Taking Flight // Part Two


We all have preset expectations of how our life is supposed to look, what we think we deserve, and how it will all play out. If I’m being honest with myself, and others- that’s bullshit.

I used to believe that my life would unfold the exact way I planned for it to-merely because that’s what I planned. I expected a few hiccups along the way, but I didn’t expect my life to be the exact opposite of what I had planned for.

Five years to the day, I took a flight that ultimately ended up changing my life. I moved abroad with my then husband into uncharted territory ready to pursue the next chapter in our lives. Five years later on this very day I’m flying to Boston- a place that holds meaning to me, and yet another place that changed the course of my life.

Upon graduating college (eight years ago) my girlfriends and I decided to take a road trip to Boston. We spent quite a few ridiculous nights in the heart of the city; going out to bars, having fancy roof top dinners, and introducing ourselves to unfamiliar faces. We were literally having the time of our lives. We unexpectedly walked into the Beantown Pub for yet another ridiculous night on the town. That night I ended up meeting my future husband. From that moment on my life was never the same. I fell in love, moved to a different state, got married, moved to a different country, watched my marriage fall apart, attempted to pick up the pieces while failing miserably, and eventually moved back to the states.

It was during those times of uncertainly that I began to figure out who I was, what I stood for, and how my own voice sounded when the background noise of others was no longer so influential.

Last year, on March 28th, I flew to Mexico. I needed a break, an adult time out from the rest of the world and I wasn’t quite sure why, why then…why I was breaking down. Facebook was kind enough to remind me why I was in such a state of angst, confusion, and misinterpretation of my own feelings. At the time of realization, tears began to roll down my face, they were tears of sadness, of loneliness, and a feeling that what I fought so long and so hard for was no longer my reality.

Yet, today, I’m back in Boston for a reason; it’s the rebirth of a new era. Two years ago, the thought of visiting the Beantown Pub would have made me go into a complete state of utter chaos, but today I’m more at peace knowing that a place that once held such a life altering experience is now a reminder that life can change at any moment, and for any unimaginable reason. In a sense it’s a form of closure.

This time the tears aren’t of pain, or of hurt, they’re tears of joy, and the ability to pursue my purposeful passion. It’s the roads that don’t always get discovered, but somehow manage to find their way to you. Not necessarily because you decided to go a different route, but because life decided that’s what was written in the stars for you. My mom continues to remind me that despite our desire to be in control, we’re not. The life we thought we planned for ourselves is nothing more than our purpose that was planned long before we can imagine. The future you thought you’d live wasn’t as meaningful as the present you’re currently living. Learning to embrace your fear, and a life you didn’t plan for can be a source of inspiration, but only if you allow it to.


Forward Motion

These past couple of weeks have been a true test to my character. It’s as if I’m starting a brand new by line and re-inventing Jayel, although I’m a firm believer in people constantly reinventing themselves, it’s much easier said than done. I’ve moved, relocated my business, and have had some serious family health issues going on, and to say it’s taken a toll on me would be an understatement.

I haven’t blogged about myself, inspiration, or looking at the glass half full in quite some time. I realized I’ve been neglecting this ever so important aspect of my life because I haven’t felt strong, I haven’t felt like I could truly inspire someone, and to me- since that’s a huge part of who I am and what I do, has made me feel like I’m failing at something… I’ve sat, toyed around with what I could write and nothing had come to me, that was until I got a Facebook message from someone I had never met before. She simply said “I love your page and blog, very inspiring.”

That message allowed me to remember my why. Why I started this blog: to not only be open and honest with myself, but others. To document my successes as well as my defeats. To share my story with others so that hopefully they feel so compelled to share their stories as well…overall creating an environment where we’re not embarrassed of our path, wrong doings, the amount of weight that we used to carry (both physically and metaphorically), but for people to realize we’re all in this together, but only if we allow ourselves that opportunity.

Part of my job title is to lift others up, be able to inspire them whether through fitness or relatable journeys, and let them know that whatever they’re facing, they’re not alone. For years, decades, I was unable to open up, to verbalize my feelings. It’s still a difficult process for me, but writing it down and putting it out there for the world to see allows me to become one with it, and allows me the opportunity to show people that despite appearing one way most of the time, that I’m human and I’ve got my days of confusion, heartache, self-doubt, and the overwhelming sense of “am I doing the right thing?”

Creating this blog was a  platform for not only myself, but other women to share their stories. We often only see things how they’re presented to us- in a nicely wrapped package that seems to make sense, yet we fail to see or acknowledge the (pardon my french) shit we had to endure to get there.

I’ve shared my stories of my divorce (at times it still haunts me), my ongoing battle with anxiety, my sense of freedom and what I’ve had to go through to actually experience what that truly means, and my struggles with overall body image. I don’t share these stories so that people can feel bad for me, in fact I do it for the opposite effect. I do it so that women can realize the power they have in sharing their stories, because if I’m being honest, it’s my tests that have become my testimonies, my struggles that have become my successes, and my failures that have become my forward motion.

