When Jessica graduated from Hofstra University and her Division I Volleyball career came to an end, her fitness journey was far from over. She took the team-oriented mindset she had developed over years of playing sports and began her post-college journey.
First, Jess discovered CrossFit, where she maintained a high level of fitness after graduating. The community and philosophy became a huge part of her life, but after a few years, Jess lost her drive and passion. She spent about a year struggling to find her new fitness home, gaining over 30 pounds along the way.
She knew she wanted to get back into shape, so for her 30th birthday Jess asked for a barbell and plates for at-home workouts. It didn’t take long before she realized that working out just wasn’t the same without the group atmosphere and motivation that comes from working with others.
"I genuinely believe in the power of TEAM, as some of my best memories and life lessons come from being part of them. Playing sports isn't just about the game, it's about the mentality of being part of something that is larger than yourself.”
A few months later, in June of 2014, a friend introduced Jess to SWERVE. It happened to be the same week that she would have celebrated the 83rd birthday of her grandmother, who had spent much of her life in a wheelchair. During Jess’s first ride at SWERVE, something inside her clicked; now was the time to start making health and fitness a priority in her life again and time to stop taking her physical abilities for granted.
That day, Jess committed to a goal in her grandma’s memory: eat clean, be grateful, and complete 50 rides by Thanksgiving–a time she had been accustomed to spending with her grandmother every year. In the next five months, Jess exceeded that goal and since then, has continued to SWERVE consistently, racking up over 200 classes to date.
"SWERVE is more than just a cycling studio. It’s a space for people like me to flex our competitive muscle, find teammates in a new era, and set, meet, and exceed individual goals every time we walk in the door."
She has gone from last in the class to first in the class, has increased her SWERVE score by over 550 points, and has introduced SWERVE to dozens of friends and family. Her husband, Derek is now also a regular rider and meets her for date night at SWERVE every Tuesday night.
“Like the volleyball court, basketball court, and lacrosse field were for me growing up and throughout college, SWERVE has become a second home."
Since finding SWERVE, Jess has lost 35 pounds and her passion for health and fitness has been re-ignited. In addition to supporting friends and family in their fitness endeavors, Jess is currently implementing corporate wellness principles and practices at her company, a digital agency just a few blocks north of SWERVE.
Her friends will tell you that she's truly a catalyst for those about to embark on their own journey and a point of accountability for those well on their way. She wants to help educate and inspire, and the family she’s found at SWERVE fuels that fire even more.
"Each time I clip in, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be there in that moment, how lucky I am to be able to just move, and I find comfort in knowing that this is just beginning."
Chances are you've seen Jess around the studio. Whether she's duking it out with her husband for #1 on the green team, prolonging her pre-work mornings by hanging out for a few extra minutes (or hours) after a 6am ride, or killing time between SWERVE and her next workout adventure, her presence brings a warmth and happiness to Flatiron every time she comes.
Here is the advice Jess would give to others:
Find your “why” - what drives you to show up and put in work?
Find an instructor you connect with, that you relate to, that makes you want to work hard for them (and in turn, you)
Find your crew, your family - the group of people who hold you accountable, that are on the same journey as you are (even if for different reasons)
Just keep showing up
“Everyone has their own story, but I’m really glad SWERVE is part of mine.”