Jesse Barton: NASM-certified personal trainer & certified yoga teacher

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Bio:

Jesse Barton is a NASM-certified personal trainer and certified yoga teacher. She holds a Master's degree in psychology and is fascinated by, and passionate about, the mind-body connection. Jesse lives a sober life, having overcome her battle with alcoholism over three years ago, and worked in recovery before realizing that she preferred helping others in their pursuit of fitness and overall wellbeing. Jesse is also a Wilhelmina Fitness model and has appeared in campaigns, ads, and editorials for brands and magazines such as Adidas, Macy's, Runner's World, Skecher's, etc.  Beyond all this, Jesse is an avid smoothie-maker and recently released an ebook on the subject, entitled "Blendables."  You can follow Jesse on Instagram, find her on Facebook, and check out her website and blog at www.jessebarton.com.

What do I do best?

I try to bring a sense of humor to everything I do, whether that’s a personal training session, or a blog post. We all have the tendency to take ourselves and our situation(s) too seriously.  At the end of the day, only a few things truly matter:  our relationship with ourselves, our relationships with others, and the things we do to make the world a better place.  Everything else is just icing on the cake- why not enjoy it?

What makes me the best version of myself?

Two things: Resilience and flexibility. I have fallen down many times in my life, but I always get back up. And I find life and it’s many experiences truly fascinating, so if something doesn’t turn out the way I anticipated (and that happens a lot), I change my approach and accept the outcome—whatever it may be.    

What are my aspirations?

I want to continue peeling off the layers of the onion to understand myself and realize my spiritual connection on a deeper level.  I meditate and practice mindfulness daily, and I want to further this pursuit. Meditation increases my compassion and understanding for myself and other beings.  

On a professional level, I am gearing up to start leading wellness retreats, which will combine my two biggest passions: travel & fitness.  Ideally, in the not-too-distant future, I will lead 4-5 retreats a year.  I’m also working on a book of essays and would like to (finally) finish that and find a literary agent.  And one day I want to open up my own mind-body wellness studio which will offer classes in meditation, fitness, mindful movement, yoga, etc.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest achievement, hands down, is getting sober over four years ago.  I got very lost in my mid-twenties and spent several years jumping around from one job to another, trying to find myself, and self-medicated all of my fears and anxieties with alcohol.  After bottoming out in Brooklyn in 2013, I knew I had to change my ways.  I was miserable!  So I got help, got sober, went to grad school, got a divorce, and found a new home—all within a few months. I had simply had enough misery.

My Most Challenging Moment?

I have a Master’s degree in psychology, and my original plan had been to pursue a PhD in clinical psych.  During my last year of grad school, I took a job as a case manager at an alcohol and drug recovery center in Manhattan.  I thought I was going to love the job, as I am in long-term recovery myself and love to help others. But, I hated it.  I was constantly filled with anxiety and was unable to separate myself from the role.  I did, however, find great happiness in leading my clients through bootcamps and guiding them on group runs.  Fitness was a huge part of my own recovery, and I saw the positive effects it had on my clients too. So, I decided to switch gears and get my personal training certification.  I left that job after about a year, and knew I was on the right path in my work as a wellness professional.  I much prefer working in the solution rather than the problem.  So often, I’ve found that I have to figure out what DOESN’T work in order to find out what does.

My Motto?

As a very good friend always tells me: Feel the fear and do it anyways.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My parents have always encouraged me to seek independence and individuality.  They’ve been my biggest supporters throughout my life, even through my darkest times.  

My husband, whose (loving) critical thinking skills have helped me tremendously in my career and life in general.

Chelsea Handler, who is both hilarious and brilliant. She is completely unafraid to speak the truth and stand up for what’s right, and she does so without fearing the consequences.

And this may be a strange one, but Ernest Hemingway’s views on both writing and courage have been very impactful for me; especially when I’m faced with fear & self-doubt.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I live to travel, and am always scheming about my next adventure.  I want to go (almost) everywhere. I’m a bit restless by nature, and wandering the world, learning about other cultures, seeing topography that’s vastly different than what I’m used to—these things bring me deep satisfaction and help shape my worldview.  My favorite places I’ve been thus far include Costa Rica- It’s just stunningly beautiful and the people are so chill; Barcelona -The art! The tapas! The beaches!  There’s so much to do in and around this vast city; Cuba – this was a vastly educational trip for me, and filled with both deep sadness and joy; London- I’m fascinated by British history and culture, so being here is like being in a candy shop for me.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I couldn’t live without sparkling water, or, as we call it here, “seltzer.”  I can easily go through a case in a week.

My foam roller- self-myofascial release is a necessity both for myself and my clients.

My black Lorna Jane baseball cap that I wear almost every day to train. Wearing a baseball cap is both functional and empowering. :)

My Current Passions?

(No rules here. This can be anything in your life that you are currently excited about or enjoy)

Three-part breath work, known as dirgha pranayama.  It’s my favorite type of meditation.  You can literally feel the energy radiating through the chakras, and afterwards I feel so cleansed and connected to the universe.

Researching retreat spaces- I’ve been obsessively looking at options for the first one!

Smoothie-making.  I put out an ebook on smoothie recipes earlier this year, and my obsession with blending up healthy ingredients into delicious concocting brings me deep joy.