Meet Trailblazer Jessica Schatz
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Schatz.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
From the earliest age, movement was the most innate part of my being. It was as elemental and intuitive as breathing – as if that’s what made my heartbeat. Movement was – and still is – my life force, my medicine, and it’s what most powerfully unites my body, mind, and spirit.
I studied dance at a very early age. I attended college as a dance major, focusing on performance. At the same time, I immersed myself in the study of all the sciences behind my artistic pursuit: anatomy, biology, physiology, and kinesiology. I wanted to understand everything about how my body was doing all the things it was doing. During this time, I was also introduced to Pilates and yoga. Their benefits for me were enormous. I later began teaching them as my “day job” while I continued to be a professional dancer.
Throughout my education, training, and professional dancing, my body was put through hours of rigorous rehearsals and performances, and I faced daily struggles to stay healthy and injury-free. At 30, I had a career-ending knee injury. Being a professional dancer was my identity! I had essentially been living, breathing, and eating dance my entire life. This was an extremely difficult time, as my world had been suddenly shaken to the core. But somehow, I dug deep into myself and found a tiny light that still wanted to shine. I decided to turn my “day job” into my career and do something for others that, at the same time, I needed to do for myself: feel well in body, mind, and spirit.
It became my mission to help as many people as I could to live better lives through optimal health and wellness.
Through many years of teaching Pilates, yoga, and other techniques and practices, I continued to study, learn, and teach – biomechanics, nutrition, and other wellness practices. I loved working with athletes and dancers, and even developed a specific program and company dedicated solely to that market. But I soon found how I loved and got so much out of working with so many different kinds of people. I wanted to expand my practice and offer my services to everyone, from the very young, to elders experiencing challenges such as Parkinson’s. As a master Instructor and health and wellness coach, it is my passion to guide others – no matter their age, abilities, challenges, and stage in life – towards optimal wellness.
I found that if we can find a way to keep going, our light will shine brighter day-by-day, step-by-step.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
While I’ve had countless rich and rewarding life experiences; I’ve also suffered from anxiety, depression, panic attacks, body-image issues, and plenty of other fears and insecurities – sometimes manageable, other times debilitating. But after falling down, we can get back up. It is through experiencing our deepest sorrows that we are able to appreciate and embrace our greatest joys. All of this informs my work, life, and the journey on the road ahead.
Overcoming challenges has offered me the opportunity and resolve to reach out and help others thrive despite their own debilitating obstacles. The road does not have to determine the journey, but rather our intention, our commitment to weather the storm, stay on course, and get to the other side.
The best advice I can give others – particularly young women starting their journey – is this: If you let go of your “idea” of what your life has to look like, your world will get so much bigger.
During times of uncertainty, it helps to stay mindful, remind yourself of your purpose, and rely on the love and support of family, friends, and community through life’s ebbs and flows. When you feel stuck in the mud, there’s no getting over it, there’s only going through it. And as with any journey, the sun comes out, and the road becomes smooth once again.
Life is such a journey. It’s full of bumps, potholes, roadblocks, and often, torrential downpours. It’s also full of swimming holes, mountaintops, flowers in bloom, and interesting people to meet along the way. Adversity offers us an opportunity for growth.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Core Expert™️ – what should we know?
I am a Master Pilates Instructor, Yoga Teacher, Health and Wellness Coach, and Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher. I am also certified as a Personal Trainer and JOGA® Coach (yoga for ‘jocks’). Professionally, I have become known and identified as Jessica Schatz, The Core Expert™. As such, I combine scientific knowledge of the physical core with an intuitive sense of the inner core of each person. I am a frequent contributor to health and fitness publications. I also teach and speak at conferences, workshops, on radio, and on TV. I coach professional athletes and dancers and non-professionals to get stronger, more flexible, prevent injury, perform better, and strengthen the mind-body connection. The big picture benefit in health and wellness from my methodology is that each individual can feel better, function better, and live better.
My work has been distinguished in the health, wellness, and fitness communities for my integrative methodology, which emphasizes the mind-body connection. After years of intense fitness, exercise, and dance training, I realized there were unique benefits from varied sources. In order to address the whole person – mind, body, spirit, I designed a system that utilizes key principles and techniques from Pilates, yoga, biomechanics, meditation, mindfulness, physiology, kinesiology, strength and conditioning exercises, nutrition, and other modalities. I am also particularly adept at identifying the needs of each individual, irrespective of their fitness level, age, or physical challenges.
I am proud that with my diverse clientele I see successful results whether the individual has a limited level of fitness and ability, or the client is a professional athlete, dancer, or celebrity (fashion mogul Ashley Olsen, NBA star Wesley Matthews of the Indiana Pacers, the companies of Hamilton and Wicked, dancers with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater).
It has been particularly rewarding when clients dealing with adversities such as Parkinson’s disease and other physical hardships make improvements in mobility, strength, balance, self-confidence, and an overall sense of well-being. I take deep pride in their transformation. I am grateful for the recognition and accolades that I receive for my work, and the opportunity to reach and inspire more people in order to provide the tools for a better life.
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I have been lucky to have a number of wonderful mentors in my life who challenged, inspired, and encouraged me to grow, take action, and find my own way. As much as possible, I stay connected to them and continue to appreciate the life-changing lessons they taught me.
Networking is important to establish a sense of community and be around like-minded individuals. I make it a point to stay connected to my community – to friends, family, and professional colleagues. This is an important part of making life meaningful. We must show up in the world as our authentic selves, reach out to friends, and have conversations with people who share your ideas and values. This is what will guide one towards the right people, the right mentor, and the right community, and tribe.
My teaching method and philosophy is based on cultivating a mind, body, and spirit connection. By expressing my vulnerability, it connects me to more people than anything else in my life.
Both in my professional and personal life, I share my own personal experiences, my joys and my sorrows, my hills, and my valleys. We are all living this human experience and we all have great joys and deep sorrows, and the more we support each other on our journeys, the more connected to each other we become. We are all connected.
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