Empowerment

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Camper Spotlight – Kiley R. Pushing Her Limits and Recognizing True Success

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Congratulations to Kiley, our March Camper Spotlight.  Even when you think you’ve done all you can do,  something clicks and you realize you can do more!  Read on for Kiley’s story in her own words. I found JCF through my sister, Gill, after I moved up here almost 2 years ago. I had recently finished training and completing the NYC marathon and knew that I needed something to keep me going and remain as active as I had been. I officially signed up on January 2016 and never looked back. The success I have had with JCF is that I have realized that I can push myself so much further than I ever thought. It has changed the way I look at certain exercises and especially weight training. There is always this stigma that lifting weights will make you look too bulky. JCF has shown me that is not the case and that I am stronger than I ever imagined. It incorporates weights, cardio, HIIT, tabata in a way that makes you use muscles you didn’t know you had or in a way that is different than you ever did before. My biggest struggle that I have had with JCF, and really any type of workout, is being controlled by the number on the scale. Society doesn’t make it any easier when all that is shown are models that are stick thin. JCF has taught me that the number shown is not what is important but what is important is how you feel. Specifically the fit test, which shows you there are more important “numbers” (BMI, body fat % and muscle %) to look at instead of just what your weight is. I have found that I am no longer fighting to keep that number low but to understand as a whole where my body and health is at every month and how much further I am coming in my fitness journey. An immediate goal of mine is to look and feel amazing on my wedding day. Long term, I want to be able to maintain my weekly schedule of JCF. Life gets busy and I know we all fall off the wagon but working out is more than just attending a few sessions; it’s making it a whole lifestyle. I know I feel better throughout the day when I force myself out of bed and get to the gym. The camaraderie and family-like atmosphere is really what keeps me coming back and is what I would tell anyone who is interested in JCF. I know that every morning I will see the same amazing group of people in that gym. It’s early, we’re all sleepy but we are all in this together. Everyone lifts each other up and there is no negative competition, just competition to push each other to our “no quit zone”. There is no judgment and everyone is so welcoming. JCF is truly a melting pot and I think anyone looking to better themselves and experience a life change will look no further after their first...

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Camper Spotlight – Daizzee Releases Over 50 lbs and Transforms from the Inside Out

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Daizzee lets her guard down to give us a peek at her struggle to overcome those ANTs (automatic negative thoughts). We are so proud of her physical and mental transformation. I became a member of JCF Bootcamp in April 2015. I was angry, hurting, feeling wounded and betrayed. Things had gone awry in my personal and professional life and my self-loathing led to a period of depression. I had a tendency to be an emotional eater and my 5’9″ frame had ballooned to 200 lbs. I’m not a former athlete nor would I describe myself as an avid exerciser. I have however, been a member of other gyms in the past and had even worked out on my own and remained in relatively good shape but this time was different. I was overwhelmed physically and emotionally and needed help. I was at a point wherein I had just about given up on myself completely. I didn’t believe I could do this on my own and I knew that any exercise program I joined must include individual and/or group instruction. After finding out about JCF I was impressed with how comprehensive the program is with its offerings of individual follow-up meetings with Coach Daris, guidance and instruction in nutrition, and on-going health and fitness seminars, in addition to its HIIT exercises. ( Something I had never done before) It was apparent that the program was going to require hard work and dedication. I still wasn’t sure if I could do it. I was at my lowest energetically and beating up on myself had become my norm. Coach Daris could see how unhappy I was and encouraged me to stop living from the past and emphasized the importance of self-love and me taking care of me. Ultimately, I was motivated to join JCF because of the connection with Coach Daris. It was evident that JCF values the inner well being of its members as much as the obvious outer physical transformation that comes about with fitness and working out. My biggest struggle after joining JCF had to do with me getting out of my own way. I was very angry with myself for having gained so much weight. I was frustrated because I had difficulty moving, keeping up with the group and doing the exercises properly. I could barely run. I was sore all the time, had to apply ice and soak in Epsom salt baths to realize any relief and hated it whenever we were broken into competitive groups to workout because I felt all eyes on me and believed that my slow moving self held my group back. Many a session, I’d be in the back of the gym crying, quickly wiping my tears away so that no one would notice. Yet, I kept hearing Coach Daris’ words and seeing his face. He saw strength in me that I didn’t know I had. No one had expressed such belief in me before especially when I felt I didn’t deserve it. The truth is that in the beginning I continued to show up at bootcamp so as not to let Coach Daris down. It had nothing to do with me. After about a month although I hadn’t noticed a major weight change I did begin to feel better physically and...

