Meet Jashua

JGF welcomes Jashua Rodriguez as our newest Keiser University Tallahassee Campus extern.

His story…
My name is Jashua Rodriguez in 2016 I suffered injuries from an auto accident. Those injuries progressed to get worse over the course of the year and pushed me into a severely sedentary lifestyle. Depressed because of the amount of weight I gained and the lack of motivation I had, I decided to inquire about Keiser‘s sports medicine and fitness program. In 2017 I decided to take that jump and enroll into Keiser University‘s sports medicine and fitness technology program hoping to help kick me into gear. On top of enrolling into this program, I also made a commitment to surgically correct my injuries to help me get back into my day-to-day routine’s.

November 21, 2017 I had anterior cervical disc fusion and vertebrae‘s C5, C6, and C7. I also had carpal tunnel release and ulnar nerve decompression in the left arm. That entire year of 2018 I spent dedicating myself to the rehab of my physical body and too the athlete in my mind!

While in rehabilitation I learned the importance of what exercise and wellness can do for the body. This process pushed me to jump back into the gym but I still felt like I didn’t look the part to be in a gym. I was intimidated by all the eyes on me, even if they weren’t. So at this point I used that to drive me! How many people feel that same way? You want to get better, you want to eat healthy, you want to change your life but mentally hold yourself back because of fear of judgment and ridicule. One of my goals is to get NASM certified as a Personal Trainer providing the safe and cohesive space where anyone no matter fitness level or physical appearance can come and get the training they need without feeling judged! So I have dubbed myself the #FatTrainer!

Upon achieving my certification and attaining my associates degree in July 2019, I intend on continuing my education. My long-term goals are to receive my bachelor’s degree in Exercises Physiology or Sports Medicine which would allow me to attain my Strength and Conditioning certification. This would allow me too pursue a job as a strength and conditioning coach for the high school level which I have dreamed of doing ever since I volunteered as a football coach at Cobb Middle school for summer training in 2017. Through the process I learned that being a coach and being able to help student athletes reach that next level was so fulfilling. That is one of my many but primary driving reasons for pursuing an education in sports medicine so I could be a better more well rounded coach.

The education that I have received thus far has really helped with remolding the fabric that I and my family live by. Being a father of three, being obese over 300 pounds, being in my mid-30s, and being sedentary couldn’t continue anymore. My wife is also in the medical field so she really has helped pushed for this change. Being able to participate in sporting activities with my kids whether if it’s soccer with my five-year-old, volleyball with my nine-year-old or football with my 11-year-old, eating right and being active and actually gaining the education behind why this is so important for our bodies has really changed my outlook on life. In 9 months I have managed to lose 66 pounds. So I look forward to what comes next with the amazing staff here at Just Get Fit and reaching my goal of 280 by October 17, 2019 my daughters 6th birthday! Wish me luck and remember “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” ~ Charles R Swindon

What small changes can you make?

Improving your health may not be as complicated as you think. In fact, sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference! Today we’re excited to welcome Marney Richards to the blog. 

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I’ve been thinking about how we can all take small steps towards health and happiness in our lives – how making little shifts can be the way to go.

I worked with a Naturpathic physician who had some patients whose diets were really contributing to health problems. She asked one particular patient just to start eating a green salad for lunch. Just that – a green salad. A small step that could lead to bigger changes.

My neighbor wanted to stroll leisurely in the evening with her daughter, but the active teen found that pretty boring. As they walked by last night, the Mom was strolling and bouncing a tennis ball on the street, her daughter jogging and zigzagging after the ball. A little shift – but lots of laughter from both.

I’ve been feeling busy trying to finish some extra projects I agreed to take on. This morning I did yoga with a group of women and moved through a slow, meditative moon salute. A step toward slowing down and feeling a cooling, more relaxed lunar energy.

We can take small steps on the path to health and wellness – a green salad, an evening stroll, or a slow, moon salute.

What small steps are you taking towards improving your health? Sit down and brainstorm for a bit. Think about what these small changes might look like in your own life.

About Marney

RCA_8827My interest in fitness and athletic activity began in college when I started running, working out and joined the FSU Flying High Circus. In graduate school I worked in the University Fitness & Wellness Center helping members design and implement personal exercise programs. I also assisted with testing in the Human Performance Lab and with rehab programs for individuals in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Soon after school I attended the Florida School of Massage and enthusiastically started massage and bodywork. My exercise science background gave me credentials to begin teaching kinesiology at Core Institute of Massage Therapy. For many years I’ve loved and practiced yoga. I studied with a variety of yoga instructors and began teaching under the guidance of my primary teachers. Later I completed a 200-hour instructor program and became a Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor. I teach in hatha yoga in the Kripalu style which emphasizes mindful movement and breath awareness, and I bring my kinesiology expertise and rehab background to my teaching. I especially enjoy teaching yoga to individuals who are new to the practice or think that yoga might be out of their reach.


