I remember the first class I took with Julz…she will not as I remained incognito…it was over five years ago at Newport Beach Equinox. I was training for my new AGM position and I took her cycle class and was WOWED by how awesome she was. I knew Equinox had the best instructors but Julz was different…she connected…she reached out to the members in a way I had never experienced…she created a feeling of welcoming that is rare and so authentic to who she is as a person…Julz is a gift giver, a generous soul and possibly the kindest woman I know.
It is challenging to put into words how incredible I feel Julz is on a professional AND personal level…so I will try to separate that for a moment…
Julz is an ideal mentor. Hands down, Julz is so undeniably talented. She has been in the fitness industry for a minute and has been and still is successful doing what makes her shine as well as making others shine beside her. Julz is the Head Trainer at Schwinn; she is in charge of all of the Master Trainers and the education we present to clubs and at conferences. To lead a group of teachers takes someone who is; respected, smart, understanding, firm, fair, approachable and honest. Julz is all of that and so much more. So much more.
In the past two years I have been blessed to work for Julz in a mentor:mentee capacity and in the minutes or hours we have spent together I have learned and picked up pivotal knowledge for not only my presenting skills but for my daily group fitness management skills. Julz has a way of putting grandiose ideas or concepts and breaks them down into simple and clear words. I remember a few months ago I met with Julz to get her advice about my professional path and one of the takeaways that has stayed with me to this day is she posed the question, “what can you learn from this?” If there is something to learn from an experience or situation, learn it, put it in your skills and knowledge took kit and then move on. Do not spend wasted energy on people, things or situations that will not let you learn, let you grow or be a better version of you…spend your energy and time wisely…that meeting has changed me more than she knows or maybe will ever know…
Whether she is giving me feedback on my presenting skills or advice on how to map out my next career moves I listen up and take it ALL to heart….I honestly look forward to hearing what I could do better and how I can improve from her because she has a true gift of delivering conscious feedback. Maybe it is because I trust her intentions to make a better person and presenter or because she makes it painless and a positive experience, or maybe it is both…when you are able to make and maintain relationships that fosters trust, compassion and confidence in one another never EVER let them go. Work at holding onto these relationships because they are rare, they are one of a kind…they are a divine gift. That is how I feel about the relationship I have made with Julz – it is a divine gift.
On a personal level…I admire Julz for SO many things. Most of all I admire how she has made her family a priority and works tirelessly to make her family and her faith number one. Being in the fitness industry and being as successful as Julz is, she is in high demand to travel…but she has made significant cut backs in that department to dedicate time to cultivating her family and the spending time at home watching her daughter grow up. Julz is pretty much amazing at everything she does, but when I see her with her daughter in person or on social media it is clear that Julz is meant to be a mother…the world could use A LOT of her love and compassion. Julz has been honest in the past months about her wantonness to grow her family and experiencing the challenges of the adoption process…I would not wish this struggle on anyone, and it is so frustrating to see a mom, a woman, a beautiful person like Julz have to endure some heart-breaking obstacles along the way. But Julz still see the glass half full, she still sees the big pictures and she still smiles and believes. She believes unconditionally and that is something nothing and no one can ever take away from her…
I admire Julz for many things…her talent, her leadership, her wisdom, her beauty but really I admire her for her heart. Her heart is full of so much joy, compassion and tenderness that to able to experience a little bit of that I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world.
Julz – I hope you know much I look up to you as a mentor, leader, boss, peer and friend…you have forever changed my life by believing in me and I will work relentlessly to never let you down…I chose to stick to YOU like “super glue.” Thank you for elevating the community around you even when times have been rough. Thank you for uplifting the community of teachers, kids, students, friends and family who look to you daily for inspiration, advice and guidance. Thank you most of all for exemplifying what is looks like to truly live a life of service…there is no better person to look up to for this than YOU.
Who inspires you?
My five year old daughter, The Peach! She exudes energy, joy and kindness. She lives life BIG! And her heart is so pure and tuned into the feelings and needs of others. I’m sure it is because at this age LIFE has not yet tainted her with hurt or disappointment so she is able to truly see others and love them (also, she gets 11 1/2 hours of sleep a night! That’s gotta help.) She has no “fog” on her Life Lens. I want to live more like that everyday.
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
For several years we have been trying to grow our family and recently we had an adoption fall apart on the day the baby was born. It was a shock. We’d been preparing for months for this baby’s arrival. The room was ready, the baby clothes were in the drawers. Gosh, we had him named and everything. I would tell you that I already loved him. But that is how it goes sometimes. You are moving along, tackling your goals, checking off the to-do list of your life and without any warning the rug gets pulled out from under you. For me, it’s what I do in that moment that matters most. In this instance I was able to lean into the grace of God and the confidence that He wants good-good-good things for me, not tragedy. With the loving support of amazing friends and family, I expressed my sadness and frustration – had a glass of wine or two with my tears – then dusted off my pants and got back to it. I’ve definitely been strengthen by this experience. I’m sure it’s to prepare me for whatever comes next in this journey.
Five words that best describe you:
5. Deeply Flawed
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Professionally, I’m most proud of the team of people I surround myself with, develop and lead. I work with a group of the highest-functioning, most talented and generous fitness pros you can imagine through my role as the team manager for Schwinn Cycling and as a development team member for BOSU, Shockwave and Indo-Row. It’s not by accident. I chose my professional mentor very early in my career (Jay Blahink) and I’ve stuck to him like Super Glue for the past two decades. He has set the standard by which I measure all other professional relationships and I’ve been blessed to attract and associate with people of this same caliber in my work. It’s so darn cool.
What is your basic life philosophy?
Love One Another.
Most important relationships in your life are…:
Jesus, my husband, my daughter, my family and friends, my colleagues, strangers on the street and anyone I happen to bump into who is in need.
What does a perfect day look and feel like?
Maui, Hawaii. Get up early for a run and a workout before the day’s too hot. Breakfast with friends and family. Reading and playing on the beach. A looooooong nap. Goodnight kisses to my daughter. A long, relaxing dinner with my husband. Early bed. (Ok, I think my blood pressure just dropped while I was writing that! ALOHA!)
What is your legacy? (what do you want to be known for?)
What a great question! I want to be known for being shockingly generous with everything God has given me.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
How do you lift others up?
Well, I TRY to do it in my everyday life by offering everyone I come in contact with a smile, the time to be heard and the benefit of the doubt. In my work, when I come across a good-hearted, talented, hard-working individual who wants to thrive in the fitness industry I give them as much of my time and guidance as they can take! I try to open as many doors for them as I can. If it wasn’t for the people who did this for me there is no way I’d have the career I have now. I’m reminded of this all the time and I’m honored when I can do it for others.
If you had an extra hour in a day, how would you spend it?
I’d like to believe I’d work on writing a book, but the truth is I’d probably go for a run. 🙂