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Camper Spotlight – Kymberlee Finds Her Path and Doesn’t Look Back

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Kymberlee is one of JCF’s Veteran Campers.  Her dedication and willingness to re-commit and challenge herself anew is an inspiration to us all.  Read on for a glimpse into Kymberlee’s journey! I started JCF in April of 2010. I remember vividly because the day that I called Daris was a day when I had left my house at 5 a.m. for a 6 a.m. call time with a client.  I then went straight from one television studio to another – for a separate client, and THEN went back to the office for meetings. When I was on the train that morning, I remember thinking that if I could get up and leave the house at this ungodly hour (sorry early morning JCFers!) to tend to the business of someone else, I should be able to exercise that same commitment for myself. By the time I arrived to my office, I had resolved to recommit myself to working out. My plan was to find a program that I could do for a month, in order to jumpstart my regimen, and then resume working out on my own. I found JCF online, called Daris that same afternoon, and I started the following week. I also vividly remember my first workout with JCF, I really didn’t think I would be able to finish. It was the hardest workout I had ever done in my life, plus I was out of shape and overweight. I finished the workout, was motivated by all of the encouragement that I received from anyone there, and just resolved to do the work. So, I kept coming back. I lost 37 pounds during my first year of JCF and became fitter than I probably had ever been – even though I formerly ran track and was very active. I also gained a greater sense of overall energy and focus to accomplish all that I need to on any given day. I took one break from JCF because my work schedule was insane and it was easier for me to workout in the city. I tried a lot of new, studio workouts (even a stiletto boot camp, which Daris won’t incorporate! :). During this time, my foundational workouts were rowing and Pilates. I really missed JCF during that time. The diversity of the workouts, the group dynamic and the total body focus that we get at JCF are elements that just aren’t present other places. I have also had one other time of “falling off” just due to life changes and losing control of my schedule, but I found my way back. My biggest struggle is stress management, coupled with stress eating.  JCF has taught me, though, that working out is essential to healthy stress management, and the program’s evolving focus on nutrition has helped me turn a huge corner regarding consistent, healthy eating. I heard about boot camps before, and I was intrigued by the concept. So, when I had that light bulb moment about reincorporating workouts into my schedule, I thought a boot camp would be a good start. I thought it would be the perfect 30-day fitness immersion, after which I would go back to what I had done before falling off of the wagon : running and doing classes at the gym. I joined JCF...

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Camper Spotlight – Kristen Taking Ownership & Getting Results

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

We’ve been thankful to have this month’s Camper Spotlight, Kristen, be a part of the JCF Nation.  Kristen has totally embodied the JCF Spirit from Day 1 in June 2015.  Fast forward one and a half years later, it’s been awesome to see her improvement in strength, body composition, and overall fitness, including her mental fitness.  Way to work, Kristen!  Read her story in her own words below. Before JCF, I didn’t exercise on a regular basis. I had moved to Jersey City a few months prior and hadn’t worked out in probably 6 months. I had a conversation about exercise with my doctor, and she said something that really stuck with me. She said that if I didn’t start making exercise a priority now, that I was less likely to start when I’m older. After thinking about my long-term health, I was determined to find something I could build into my everyday routine. Little did I know what I was getting into! JCF isn’t just about working out, it’s about taking ownership of both your mental and physical fitness. It educated me in how to eat right without feeling deprived. That was something I thought I was doing until I joined the program and really learned about what and how to eat for the results I wanted. JCF has taught me how to exercise to maximize my gains and see results I didn’t even think were possible. I really enjoy that the coaches keep things fresh, consistently switching up the workouts and keeping us learning by consistently introducing new exercises. I love that they’ve instituted the monthly Fit Tests so that I can track my progress, stay educated on my body composition and celebrate my gains! Since joining, I’ve dropped over a point in my BMI, gained 4.2% muscle and lost 8.1% body fat. I find that I no longer groan when I think about working out, my body craves it (I’m finally one of those people!). Friends, family and even strangers ask me about my fitness regime and I no longer fear the bikini! All of this progress is something I’m truly grateful for, but what I treasure the most is that JCF shows me every day that I have way more power within than I think I do. I can do that extra rep, I can lift a higher weight, I can take on a new challenge and succeed. It’s taught me not to overthink it and to just go for it! Starting every day overcoming fear and hesitation has become something so ingrained me that it has influenced all other aspects of my life. I changed careers and took on a higher level of responsibility, I am trying out more active hobbies like City Challenge, backpacking, and leading hikes and meetups in my spare time. Even when I feel that hesitation, I’ve learned how to handle it and I don’t let it stop me. “All day, every day” really rings true and has become a mantra for me. Thank you JCF team, coaches and campers, for helping me change my life for the better. I look forward to continuing the journey with...

