What impression do you leave?

23 Mar

In a society where we’ve become so consumed with looking like Hollywood, when you meet someone that stands out for who they are and how they make you feel, rather than their looks, it leaves a lasting impression.  That’s why I’ve dedicated this blog to Jesse and my spin class.

Jesse Hartle first came to my spinning class at 6am one Thursday morning at the DAC Merritt Athletic Club.  I didn’t realize he was blind until I saw his walking stick.  This was his first spinning class so I prepared him for the torture, but I told him he was here to work hard and have fun.  He had a huge smile on his face and his excitement was contagious.  The class challenged Jesse, but his determination was much greater than his fears.  At the end of class, I asked him if he would be back, and soon after Jesse became a regular.  He was there almost every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6am!  Every class he became better and I remember looking at him one time as he was standing, thinking that his form was amazing (REALLY AMAZING).

The thing about Jessie is that he didn’t make excuses, he didn’t use his blindness to avoid the hill.  He wanted the challenge and never backed down, because as the theme of the class has bcome, “if it doens’t kill you, it makes you stronger”.  He even entered physical fitness contests at work, and worked on choosing healthier options while traveling.  He inspired me and the spinners in the class.

This class is very unique in that there are people with all different backgrounds, fitness levels, and goals, but what makes it so special is the group dynamic.  We celebrate each other’s birthdays with a 90 minute spin class.  We share stories and the group not only takes an interest in each other, but they truly care.  

When I found out Jessie had been hit by a car when he was walking home from work, I was very upset and so was the class.  We don’t know if the driver who hit Jessie was texting, talking on the phone, or eating pizza, but they weren’t paying attention to the wonderful man, father, husband, friend, and spinner who was walking across the street.  From being struck by the car, Jessie fractured one of his vertabrae and is in a back brace.  I found this out because Jessie emailed me that he wasn’t being a slacker and he can’t wait to get back to spin class and see the group! In honor of Jessie, we got him a gift card for a local store, so he and his family could get groceries delivered to his house.  I am honored to teach such amazing people!

Take a look at the video in honor of Jessie with a song he will remember singing, and this was taken AFTER 90 minutes of cycling with the crew that survived!  Love Motel, Hotel, Holiday Inn by Pitbull.  If you’re working out, you might as well be having fun.  Life is too short to be grumpy!

In Health and Happiness,



2 Responses to “What impression do you leave?”

  1. jthealthyfit March 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Wow! This is such a great post. How motivating for everyone else in the class, even you as an instructor, to have such a magnificent person, like Jesse defying all odds to face adversity head on. He decided he’s not going to use his blindness as an excuse, but uses it as encouragement for others. It’s truly a story of determination. We all need to learn and live our lives from people like Jesse. Hope to hear more from you and your fitness experiences!

  2. jessie March 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    HOLIDAY INN!! Love it. Jesse is truly inspiring as is this entire class. Such a unique group with so many great personalities and terrific energy. I have never had as much fun at 5:30 AM as I do in this class. Thanks Madeline! 🙂

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