Just Get Started

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I believe one of the biggest things that hold people back from reaching their goals is their fear to start. Many people do not start because they do not know where to begin or they feel like they are inadequately prepared. Maybe they’ve compared themselves with their peers or fitness gurus on social media who seem to have it all together and have a lot of knowledge in their field. I can relate to this most of all—I’m a perfectionist and I can get caught up in thinking I have to have every step planned out before I can begin something. Many times I put off doing things just because I know it won’t be perfect the first time I do it. But you cannot improve on something you do not to start with. In order to finish a marathon, you must first take a step.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being prepared—it’s absolutely necessary to count the costs of something you want to achieve—but you do not have to reach your goal the first time you try. Allow yourself to figure it out—you will learn so much more this way. Yes, eating healthy and working out consistently do take some planning ahead. But you do not have to have everything figured out to get started. Health and fitness are different for every person, so allow yourself some time to get to know your body, how you respond to various foods and workout routines, and find what works best for you. Your dreams aren’t going to achieve themselves. You do not have to have it all figured out in order to begin, so stop putting it off and just get started.

>> Here are some changes to help you get started:

  1. Drink water every morning – I’m sure you’ve heard you should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you’re only used to getting 30-40 ounces of water a day, that sounds pretty daunting. One easy way to get 8-10 more ounces a day is to place a glass of water on your night stand or by your bed each night and to drink it right when you wake up in the morning, whether you’re thirsty or not. Not only will this help you get closer to your goal of drinking half your body weight in ounces, but it will help you wake up and feel more refreshed in the morning!
  2. Move for 5 minutes – and if you’re already active, move for 5 more! A brisk walk, jumping jacks, planks, or pushups are good ways to get your blood flowing and create healthier habits.
  3. Meal prep – an hour a week can make a huge difference in reaching your goals and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Quick and easy meals to make ahead of time for the week include overnight oats, quinoa, rice, seasoned beans or lentils, soup, pasta salad, grilled/baked chicken, or stir fry.
  4. On-the-go options – Having healthy snacks in my car is something that helps me avoid processed snacks and fast food. Snacks like trail mix, dried fruit, jerky, apples, homemade popcorn, roasted chickpeas, homemade muffins, granola, Lara bars, etc. are all good options when you’re short on time and need something to hold you over until you can get a nutritious meal.

Each of these are small, sustainable steps that can set you on the path to your health and fitness goals. But they aren’t going to do anything for you if you don’t get started. So make your mind up that you are going to achieve your goals and just get started, you’ll be amazed with what YOU can do!!

About Raegan

RCA_3664I began working at Just Get Fit in June 2017 and have since then began FitKids, exercise and just eat fit healthy eating classes for kids, as well as Mahlerfit, a workout community for teen and pre-teen girls. I’m passionate about health and nutrition because I’ve seen the impact it has had on my own quality of life. Growing up, I danced for ten years and ran track and cross country during my junior and senior years in high school. I love running and am planning on continuing my running career in the future. Through athletics and my own upbringing, I’ve learned the value of exercise and healthy eating and am eager to share it with others/inspire others to live a healthier life!

Just JUMP | Just Get Fit

“Impossible is just an opinion.” -Paulo Coelho


For many years I had this opinion. I had this opinion and belief about two things, one being that it was absolutely impossible for me to ever think that I would ever have the financial means or family support to open up my own health and fitness brick & mortar business and two, that there was absolutely NO WAY in H-E-double toothpicks that I was EVER going to EVER JUMP OUT of an AIRPLANE, “WERE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!”
And, then … something “clicked.” Just one day, I decided to CHANGE ME!!! It wasn’t just like hot to cold. It was like coming out of a dark hole, trying to get out of quicksand, deep quicksand…all by myself, at least at first. Then I began finding a mentor, well… make that a few mentors – people that scared me – challenged me – moved me, made me work for the BETTER. Along the way, I met this very strong young athlete who began taking my early morning boot camp workout, she asked lots & lots of questions, why this and why that about exercises and body aches, etc.. Before I knew it, she started training with me as a personal fitness training client. As I learned more about my new energetic and very strong athletic client, I found out that she was an Exercise Science student at FSU. You just know my mind was beginning to churn. You see, my numero uno mentor, Todd Durkin, taught me to start finding my tribe – my team. Well, before I knew it, this client of mine, became my first Just Get Fit employee in 2009. Things were beginning to move…
Only, not so fast. We both were training out of another gym and traveling to peoples homes, so still I was feeling that brick and mortar business was completely out of reach. Still an impossible dream. At the end of 2011, my young athlete and I parted ways – as I felt it best that we both find our own wings, our own dreams, and soar.