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Camper Spotlight – Julie Takes a Chance and Strikes Gold

Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Congratulations to Julie, our July Camper Spotlight.  Julie expected to jump start her motivation with a 21-day challenge, but she’s still hooked.  Below is the story of Julie’s journey over the past 7 months: As many of you know, my daughter is Coach Caitlin.   I would never have known about JCF if Caitlin was not part of the JCF Team.   My official start day at JCF was November 1, 2015 but my true start date was a day in June at a family and friends boot camp session in the Park.  As soon as I was introduced to everyone I immediately felt the camaraderie and encouraging, enthusiastic atmosphere surrounding the JCF family.  After that session I would receive periodic emails of upcoming events.  One email in particular caught my attention.  It was a 21-day skinny jean challenge in October.  So I thought, “Why not?” For 21 days I could handle the drive from Summit to JCF and it would be the motivation I needed to get back into shape after recent foot surgery.  After the 21-day challenge ended I could not imagine not coming back and seeing all my fellow campers and continuing my journey to a “better body better life”.   I’m happy to say, seven months later I am still a camper after that 21-day challenge and absolutely loving it. Success for me is making it to 5 sessions a week.  People ask me how I drive into JC every night.   I explain that it is not the drive but the JCF family and the way I feel after every session that motivates me to come to as many sessions as I can as well as the motivation I receive from my fellow campers. In addition, I have to admit I do love to exercise – exercise has been part of my daily routine for the past 35 years.  I will usually stick to a program that I love, but sometimes it just doesn’t love me, meaning injuries, which brings me to proper form, thankfully due to the watchful eyes of the coaches, my form is getting better and my back and neck are thankful!  I have noticed, over the last few months that I am definitely stronger, stand up straighter have lost inches and finally my muscle % is higher than my body fat (yeah)! Thank you coaches for keeping an eye on me.   Prior to JCF I had been practicing hot yoga for nine years when I decided it was time for a change so I placed my membership on hold and I joined a large gym, which also offered hot yoga along with group classes, etc.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I did not feel comfortable in this large atmosphere.  I missed my small hot yoga studio where I knew almost everyone and the instructor based classes were monitored.  Unfortunately, during my first month at this gym I injured my foot.  I placed my membership on hold and had surgery.  After my recovery for the first time in my life, I was floundering – I knew I didn’t want to go back to the large gym.  So I asked Caitlin to help me – she gave me some exercises to do at home and encouraged me to use weights.  Soon I realized I do...

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Camper Spotlight Alex – Strong Mama

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

  Congratulations to Alex, our June camper spotlight.  She was determined to keep working out for her new baby’s sake and and to keep honing her competitive edge. Here’s Alex’s story in her own words: “I started JCF in June 2015. I decided to join because of Coach Cait! We have always worked out together, but when she started coaching at JCF, she convinced me on how amazing the program was. Sure enough, it has been amazing and I am so glad she had me join. Being an athlete my entire life, once my competitive team sports days came to a close, I felt like I was missing something. Going to the gym on my own was mundane and boring, and I sometimes lacked the motivation to push myself to that next level. I think that having that camaraderie with the other JCF campers has granted me one of my biggest successes with the program. It has brought my competitive nature back; wanting not only to compete with my own mind on a daily basis and push myself harder, but to also instill that competitive drive into other campers as well and get them to push themselves to the next level. My biggest struggle with JCF has come recently. I found out I was pregnant back in December (I am now pushing myself through the third and final trimester!) and immediately became fearful that I wouldn’t be able to maintain my workouts throughout my pregnancy. Well, thanks to Coach Daris, Cait and Mel, who are all very knowledgeable on prenatal and postpartum exercise, they made sure I kept my confidence in knowing that I could continue the workouts, with their recommended modifications.  Being that this is my first pregnancy, it has been an amazing learning experience and has taught me so much about my body and mind. I am so grateful that I have had JCF throughout my pregnancy encouraging me to maintain my healthy lifestyle. I have truly learned that my baby is my REASON and not my EXCUSE when it comes to keeping my body and mind as healthy as possible. I will never use her as an excuse for why I cannot achieve and maintain certain goals. I would love to be the voice for other women who are trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant and might be apprehensive of the changes they are going through, much like I was in the beginning. Anyone I hear that is interested in bootcamp, the only advice I can give them is to go for it. They won’t be sorry. It’s a game changer in all the best ways.” Alex, you’re a huge inspiration to all of us athletes out there, whether we’re just starting or have been working out for...

