Member Spotlight: Jessica Bloch

Posted September 23, 2019

Jessica has been to over 2,000 Rival classes with her first visit on 1/31/2013!

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What’s your current job/title?
I’m currently working at Horizon House as a Life Enrichment Associate in the Supported Living and Memory Support communities.

What degree did you complete with your schooling over the past six and a half years?
I’m a slow boil kinda gal…so I completed my AA degree at Seattle Central Community College and my BA in Psychology at the University of Washington. As of September 25th I will be starting the Social Work program at UW to get my MSW…because apparently I just don’t know when to quit.

Where are we likely to find you on a Saturday night?  On a Sunday afternoon?
On a Saturday night you might be able to find me at a small venue checking out some live music or an art event…or at home alone reading (a.k.a. re-watching Grey’s Anatomy for the millionth time). This past Saturday I was at Kremwerk for Cucci’s Critter Barn…. a hilarious drag show featuring several different local drag performers. Sundays are a different story though. I’m usually at the gym in the morning and then borrowing my friend’s dog to hang with… since I’m severally dog deprived.

You’ve been working out consistently for six and a half years (over 2,000 classes!) – what keeps you motivated?
I think my motivation comes from a desire to feel healthy and strong. Growing up in a small beach town in Southern California, I learned from a young age that humans place unrealistic expectations on their bodies. They put emphasis on aesthetics instead of holistic approaches to health and fitness. My motivation comes from a deep inner desire to connect with my body and to keep it moving for as long as I can. 2,000 classes is hilarious to me…but as I said I’m a slow boil, 6 ½ years of coming to Rival…I don’t have a six pack, but I’m strong.

Over the course of the last six and a half years we’ve seen you juggle work, school, friends, and your commitment to your workouts. How have you managed all of those competing priorities?
Honestly, I ask myself that question all the time. The biggest trick to balancing my crazy schedule is to get all the gross stuff out of the way (like homework), and then sprinkle my free time with things that restore my energy. The biggest one for me besides spending time with my friends is going to classes at Rival. My workouts are truly the only thing I do that is ONLY for me. I feel restored and rebooted after working out and know that it plays a huge part in maintaining my mental health. I feel extremely lucky to live in a neighborhood where I’m surrounded by good friend and only a block away from Rival. This makes sneaking away to catch-up with friends in the middle of studying possible, and makes getting to the gym by 6 a.m. fathomable.

You continue to amaze us with your personal strength and endurance gains.  Where you have you realized the benefits of these gains most?
This is such a tough question! I think I’m blind to most of my endurance gains until I’m put in situations where they are seriously challenged like when I go backpacking with friends, or my mother makes me carry her cases of wine into the house from her car. I do also think that a lot of my gains have been mental. My concept of self has changed from weak to strong, my confidence in my abilities has grown, and I have a new found respect for my body’s capabilities.

What advice do you have for someone who may be new to fitness or looking to establish a more consistent workout routine?
Try to find something that you enjoy. Look for a class or a space that makes you feel comfortable and never be afraid to ask questions. I need the motivation of an instructor. If I went to the gym alone with no direction, I would probably just end up eating snacks on the treadmill. I feel like finding Rival was such a gift for my fitness goals. Those 2,000 visits are all classes. Classes that are fun and challenging. I don’t want to bore anyone with the data on exercise but there are seriously no downsides to exercising. Start off small and just keep at it, you will never regret spending more time bettering your health.

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