Jera Foster-Fell leads a life that is much of a melange of positive passions and adventure. She is as excited about spinning and sweating each crazy day as she is about motivating others, and we can’t help but adore her for it.
Scrolling through Jera’s Instagram, her eye for the aesthetic is beautifully obvious. Having graduated in fine arts with a specialization in graphic design, picturesque snaps of colourful food are peppered amidst stylish Soul Cycle group shots and inspirational fitness selfies that illustrate the motivating dissertations in their descriptions–convincing us why we can, as opposed to cannot. “Trust Your Dopeness” she states in her bio. This pretty well describes Jera’s compass in life. She possesses multiple talents, and she knows it. Furthermore she seems to just, well, go with it. It is her talent for inspiring and connecting with people through fitness that just recently caught our eye.
Twelve months ago, before Jera was busy spinning and motivating those around her, she was following her passion of graphic design, and utterly lost. For a little while at least.
“I went through a couple of jobs where I was miserable and just attributed it to the company. Now that I have discovered what my true passion is, I don’t think that graphic design was ever my calling. I think that I’m good at it and I could have a career in it, but it doesn’t make me feel happy and fulfilled in the way that working out and motivating other people does.”
Jera struggled with her peace of mind that year, in need of a physical outlet to release that tension more than even she knew at the time.
Although she had always been fairly active throughout her life, she decided to make the jump to a workout program, inspired by those on Instagram whom she noticed doing the same. She created her health focused Instagram account simultaneously.
“I fell in love with exercising and feeling healthy. And seeing physical changes in my body.”
This fresh love affair juxtaposed her career choices at the time, causing her to reevaluate where her happiness resided.
“It made me realize that graphic design [was] not my passion anymore and [was] not something that I enjoy doing anymore. Over the past few months I’ve decided to figure out how to make what is my passion my daily life”. Jera has now taken her graphic design career freelance, with the aim of transitioning into fitness as a full-time career through Soul Cycle. She had just passed her personal trainer test a matter of hours before our chat.
On spin as a passion
“The thing that you enjoy, you have to hold on to that.” Jera advises on the dread of working out. It was in college when she ultimately discovered her love for spin. And that was only the beginning.
“It’s a dance party on a bike.” Jera describes the epitome of the perfect spin class. Moreover, she describes it to be an all encompassing experience.
For Jera, spinning takes her to new place; an empowering, stimulating mental space. “With the right instructor and the right music, it can take you to this place that you could never get to on your own running on a treadmill”, she says. The intense forty five minute sweat has a lot to do with the “spin guru” leading the party, Jera adds. “It’s addicting. It makes you work really hard and feel really good.”
“I’m in such a better place than I was twelve months ago. I feel so grateful to be able to recognize that and compare it to where I was not too long ago.” Jera explains that during a time when she was so unhappy at her job that she was staying up thirty hours straight with heart palpitations and losing her hair, this was the lowest point in her life.
To the twenty-somethings too familiar with this feeling and stumped by their professional goals and source of happiness, Jera encourages that this doesn’t have to be an inescapable trap.
“When you feel like you’re stuck, you don’t have to continue feeling like you’re stuck. No one is going to quit your job for you, help you look for a new one, or tell you what your passion is.”
Jera explains that no one but herself made her stay at a job for two years where she was so deeply unhappy that the joy and life was sucked out of her.
“Why the hell did I stay there for two years? No one was keeping me there, and as soon as I said that I wanted to quit, I was gone within a month. You are able to make change but you’re responsible for making that change.”
It’s most importantly about putting the feelers out there; baby steps each day.
“If you do something each day, once the week is over–once the month is over, you’ll have this much bigger step accomplished.” Jera says about leaving your job, following your hobby, or finding your passion.
On fitness as more than a chore
A former nine to five-er gone freelancer, Jera now has the ability to structure her daily schedule as she pleases. When beginning to adopt a fitness routine, Jera says that it is beneficial to practice doing the same thing at the same time every day and as it becomes more of a habit than a chore is when you can become a little more flexible with it. These days, Jera’s workout schedule rides on her favorite spin instructor’s class schedule of that day.
“I workout whenever I please and sometimes that’s super early–sometimes that’s super late. When I was working nine to five I would wake up at five thirty every single day.”
Most importantly, Jera is conscious of what it is that she’s working out for. Largely, she does it for strength but she also does it for fun. She emphasizes the importance that exercising not be drudgery. If this is the case, the solution is to look at what it is that you’re doing as exercise and switch it for something that you enjoy. There are so many forms of exercise that there has to be something that sticks, she says.
“Maybe it’s for your health, maybe its to be able to enjoy other aspects of your life more. Exercising should make you happy and physically more fit along with that endorphin high.”
While Jera follows a workout guide in addition to attending five or six spin classes a week, her favorite method of exercising is a combination of strength training and spinning.
“It’s great to burn calories, but in order to see changes you need to incorporate weights into your workouts.
I weigh the exact same amount that I weighed before, but its a great feeling that if someone asked me to drop and do fifteen pushups right now that I could do it.”
Jera’s future goals include becoming a soul cycle instructor in addition to acting as a source of information for people in a similar place to where she was a year ago. Her current blog does exactly that.
“Whether that’s ideas for recipes and workouts, or giving advice to people who feel like they’re stuck.”
Her many small goals outweigh the existence of a large, long-term goal and she prefers it that way.
“I don’t have a specific goal, and I think that’s okay.” She chuckles confidently.
Her many plans include continuing on the fitness journey that she’s on and becoming an instructor. She entertains the idea of her own workout guide, a YouTube channel, or another way in which she could work in fitness while providing information for people and continue exploring the use of social media.
“Instagram has given me so much to build a community. Connecting me with brands and opportunities to travel…with that I’ll see what kind of melange of stuff I can keep creating.”
Trust your dopeness; trust the process.