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Camper Spotlight – Gillian Got More Than She Bargained For

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Congratulations to Gillian, our May Camper Spotlight! Gillian has been signing up for challenges since she came to Jersey City and has no plans to stop! Here’s Gillian’s story in her own words: “When I moved to Jersey City in June 2015, I had a whole list of things to figure out and on the top of my list was finding a gym.  I have been active my entire life, so it was really important to keep it up even in a new area.  I had always been a member of fitness clubs and big name gyms but I knew I wanted something different this time. I wanted to find a place that would push me out of my comfort zone.  And boy – that is EXACTLY what I got.  A couple weeks in I signed up for the Burn to Earn 21 Day Challenge.  This challenge opened my eyes to how important it is to stay consistent in the workouts AND nutrition. Prior to JCF, the only goal I ever had was “lose weight”.  I didn’t know any other way to measure my success. Through the JCF program I have learned a whole new way to reach and manage success. Whether it’s moving to heavier weights or “graduating” from a regular burpee to a pushup burpee, or losing inches/BMI…all those successes should be celebrated because it takes a lot to get there! The overall camaraderie of the JCF team is what kept me coming back my first couple weeks, and now – almost a year later – it is the accountability.  I know that every day when I show up, it’s not just about me-it’s about the whole team.  We push each other through each workout and I never want to miss out on that.  Never in a million years would I have signed up for any organized fitness event, but with the push of the JCF campers, I just completed the Jersey City Challenge.  The challenge was the highlight of my time here at JCF! It was such a fun and challenging day and now I can’t wait to see what’s next! Thank you to all the campers and coaches for making each session great and helping me strive for #BetterBodyBetterLife” Pushing out of your comfort zone is guaranteed to reward you in some way.  Way to take the plunge...

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Camper Spotlight – Marion Keeping the Momentum Going

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

CAMPER SPOTLIGHT: MARION Congratulations to Marion for being our April camper spotlight!  Accountability is a powerful motivator and Marion has an idea to keep us going all day every day even when we’re away from home. Here’s Marion’s story in her own words: I had just started a new job, had a 7 month old and was eager to get back into shape but struggling to find the motivation. A close friend of mine had recently completely transformed herself through JCF and suggested I join. I did my first transformation challenge in the spring of 2014 and was very pleased with the results, but I thought there was no need for me to continue with JCF as I had always exercised and had always been able to self-motivate. The truth is I missed the camaraderie, accountability and challenge that JCF brought me. After completing a second challenge, I decided that this time I would become a member. Being active on a daily basis has always been a part of my life. In middle school and high school I was part of basketball, soccer, volleyball, track, and tennis teams. When I was 16 I decided to join the professional tennis circuit. I played out of a tennis academy in Barcelona, where I played tennis and trained 6.5 hours a day. I also played 5th singles and 3rd doubles in a Division I college, so I have had a lot of coaches in my life; some good ones, some not so good ones, and some really good ones. Daris, without a doubt, is part of the really good ones. The whole JCF team is so supportive and finds a way to motivate and challenge women in a way that I have never seen before. They have created something that I enjoy being a part of and fulfills my competitive nature. I have made friends, and am in awe of some of the success stories I have seen. One of the main reasons I believe JCF is so successful is because of the accountability it brings. Registering for class, checking in, road to 100, 21 in 31, campers saying simple things like ‘see you tomorrow’, etc. are all examples of how we make each other accountable. Well, as I enter my travel season (business and personal), I would like to take this opportunity to introduce something that would make us accountable even when our lives bring us to the four corners of the world. The idea is #whereJCFNationat??  We would use this hashtag whenever we are away and post a picture working out in a foreign location, wearing JCF gear of course. Who’s with...

