How Does She Do It: Jessie

I love highlighting inspiring women/people because they truly get me jazzed and re-energized about life and doing great things!

My newest addition to the How Does She Do It series is Jessie Benson!

jessie benson floyo | sunshine & the bear

Jessie is a friend here in Baltimore and she’s unbelievably inspirational! (Not to mention she’s a blast to hang out with haha) Jessie and I met through the small town city that is Smalltimore, and since then we’ve been entangled through fitness and friendship.

Jessie is the founder of an awesome fitness company called FloYo. FloYo® fitness classes are full body workouts performed on a standup paddle board – that’s right, a regular workout that you might struggle doing, but with even more of a challenge! Classes combine yoga sequences and interval training methods to create a full body workout.

Check out my Q&A with Jessie below!

rio on instagram | sunshine & the bear How do you start your day?
I typically teach first thing in the morning. So I wake up, take my puppy Rio for a quick walk and head straight to the gym or studio to teach. After teaching I come home to eat my steel cut oats, play with Rio, catch up on emails and check social media! (BONUS: You can also follow Rio on Instagram – cute dog photos are always good, right?!)

What do you never leave home without?
My nalgene water bottle. It is always attached to my hand and I have a backup in the car just incase I forget it. I like to stay very well hydrated! :)

What’s your favorite healthy food?
Salmon! I also love quinoa and faro…I make all kinds of crazy concoctions with those two grains!

You’re the FOUNDER of FloYo – so so cool! It’s such an awesome company and idea – how did that come to be? What inspired you to found it?
jessie benson floyo fit | sunshine & the bear I had been teaching paddleboard fitness classes for about 2 years when I finally decided to create FloYo®. I always knew that I would own my own business someday but I just wasn’t sure what it would be. I absolutely loved teaching SUP yoga classes and introducing new people to the world of standup paddling and saw an opportunity to try to create a new standard in the way SUP yoga classes were developed and taught. I saw a lot of awesome yoga instructors suddenly taking their classes out of the studio and on to paddleboards, but the problem was that they didn’t really know how to properly paddle, nonetheless teach other beginners how to paddle. So, I saw an opportunity and ran with it. My goal with FloYo is to create an awesome fitness experience that takes people out of their comfort zone while teaching them about the sport of SUP and giving them the opportunity to find balance not only on the board but in their lives. Now FloYo’s main focus is on leading teacher training certifications, workshops and retreats all over the world! Someday I want people to automatically think of FloYo when they see a standup paddler go by!

It’s got to be tough running your own thing all the time – What does your hardest day look like? What got you through it? What made it worthwhile?
Well, the most challenging part of my day-to-day life is finding the balance between teaching and running FloYo. I currently teach 22 group fitness classes a week (yikes, hadn’t actually counted the number of classes lately!) so am often running from one studio to another, so simply finding the time to sit down at the computer and do the work that needs to be done for FloYo is a challenge. I also find myself overwhelmed a lot. There are so many possibilities for FloYo, different directions I can take the company, other businesses to partner with, new locations for affiliates, etc. so staying on task and not getting lost in the bigger picture is a constant battle. I try to simply make lists and stick with one task at a time in order to prevent myself from getting too overwhelmed!

jessie benson yoga class at UA | sunshine & the bear

jessie and esther at rev | sunshine & the bear

It’s so cool to see you taking FloYo in new directions and expanding what you’re doing – from FloYo on the Surfset board to FloYo in the pool, it’s a whole new way to look at it! Tell me a little more about those new ventures and any new ones you feel like sharing!
Jessie Benson - FloYo at Beachfit | sunshine & the bear Yes, one of the things that I have learned as a business owner is that you always have to keep your company fresh and find new and different ways to get on peoples minds. Being such a seasonal business, I am always trying to figure out new ways to keep the FloYo energy flowing during our colder months. I am really excited about my partnership with BeachFit Baltimore, where I am now teaching FloYo classes on the SurfSet boards (Check out my post about FloYo at Beachfit!). Both the Surfset classes and the pool classes are a great opportunity to introduce new people to FloYo. Not everyone loves the idea of trying FloYo in the open water for the first time, so if we can get them comfortable on a board either on dry land or on a pool where they can see the bottom it helps them gain confidence and want to take the experience outside! I do have a few new projects in the works, but not quite ready to announce them yet! But I will say that one involves a new board partnership and the other is with a few new resorts in the Caribbean…so get excited!

