My fitness journey has been a roller coaster ride. I was active when I was younger, doing anything and everything from ice skating to Taekwaondo to volleyball to Irish step dance to swimming. When I was in high school, I ran cross-country and threw javelin for the track and field team. By the time I reached college, I felt relatively confident with my fitness regime, especially since I ran a half marathon the spring of senior year.
During my freshman year of college, I walked onto varsity crew as a coxswain. Suddenly all my mental energy was dedicated to minimizing the number on the scale for daily weigh-ins. I was so afraid to do anything but cardio because I didn’t want to gain any muscle mass. My goal with cardio was to cancel out any food/calories I had eaten. It was miserable.
Things started to look up after quitting crew. However, I swore off exercise because I had developed such an unhealthy relationship with it. At the end of freshman year, I made the decision to transfer schools. At my new university, I was completely focused on academics and would sometimes go for a run here and there, but I was wary of becoming super involved in fitness again because of my toxic crew experience.
Nevertheless, I found myself joining Equinox on a whim when I started working full-time (I’m a sucker for a corporate discount). I remember my first class with Gina like it was yesterday, a class called “The Cut” at Orchard Street in October 2018. After that first day, I was HOOKED. Less than a month later, Gina stopped teaching The Cut to go teach her own format, JABS. It still had a kickboxing base but was more focused on strength. I quickly followed and became a Jabber, attending classes all over Manhattan and signing up for every PROJECT class I could make.
I look forward to exercise now. JABS has brought so much structure and pure joy to my life. And while it’s definitely made me physically stronger (shoutout to being able to do a push-up without crying from the exertion), more importantly, it’s made me so much mentally stronger. I’ve finally developed a healthy relationship with food and working out, which is something I really struggled with in the past.
My JABS journey can be summed up, however, in the following anecdote...When my friend and I were deeply enthralled in a tattoo discussion, I had mentioned that tattoos were cool but I didn’t have anything I felt so strongly about that I could justify a permanent inking. My friend instantly responded with, “You feel that way about JABS, though.”
It was a pretty accurate observation. And although I haven’t gotten a #allidoisjab tattoo, that doesn’t mean I didn’t strongly consider it.