My childhood nickname was “Shaky-Jake”—the one who couldn’t stop moving. I wiggled and danced as a toddler and all the way through college. In the early stage of my career as a fitness professional, I took on the warrior archetype. I wore my body like a badge of fitness perfection. And just like a bully, I told my body what to do until it just couldn't anymore.
Epstein Barr. Shingles. Chronic Fatigue. Shin splints. Shoulder Impingement. Plantar Fasciitis. All in the course of a few years.
Even though I was a professional fitness instructor at the height of my career with a body to show for it, I had no idea how to listen to or care for my body. I didn't realize it was breaking down because of what I was putting it through.
I thought all this illness and injury was, well, normal.
As luck or destiny would have it, in 1996, I took a barefoot, somatic-fitness class. That one magical hour flipped a switch deep inside me. I thought "this is how I want to be with my body." Over the course of 20+ years, I studied somatic movement and learned how to develop a relationship with my body, whether I was moving or not.
That one class was my tipping point and my trajectory for studying a fascinating and sustainable way to learn from, live in and love my body.