How has leading a healthy lifestyle changed your life?
Since high school, I have always lead a very healthy lifestyle. I started teaching fitness classes in college and really eating clean right after college. But, I will say that in the past few months I have focused more on my own personal health and fitness goals then ever before. This has made such an impact on every aspect of my life. I realized I was teaching all these fitness classes and helping tons of other people achieve their fitness goals, but I wasn’t really pursuing my own and I wasn’t 100% happy with my own body. So, recently I have been setting aside more time to lift weights, more time to keep track of my food and more time just for ME! This has just given me a more balanced life and a better attitude. I don’t feel as stressed and irritable all the time, I am finally starting to find that work/life balance that is so important!

jessie benson floyo | sunshine & the bear

What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Hummm, this changes daily! But at the moment I have been reading this at the end of my yoga classes and it really resonates with me… “The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find.” It has taken me a little while to figure out what exactly I want to do with my life and my career, but I finally feel like I have figured it out, so now my challenge is staying true to myself, my goals and my dreams. There are so many people out there that consider what I am doing crazy, but I know I am headed down the right path and I just need to hold on to my vision and keep forging my own path!

Be sure to follow Jessie & FloYo on TwitterInstagram & Facebook to keep up with her awesome posts! 

And check out FloYo for yourself if you can – it’s a challenge, but a really fun, unique way to get in a workout AND have a blast! 

FloYo Preview at Beachfit!

Jessie Benson - FloYo at Beachfit | sunshine & the bear If you haven’t heard, I love Surfset boards. They are indoor board equipment that mimic the instability you have on the water, but on dry land. They provide you with an insane workout! I’m certified as a Surfset instructor but I’ve really only used the boards for the tracks/moves the Surfset team has created for them, but my friend Jessie had another idea…FloYo on the boards!

FloYo is a mix of yoga and strength training, all done (traditionally) on a stand up paddle board. Jessie is the founder of FloYo and teaches all over the city and state – everything from FloYo in Annapolis to yoga at M. Power to spin at Under Armour…and more! She’s a busy lady! :) So happy she’s started these new classes here in the city!

Jessie Benson - FloYo at Beachfit | sunshine & the bear

Last night, Beachfit Baltimore (located right downtown, across from Chazz and Pazo) hosted a special event for bloggers with Jessie to preview her new classes! It was a great workout and a lovely time for our little group!

Blogger event - FloYo at Beachfit | sunshine & the bear

BMOREtoned at Beachfit | sunshine & the bear

Annie and I, also attending on behalf of BMOREtoned, had a little fun after class. Maybe a little too much fun… haha (thanks Mary for capturing the entire fall haha) 

ANYWAY, classes start next week! There will be a combo spin/FloYo class on Tuesdays at 7pm and a full FloYo class on Fridays at 10:30am! Definitely worth checking out! If you want to test out the board before committing to a full class, you can join Beachfit for a little open house/happy hour next Friday, November 7 at 5pm!

Thanks so much to Jessie from FloYo and the whole Beachfit team for letting us try out the new class and for our goodies! Can’t wait to come back for a class!

FloYo blogger pack | sunshine & the bear

Tone It Up Retreat!

“Live for the moments you can’t put into words.” ♥

Inspiring. Just….inspiring. That might be the only singular word that might be able to sum up the Tone It Up retreat weekend! This moment really captures it…

TIUretreat team moment

Last weekend, 300 incredible women came together in Newport Beach, California for the first ever Tone It Up Retreat! Every moment was unbelievably fun – filled with workouts, delicious healthy food, dancing & so many new friends! Karena and Katrina (and the TIU and Oakley families) had everything figured out – down to every little detail!

