2013-02-18-06-09-19

I like watching people make it happen. I especially like watching people make it happen who are simultaneously WORKING REALLY HARD. The two usually go hand in hand, but I believe this is such a powerful reminder that we can have and do anything that we desire. Hence my decision to do a little Q&A with Jessie Benson my friend from Rollins College. Her indoor SUP floyo class generated a lot of buzz online this week – like Huffington Post buzz. Jessie is a spin instructor, SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) fitness instructor, and also leads Fitness Vacations through her Culturally Fit Programs. She’s currently in Jamaica!

Here are the three questions I couldn’t wait to ask Jessie.

K: When did you first fall in love with SUP?

Well, I first tried SUP when I was traveling in Indonesia. I was on the tiny chain of islands called the Gili Islands, near Bali. There people used SUP’s as a mode of transportation. But it was not until I rented a board for a week while in Siesta Key, FL that i truly feel in love. Once you experience the feeling of “walking on water” you become instantly hooked. It is honestly the only activity I do that completely clears my mind. It takes so much focus to stay stabilized on the board that your mind really is in the present moment and not racing a mile a minute. It is the most amazing, peaceful feeling!

K: How do you find time to balance your Culturally Fit programs, working full-time AND getting in a good workout?

J: It’s all about time management! I teach about 12 classes a week on top of my “9-5” marketing job. I really just try to be fully committed to whatever i am doing so that i can get the most out of my time. When i am teaching a spin class I am not only coaching my students but also working hard myself and thus getting my workout in (multi-tasking!). When i am in the office I try to commit 100% to work so that I can leave the office at a decent hour and have time to keep teaching! The Culturally Fit programs are my “me time”. It is what I do for fun and I hope to find even more time over the next few months to continue to grow Culturally Fit and develop more fitness vacations and programs.

K: Where will you be teaching SUP this spring/summer?

Beginning in late May I will be taking all of my SUP fitness programs outside to the beautiful Chesapeake Bay! I have partnered with Ultimate Watersports to bring my PaddleFusion classes, including FloYo, to their 2 locations in Baltimore County. Ultimate Watersports focuses on introducing everyone to the joy and beauty of adventures on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries with Kayak, Sailing, Windsurfing and Stand Up Paddle Board programs. I am proud to partner with them for the 2013 season. The two locations that I will be teaching on the Chesapeake Bay tributaries are truly some of Baltimore’s hidden gems. Located only 20 minutes from downtown Baltimore and easily accessible off I-95, i could not imagine a more peaceful and beautiful spot for SUP Fitness.

Jessie inspires me so much to pursue my dreams, and I hope her story inspires you too! I can’t wait to visit her in Baltimore this summer and take a few of her classes.

Want to see what’s Jessie’s up to? Follow her on Twitter @CulturallyFit, check out her blog and see her in action on instagram (CulturallyFit).

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