happen to our professional football players and Olympic gymnasts when they are forced to retire from their life’s preoccupation before they are even thirty years old.

In the last portion of the book, Blackburn examines solutions to be adopted by athletes at every level in order to soften and shorten the fall off the Cliff. Ultimately, she proposes the bicycle as a foundation to help retired athletes resolve lingering loss of identity, mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and depression, and failure to change diet and exercise habits when they transition out of a performance-purposed existence.

Always An Athlete is a guidebook for athletes, fans and executives in the sports industries alike.

More about the author


Jenné Blackburn is an author, social good activist, entrepreneur, and lifelong athlete. Founder of Always An Athlete® and Ball2Bike®, she is passionate about helping athletes transition to the next phase of their personal and athletic lives. The book “Always an Athlete” chronicles the beginnings of Ball2Bike®, and aims to engage audiences in the story, mission, and vision of this national campaign to keep our nations athletes moving forward on a bicycle.