If We Rise by Lifting Others, You All Should be at Your Peak

A lot of what I have written about in this blog is the world of fitness I have found myself engulfed in. It’s only been two years since I took it on professionally but it has become a huge part of my life. For the sake of not being redundant I will try to keep this one short and sweet but I had to, one last time, express my gratitude for the people who have become a constant positive push to be the best instructor, athlete and person I can be. Last night I taught a dual ride with Rebecca, a dream I never thought would come true. Never did I ever believe I would be qualified to ever find myself on the same level as Rebecca BrookSTEIN. (Likely pronounced incorrectly but nobody really knows) I wrote a whole blog about Bex and how I looked up to her in awe because of how flawless, strong and motivating she is and how she makes it all look effortless. Never ever did I think I would be teaching a class WE created together. As I sat in the saddle, our elbows side by side, I looked out and saw our girl Ilana and it hit me like a wave. Ilana is one of a very large, strong group of people who create my “fitfam” and I am incredibly lucky to have fallen into a circle of people who are all rare breeds in this industry. The fitness world can be cut throat, it can be competitive and it can be extremely superficial. Somehow I managed to find people that break that nonsense and who constantly lift each other. I’ve seen the bullshit first hand, been victim to the manipulation and trash talk that comes the second someone is threatened by your talent. I don’t mean to say that arrogantly, and I don’t mean specifically me. I mean fitness instructors in general. When an instructor is good, cares about their clients and doesn’t worry about being better than anyone but themselves, its a beautiful thing that tends to be challenged by others in the field. It’s easy to say that the reason they nitpick and engage in the negativity is because of their own insecurities and that people are unhappy with themselves and that is why they project hate or judgement onto others but in this business I actually think it’s the exact opposite. I think the criticism comes from a level of self love that borders on arrogance and inability to see ones own flaws. The fitness professionals in this field have a tendency to be extremely proud in a way that lacks class. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about self love. I’m proud of who I am. I’m Jessica flipping Mikel-Bertolini, Mikelini to my fitness friends. I teach strong HIIT classes, I’m strong on a bike, I have the mental capacity to overcome marathons and I’d like to think that in general, I’m a kind person, loving friend and wife. But none of that is worth boasting about if I can’t also recognize my flaws, my weaknesses and my mistakes. To be a well rounded human, you must also have modesty and own your areas that need improvements. The humble man makes room for progress and continuously grows to the best he can be. The proud man believes he is already there. 

My fit family reminds me to be humble but encourages me to embrace who I am. They’re the people who see your skills rather than search for your flaws. They look at you and celebrate your qualities, your uniqueness and your talent rather than point out your mistakes. They are the people who remind you of your strengths when all you see are your weaknesses. They are the people who come to your class and yell “yassssss” rather than think about what they would do differently, or in their mind; better. They are the kind of people who, even though I won’t see everyday anymore, will continue to help me grow. They are MY people and without them, this business would suck. I honestly wonder if I would have even pursued it any longer had it not been for these people. As I exit the world of a Manhattan fitness professional, which is by far unlike any other city, I feel nothing but gratitude. Thank you you beautiful humans for pushing me up and on to be someone I am proud to be but also someone I am eager to improve. The relationship we have created with each other comes from a level of sincerity and an impartial desire to see each other rise. For that I thank you. Thank you for showing up for the classes that mean something. Thank you for all the “yasss’s” that come from a quality song find. Thank you for sharing the song finds. Thank you for all the times you made me “turn it up”, all the tap backs and all of those beautify disgusting sweaty hugs. As Ilana would say, ✌️♥️🍑


….so much for keeping this short and sweet. 

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