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Camper Spotlight: Diana Stronger than Ever and Addicted to High Fives

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

Congratulations to Diana P., our March Camper Spotlight!  Diana just celebrated her one year anniversary with JCF.  Rather than rest on the laurels of that accomplishment, Diana is determined to not miss a session.  Way to keep pushing forward! Here’s Diana’s story in her own words: My adventure as a JCF camper began in January of 2015.  After many failed attempts at healthy living and countless unused gym memberships, I came across my first JCF challenge while scrolling through Facebook.  Initially the advertising caught my attention partly because the word “challenge” was too enticing to pass up and partly because after perusing the bootcamp’s page I was impressed with the before and after testimonials of its campers. However, because of my lackluster experiences with locals gyms, my initial introduction to the program was met with hesitation.  I sensed that Daris could gauge that I was skeptical so he offered I try the program for a week. My first week was an eyeopener!  And here I am a year later loving my daily workouts. After experiencing the “camper” culture I am happy to say… I am a believer!  The “healthy life” struggle is very real, and I’ve had my difficulties with appropriate food choices and staying on track with workouts but in the last year I’ve learned to align my thoughts with my goals and have seen my body do things I would never even fathom doing before; like 10 consecutive “real” push ups and not missing a session in two months, even while sick.  But most importantly, I’m astonished by how little I really care about the number on the scale, [a number] that I often obsessed about. A few other accomplishments I’m very proud to share: I’ve gained enough strength to do a proper handstand, went from lifting 10 pound dumbbells to 25, lost 10 pounds while enjoying food differently.  I have reduced my fat to muscle ratio and ultimately feel better physically than I ever have.  I try not missing a session because I really enjoy the daily motivational philosophies, team culture and my morning dose of high fives from my fellow campers. “All day every day...

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Spotlight – Melissa Scheurer & Melissa Blemur Give Us the Scoop

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Blog, Camper Spotlight | 0 comments

We recently caught up with Coach Melissa Blemur and Camper Relationship Manager Melissa Scheurer to get the scoop on some things near and dear to them. JCF:    What’s your favorite part of being part of the Team? Melissa S. (MS):    My favorite part of being part of the Team is that I get to learn from and be inspired by talented people whom I admire and respect. Melissa B. (MB):    I like that we each have unique skillsets that brought together make us a pretty fantastic team. We’re also supportive, and we genuinely like hanging out with each other outside of boot camp. JCF:    What do you like to do when you’re not working? MS:    When I’m not working I like to spend time with my family, read, go to the movies, see live music and sleep! MB:    That’s a trick question because I’m always working! But I do like spending any free time with my 5 year-old nephew. JCF:    What’s something about you that not many people know? MS:    When I was a kid, maybe 4th or 5th grade, I was in a marching band.  I just wanted to wear these white cowboy boots that were part of the uniform.  I was too small for most of the instruments so I was part of the color guard (carried a flag) in the parades.  I can’t remember how it ended… MB:    Started journaling my thoughts and feelings in college and filled several notebooks over the span of a decade. Eventually found other means of expression so I write much less now. And I have an irrational fear of clowns. JCF: What habits are you building this month? MB: I’ve committed to preparing tasks for the week ahead every Sunday. I have a big whiteboard where I write down the tasks and roughly plan them out. I’ll then include them in a daily itinerary in my calendar. MS: This month I am focused on setting specific times aside for certain tasks. For example, logging my food on my morning bus ride and replying to emails in two chunks a day instead of constantly.  I love the whiteboard idea, Mel! JCF:    Which JCF Core Value describes you most and why? MS:    I think the JCF Core Value that describes me most is ‘only have good and great days’ because I don’t let myself have bad days.  Some are better than others for sure, but every day I wake up is chance to do something, anything, big or small, that will leave me or the world a little better than before.  And that, at the very least, is a good day. MB:    I really appreciate the opportunity to ‘create community and create happiness’ through documenting special milestones and events. Proud to share photos and videos of those experiences because what we all have built here, a culture of fitness and family, is quite extraordinary. I so heart the JCF Fit...

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