Well…year 2015 arrives, and WE ARE BACK, together again, STRONGER THAN EVER. That young athlete, now a graduate of FSU in Exercise Science, plus she followed up with going to massage therapy school to become a licensed massage therapist (sounds like somebody else I know) and to top that off, she completed the IRONMAN. She is an IM, make that – she shines “I AM POSSIBLE!” Meet Jen Bricker, Health and Fitness Coach!
Jen and I teamed up in 2015 to co-manage Sweat Therapy Fitness Uptown. We are both grateful for the opportunity and time managing STF Uptown as it opened our eyes to “OH YES WE CAN OPEN UP OUR OWN BRICK & MORTAR BUSINESS.” So, after six months, we both gave our resignations and decided to go for the gusto, go into a partnership – Just Get Fit, LLC, and that we did!
Here’s where today’s picture comes in… I said to Jen Bricker (her name at the time), “If we actually sign a lease for a brick & mortar (which I never ever would think could or would happen) I want to face my other absolute fear, jump out of an airplane, announcing the opening of Just Get Fit.” She was like, “…HECK YEAH!”
So, that’s our story for the most part… and we’re sticking to it.

Oh, and by the way… WE ARE POSSIBLE! #believeachieve #justjump#justgetfit

-Alexis, Founder/Owner of Just Get Fit, LLC

“Nothing is Impossible. Even the word itself says ‘I’m POSSIBLE.’” -Audrey Hepburn


Never would I EVER have thought 10 years ago that I would be where I’m at today…in fact, if you told me that I would have my own business, let alone a storefront, I probably would have laughed and said “yeah right.”

I had recently changed from an Actuarial Science major to Accounting at FSU because I thought I was going in the direction that I “should” be.  Around this time I had re-discovered fitness and was focused on bettering myself after a period of “letting myself go” if you will. A few months later I had begun to pursue what I thought would be a fun “hobby” of teaching Group X classes and decided I needed an additional push from a trainer, since I had had a “Coach” for as long as I could remember as an athlete.  All of this started coming together very quickly when I met Alexis, a trainer with energy and drive I had never seen from anyone else at the gym before.  After training with her for a bit she quickly convinced me that you can in fact make a career of the fitness industry. After struggling through boring Accounting courses decided it just made more sense to switch to Exercise Science.  Shortly after I began working for her, helping with a Boot Camp she had started, and training some clients too. 

Not only was I learning SO much about health and fitness, but about my self as well.  She became the mentor and “big sister” I never had growing up.  She said the law of attraction brought us together.

We took a break for awhile, at the time I couldn’t see as a good thing, but looking back now I think it was what we needed to grow in other parts of our lives.

They say everything happens for a reason. And I had to believe this when we came together again to manage another fitness facility in town together. At this point I think we both realized that the TEAM we were together was one of a kind, and started talking more seriously about opening up a brick and mortar “Just Get Fit, a ‘Dream’ that we had thrown around from the beginning.  After leaving that facility and re-grouping, crunching the numbers, and putting pen to paper, we decided to seriously start looking for a place to open.  At a lunch meeting one day she said to me, you know what, the day we sign a lease, I want to go sky diving, are you in? …of course I said HECK YES! So we didn’t tell anyone. Which was quite the surprise to her husband and my boyfriend at the time (now hubby) when they got the text with us standing in front of the airplane, parachutes on, READY, GO! 

Then just like that. We are OPEN!  Even now almost 2 years later, a year in our second location, it still seems surreal from time to time.  I love the TEAM that we have become.  Are we Perfect? Heck no. I think we are more like the sisters I thought we were years ago now, more than ever before.  Some days we are best friends, other days not so much, but I think about every STRONG relationship and you know what… the BEST one’s are not the ones that are perfect, but the ones that persist through ALL situations. 

We are your #go2girls… Just Get Fit.

-Jen Bricker Simpson, Owner, Just Get Fit, LLC

We are both excited to have you follow along our journey. Get ready for a blog full of inspirational content when it comes to everything mindset, food, and fitness! Be your BEST athlete!