Heartache, loss, fear, shame, and insecurities are all negative forces that quite us, dim our light within and prevent us from sharing our stories, yet it’s sharing our stories that allow us to have a voice.

This blog was a creation of clients telling me stories, and the paths that they’ve walked. No story is identical to the other, no story is less compelling, and no story goes without someone feeling or saying that they’ve been there…

I know I’m not the only one that feels like I’m constantly fighting some sort of battle. I can tell you it’s not always easy to speak the truth or be honest and vulnerable about your journey but I can guarantee you that  no matter how much you feel defeated your truth is yours, and  yours alone–own it.

For every person that doesn’t like/believe in your truth, there is another one that finds comfort in your stories, solace in knowing that you’ve traveled a similar path, and for that they are grateful. Don’t be ashamed of where you are in the here and now, make no apologies…because, you’re not the only one. 


I’m in Love…

photoI’m in love
…with my new outlook on life. It’s that time of year again that we’re constantly surrounded by friends and family, feeling obligated to attend every party we’ve received an invite to, and appear as though our lives are picture perfect.

Although that may be the case for some, it’s not the case for most. I think after having a real, intimate conversation with close friends and/or family we’ll all soon realize that the pictures on holiday cards paint a facade of the way we may want our life to appear. There’s nothing wrong with working towards that picture you’ve created in your head but it can be exhausting pretending to be something your not.

I’ve been there, we’ve all been there at some point or another. I look at December not only as the last month of the year but a time to reflect back on how much my life has changed, how I’ve grown, and what I’ve learned not only about myself but how I choose to look at life differently in the days to come.

It wasn’t until I created this blog that I felt comfortable sharing my story, my real self, and all of the hardships I’ve endured. In a sense this blog has been my own personal diary of not only my struggles but my successes as well. Looking back, my divorce was one of the hardest, but most rewarding times of my life. For so long I pretended that things were fine, when they were not… and that was utterly exhausting. As I was able to open up and share what was really going on in my life I was able to see that there was in fact light at the end of the tunnel.

Since my divorce I’ve: 

  • Fallen apart…and picked up the pieces
  • Learned to accept myself…faults and all
  • Become independent…of others
  • Traveled…to places I never thought life would take me
  • Cried in bed…while drinking champagne and/or eating chocolate…simultaneously
  • Stopped planning out each step in my life…and have learned to accept whatever life throws at me
  • Started a new project…and stopped an old one
  • Been honest…with myself

But most importantly, I’ve learned it’s better to welcome adversity than to fight it. By doing this I’ve discovered it’s what fuels me, and has given me a new outlook on life. In order for this to happen we must learn to be present, and accept any and every challenge that may come our way.




Hustle Baby




We all crave some form of power, some sort of control, yet our life can  feel out of control and reckless.

Unfortunately we can’t always be in control of certain situations or outcomes, but what we can control is our own story…how we write it; what words we choose to live by, mantras we believe in, manifestations we bring to life, and bricks we lay as a foundation to build upon.

The amazing thing about fitness is that you’re the only one in control of your own body.

Are there outside influences that will often lead you astray? Sure…but it’s up to you to get shit done.

Just as someone about to open up a business meticulously writes out a business plan that includes; a mission statement, strengths & weaknesses, opportunities to capitalize on, threats, and overall projections, we should too.

Sitting down and really analyzing what we want out of not only life, but our fitness goals will allow us to be one step closer to our overall package.

There’s no secret that keeping a fitness journal and food log often equates to success. That’s because you’ve taken the time to put into writing what you’re doing, where you’ve been, and track how far you’ve come. Realizing that you are the CEO of your body is such a  powerful thing. Take this opportunity to decide how you want to “run your business” how you’re going to be accountable for your own actions and exactly how you plan on reaching your goals.

Let it all marinate, figure out what it is that you really want…do you want to run a 5k, feel more comfortable in your skinny jeans, become stronger? Whatever it may be, write that shit down. Once it’s on paper you must make yourself accountable by your actions.

Make sure you’re setting goals that are attainable and that you’re setting them for the right reasons. Don’t do it for anyone else, don’t half ass it, and certainly don’t do without passion. It’s your passion that will drive your progress, that will keep you going and challenging yourself to try harder, run faster, and become stronger.

In the wise, wise, words of Iggy Azalea; I love your hustle, baby
Just let me add a little bit of muscle, baby…”


Photo Credit: Perry O’Hearn



Have you ever had those moments where you say to yourself; “WTF did I do to get here?” And because there’s seemingly no explanation you view it as a failure.

We’ve all had those moments, days, months, or even years. Yet we fail to understand (in the moment) that it’s our failures that lead us to some of our greatest accomplishments. Think about where you want to be, and then think of all the glorious mistakes and be thankful that they’ve lead you to where you are now. Look back, reflect, accept, and appreciate.