We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Burdis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
As a 5’1” former American Ninja Warrior and volleyball player at Penn State, I’ve always gravitated towards taking personal risks.
Risk taking started naturally as the only female Little League player at age 11. Not everyone in the system was supportive, so I learned to believe in myself. I listened and learned as much as I could from my coaches, consistently practiced mindful skills-based drills, and didn’t worry about what others thought or said to me if they weren’t trying to help me.
Those valuable lessons helped me develop the grit that was necessary to achieve bigger goals when I wanted to quit. It was the first time I remember working through something when it would have been easier to quit. The next year, I was the town’s first female all star team player.
Fast forward to walking on to the Penn State volleyball team–I had those same doubts. I grappled with them, worked hard for three years with no playing time, and wanted to quit after my junior year.
I did. I quit.
Shortly thereafter, Coach Rose urged me to continue. With his generous nudge and my hard work I eventually earned playing time in every match and had the opportunity to play a small role in helping our team win a Big Ten title and play in a National Championship game.
In games, business, and life, to be successful you have to consistently be your best so your team can be their best. Fitness, healthy eating, and mindset strategies are at the foundation.
As an elementary school teacher for over 20 years, I helped teachers, students, and families adopt healthier lifestyles with exercise “brain breaks” between subjects, monthly fitness challenges, and wellness-centered lunch clubs.
The bar got set even higher for me when another mentor encouraged me to take the courageous risk of leaving my full-time teaching career and becoming a full-time fitness coach.
I now help people–from pro athletes to seniors–set their bars higher with 1:1 fitness and performance training, online training, meal plans, and nutrition coaching.
My advice? Surround yourself with people who will set the bar higher for you. Have the courage to put yourself in challenging situations, develop the grit to keep going, and have that strong internal dialogue to believe in yourself.
What should our readers know about your business?
I have a passion for making exercise fun. As a former D1 College Volleyball Athlete and Ninja Warrior, I blend traditional training with unconventional tools to produce the best results! I focus on bodyweight strength and conditioning, foundational balance and coordination, flexibility and mobility, core exercises, and progressions for everyone including weight training and plyometrics for those who want to be their best. As a former teacher with over 20 years experience I love motivating people every step of the way by looking at obstacles as opportunities. It doesn’t matter where we start, it’s where we’re going together.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love hiking Torrey Pines, driving over the bridge to Coronado to see Hotel Del or walking along the beach. Rollerblading Mission Bay is beautiful. A beach day is a must and there are so many beautiful beaches to pick from La Jolla up to Carlsbad. Pacific Coast Grill is a great place to grab a bite to eat and catch sunset and Amalfi in San Marcos is tucked away with great ambiance and fresh scallops. A night in Little Italy is fun for dinner or dessert.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to Russ Rose, Penn State Women’s Volleyball Coach, for helping me be to strive to become better each day for all my, clients, friends, and family.
Other: Book Link: The EduNinja Mindset 11 Habits For Building A Stronger Mind and Body: https://amzn.to/2xS6Hyu