Jeri is fascinating. She has a powerful testimony of being an over-comer, but Jeri is ah-mazing! I look at her and think, “I really need to work out more often.” I also want to point out this rock-star is 60!!
I remember going to my grandma’s house and thinking “Gosh, she’s old.” I don’t know if it was because I felt like she wasn’t enjoying her life or why I felt that way. However, I also remember the first time I felt inspired that that “older” (which I now define as MATURE) didn’t mean boring and lifeless. I didn’t HAVE TO BE a “grown-up” in many senses of the word. It was when I worked for one of the best bosses I have ever had, Bonnie. She inspired me, not just intellectually but as a human in general. She always had a way of lifting me into the position I was working, like I was already behaving and doing exactly what she wanted me to do. One day when she came to work, she was talking about going out for a run the night before. I was in awe of her. Not only was she artsy, well-dressed, kind and able to teach me without making me feel “stupid”, she RAN at 52 years old. What?!!? That moment was pivotal to me. I realized I could do whatever I wanted, it was a choice. It’s a state of mind. There have been others too, like Jeri.
I asked Jeri a few questions, I tend to ask a lot of questions because I really want to understand people and where they come from. This is what she said:
How did your journey begin? My real journey to certain wellness began in 2011, right after I went through a horrible separation, which left me alone and uncertain of the future. After 22 years, I was afraid to be alone. I didn’t know what to do with myself. But I finally put my big girl pants on and found something to channel my energy and keep me busy, as well as taking better care of ME. The first big thing that I did was register for the Susan G. Komen 3Day walk in Washington DC in 2012. I did this to support my sister in law who was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. This walk is offered in several cities yearly, where you walk 20 miles a day for 3 days to create awareness for breast cancer and help prevent this horrible disease that affects 1 in 8 women. I raised over $5,000, and I trained and logged hundreds of miles to prepare for the walk. I had more energy, I was getting in better shape, and I met amazing strong men and women along the way. I enjoyed this so much I did it again in 2013 in Chicago.
Why did you start your wellness journey? At first, I did it to be SELFISH. To have a better life, to prevent disease, and to be healthier overall. I tried becoming a Beachbody coach in January of 2016. I did this to hold myself accountable, while simultaneously helping others. But what I have found along the way is, that group fitness is what really works for me! There is power in numbers. There’s just something about a group of like-minded people together for a certain cause, to get fit, and feel better. I then found PIYO. Since PiYO, I can honestly say that I am doing what I love and helping others with their wellness journeys along the way.
What does your diet look like? I TRY to focus on the 80/20 rule. In other words, I TRY to eat good 80% of the time. Lean protein, lots of veggies, limit sugar, sugary drinks, processed foods. Let me tell you, this is NOT easy to do. My husband does not have great eating habits. If I want to eat better, I need to meal prep or cook twice. Do I fall off the wagon? Oh, my heck yes! Life gets in the way! When I fall, I usually fall BIG. I can eat an entire bag of Twizzlers! I love sweet gummy stuff like that, i.e. gummy bears, Swedish fish, etc.…. I also struggle with eating too many carbs, having a little more wine than I need, and not drinking enough water. I do not drink soda, unless I don’t feel well, and i will have ginger ale. We are all human, and all the bad choices out there usually outweigh the good, and are so tempting, and with busy lives, it’s usually all about convenience of stopping at a drive thru. I am guilty of all of this… I just get up, brush myself off, and get back on the wagon without looking back.
FYI – I am currently working on a course thru team Beachbody nutrition called B2 Mindset, to present this to my clients in conjunction to PiYO.
How do you fit this into your life? First, the exercise isn’t the problem. If I am teaching regularly, I’m getting more than my daily dose of required activity for my age. Every other month, we get new rounds and music (new classes), and I’m also forever learning to present new material to my clients. EVERYTHING ELSE IS THE ISSUE! I work a crazy compressed schedule for the Federal Govt, and I HAVE to work around that, of course, as it is my main income! BUT…. It seems that everything else is put on hold when I’m working on something PiYO-oriented. I am PiYO obsessed and may need help! My house is a wreck, even the dust bunnies hate me! The household and everyday tasks pile up on me, and I end up being up late at night to get these tasks completed. I am back up at 5 AM, so getting up any earlier is NOT an option for me! I do however, try to plan out 2 months at a time. I sure could use some guidance and structure for the administrative aspect of the business to offset my hectic life as it is today!
TRUTH: I seem to be in a mad rush to get my things together at tax time…
What is your dream? My Dream would be to own my own studio where PiYO is offered, along with other low impact-good for you work out formats. Where do you want to see your business go? At this point,I’m going through the motions of a side hustle, but would love to see it grow and flourish, but to be quite honest, I’m winging it at this point, with working full time, teaching several times per week, taking care of house and husband, and life in general. If/when this happens, I would need some guidance, as I said. I’m winging it! What is the goal of your business? The main goal is to lead by example, help others to seek out later in life fitness with the PiYO experience, and my guidance.
What does your business look like in the future? At homes, your own place, in gyms? I see my business EVERYWHERE! The beauty is that my business is mobile. Whether I am teaching at a gym or facility that is a good fit for me, or privately at someone’s home, or taking it to the park, or hopefully one day in my own studio, I am happy and content. When I see a flat grassy area, I think to myself, that would be a great place to do PiYO.
What makes you the happiest about your business? What makes me happy about my business are not only the benefits of regular PiYO workouts, but the friends and the clients that have have come to love and appreciate the PiYO experience and what PiYO does for your body, and how it makes them feel. It melts my heart and gives me great satisfaction to see an entire room of people all moving in sequence under my instruction! PiYO is more than just group exercise. PiYO can be customized for all ages and fitness levels. It is an experience, and a community, and it’s a great place to be.
What scares you? Oh my, LOTS of things! But I guess the main thing that scares the living daylights out of me would be injury or disease that would prevent me from pursuing this PiYo journey.
What do you want other people to understand about what you do? I would want others to understand that it’s never too late to become a better version of YOU! Not to let your age, ability, or setbacks control you.
Thank you Jeri for inspiring us as humans to push ourselves and be the best version of us that we can be!
You can find Jeri on Facebook @jmickeylivingmybestlife
Practicing in the Greencastle/Chambersburg, Pennsylvania area