We started Thursday at check-in, where we received our special retreat “IDs” – which were adorable wrap bracelets with a special engraving and a band!

tone it up retreat bracelets

PLUS, we also each got a STUFFED swag bag – full of all kinds of goodies from our great sponsors like Oakley Women, Coola Suncare, Asics, Core Water, Jouer, Perfect Fit, Flash Tats (& of course Tone it Up!)! I want to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to all the amazing sponsors of this event! Past the swag (which is awesome), I’m sure events like this wouldn’t be possible without your support and I truly hope you know how much it means to all of us that they do!

tone it up retreat swag bag

When we first got in, I also got to meet my roommate Amy! I’ve “known” Amy for years now – we’re part of a fun “TIU since the beginning” group that has chatted with each other through social media forever it feels like! I was so so happy & lucky to be rooming with her!

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After check-in, it was a nonstop! Our trainers had plans for us every day with different workouts, a pop-up shop, meals & parties (with exciting special guests)! Everyone had a slightly different schedule but check out some of the things I did…

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Electric Ride

I was so blessed to join the Electric Ride last night at Rev Cycle Studio! This was an awesome charity event put on to support the fabulous Jessie Benson before she heads to join the Africa Yoga Project!!

You’ve heard me talk about how inspiring and wonderful Jessie is…so happy that she has the opportunity to help such an amazing organization and that we can help her support her!

Africa Yoga Project empowers, educates, elevates and employs lives in East Africa and globally through the power of yoga. Through yoga practice, their programs foster peace and non-violence, improve self-sufficiency, create economic stability and encourage new opportunities for personal and collective growth.  Africa Yoga Project is bringing hope, possibility and change to hundreds of lives a day!

I was super pumped that I could join my gals Molly & Jami for the crazy black-light ride! We got deck ourselves out in glow sticks and glowing paint. The entire studio was decked out in black lights. SO fun!

katekatebear mbakes2123 electric ride

electric ride rev cycle studio

electric ride rev cycle studio That’s definitely the back of my head haha sweet Mickey/bunny glow ears ;) 

floyofit katekatebear mbakes2123 fitjams electric ride

Such an amazing time with amazing people!

Click here for more information on the Africa Yoga Project and how you can help support Jessie! 

Photos courtesy of Rev & Billy Michels Photography :) 

Friday Favorites: 8.30

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted some favorite things, so some of these might be old…sorry I’m not sorry. You’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

Kittens in boxes

As you may remember, my kitten loves boxes. Seriously, she’ll sit in them ALL DAY.

kitten in a box

Well apparently, it’s not just her…

Other awesome dancers

You may or may not know this (you probably know…), but I’m a pretty awesome dancer. Kristen Wiig and I went to the same school of dance in fact…

kristen wiig workout dance

Anyway, it’s always nice to see people who have fun dancing. Don’t take it so seriously! Have a great time! :)

Not only was it awesome to see photos from Katrina’s wedding (Tone It Up wedding) but it’s fantastic to see Karena’s robot dance moves. K&K consistently remind me how cool they are and how important it is to live a healthy LIFESTYLE – which include dancing fantastically haha

karena TIU wedding

Deals

Ok so who doesn’t love deals? BUT this week I found a great one – Groupon is hosting a deal for Sephora $5 for $10! I love good makeup, but it gets so pricey! Every little bit counts, right? :)

 

RAVENS RAVENS RAVENS

It’s about that time…can’t wait for football to officially start!!! Let’s get ready boys…stretch it out.

ravens gif

Documentation of me NOT falling in the water at FloYo

Look ma, I can do it!

katekatebear floyo SUP

But seriously, I was excited that I’m getting better not only at these yoga moves (I’m fairly new to yoga…) but to get better at them on the board! As you’ve seen, I totally love FloYo with Jessie – if anyone is interested, I’d love if you’d join me for a class!

floyo SUP

katekatebear floyo sup

 

Anyway, happy Friday everyone! Tommy & I are headed up to a wedding – can’t wait to wear my new dress (an awesome Poshmark purchase, actually woo woo)!

Hope you have an amazing weekend!