This week on That Girl we are celebrating Jessica Bellofatto, an awesome all-around athlete who does everything from yoga to surfing to paddle boarding to running. When she’s not teaching others how to move and love their bodies, Jessica is busy loving and moving her own body. It’s through constantly trying new things that she maintains her inspiration to stay fit. That, and one simple word that doesn’t exist to her…
39 years young
Yoga teacher and SUP yoga teacher, owner of KamaDeva Yoga in East Hampton, doula, and mom of two awesome kids
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
One of the fitness accomplishments I am most proud of is training for and competing in two half-ironman distance races (1.2 mile swim/ 56 mile bike/ 13.1 mile run). Up until the age of probably 30 or so, I had never run more than six miles, could barely swim, and did not get on a road bike until a few years ago. I would also have to say I am proud of learning how to surf later in life. About 12 years back, I wanted to learn, bought a board, and took a few lessons. I was not very good, and I then got pregnant with my first child. My surfboard sat in my garage for about eight years after that. I came back to the sport just about three years ago, and, as anyone who has learned to surf can probably testify, the learning curve is STEEP. After much work and determination, I figured it out, and I now count surfing as one of my top sports. I especially love paddling out at first light, or at sunset, when the water is glassy and empty. There is no other feeling in the world.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
What inspires me every day to get fit is simply that I love it. I love the feeling of moving my body, whether it be through yoga, surfing, running through the trails, biking through the streets of the beautiful place I live or chasing my kids on the beach. Movement makes me happy. I also find inspiration in feeling connected to the earth through the various sports that I do.
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
When I don’t feel like working out, I call a friend. There is nothing better than having my favorite running friend show up at my house all laced up and ready to go and get me off my butt!
Favorite energizing meal:
I am very lucky in that my boyfriend, Adam Kelinson is a chef, specializing in nutrition for athletes. He wrote a book called, The Athlete’s Plate- Real Food for High Performance.When he is not around to cook for me, I generally borrow a recipe from his book, such as the homemade granola. We cook the oats with coconut oil and pure maple syrup, and then add some raw nuts, and some super foods such as goji berries. I eat it pre- or post-workout with either some yogurt or some raw milk from our local dairy farmer.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
My favorite way to chill post workout is with a bit of yoga, some nice long-held pigeon poses, and some reclined leg and hip stretches and twists…YUM!!!
What is your top kick-ass workout?
I would have to say my top kick-ass workout is the speed workout I do at the local track with a bunch of other runners and triathletes. We are fortunate to have a local coach, John Connor, an old-timer that shows up every Monday and Wednesday, and puts up through a great workout with a two mile warmup, followed by about 2-3 miles of speed work. He tells us what pace to run at depending on our ability, and one of the things that is so amazing about it is you start to LEARN that pace in your body–no GPS needed!
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
My favorite place to exercise is anywhere outdoors. I especially love leading yoga retreats, which I do about seven times a year. To be able to practice yoga outside in a gorgeous location, to the sound of the ocean, is transformative to me on so many levels.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
The biggest lesson I have learned through fitness and sports is that the word “can’t” does not exist in my vocabulary. I feel stronger as I get older, and I love helping other women discover how GOOD it feels to learn a new sport, try a new yoga pose, do something they thought wasn’t possible. There is an awesome quote by Dr. Seuss that I love: “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” I live by that!
Photo: courtesy of Jessica Bellofatto