Influencing with Purpose: Our Own Jennifer Kieta
Social media influencers are everywhere, but not all influencers are created equally. Some use their platforms for more than advertising themselves. This issue’s Influencing with Purpose focuses on a familiar face: our associate publisher, Jennifer Kieta. Jennifer is a fitness guru at Zyn22, a singer, and a breast cancer survivor.
Madeworthy: How did you start your fitness journey?
Jennifer Kieta: This will date me, but other than riding a bike with my grade school squad, I took my first steps in my fitness journey with the trailblazer of fitness herself, Jane Fonda. Her VHS tapes had the greatest full-body workout in the game! The next big leap into my love for movement came after a very emotional breakup with a guy I had been dating for about six years. Running became my therapy.
MW: What about leading spin and HIIT classes fulfills you?
JK: It is my passion to empower people to believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to. I love watching clients grow in mind and body.
MW: Who has been your inspiration in fitness to help guide you as an instructor?
JK: My husband, Brian Kieta, is not only an incredible songwriter and musician, but he’s my number one cheerleader. Denis Morton was a Soul Cycle Instructor before Zyn22 hired him to train the new instructors back when we started. These men helped me fight against self-doubt. They did not allow me to give up on myself. Even when I was crying from frustration and exhaustion, they helped me fight. It is my greatest pleasure to pour into others in the way they encouraged me.
MW: When you are not exercising or inspiring others to exercise, how do you like to spend your time?
JK: I love to cook and watch movies with my family. I put my heart and soul into what I do, so being with my husband and kids at home recharges me. I also love a good happy hour with friends. My friends help me keep perspective and motivate me to be a better human.
MW: What’s your favorite story of someone who conquered their fitness goals?
JK: One of my favorite stories is about my friend Lauren. She started a program over a year ago called the 75 Hard Challenge. She needed a holistic reset – physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Losing weight was never her focus. Her focus was healing in all aspects of her life, and she stayed committed to the program. I had the privilege of walking alongside Lauren from the very beginning of her endeavor.
MW: How can someone add exercise to their daily or weekly routine?
JK: Goodness, I could get long-winded, so here are some quick ways to include exercise into your daily routine:
- Plan Ahead. If you work out early in the morning, lay out your exercise clothes, book your class, or download the exercise app you’ll use the night before.
- Start Small to Lead to Big Results. Thirty minutes a day is the goal, but simply moving more and sitting less will help. A little movement is better than none!
- Do Something You Enjoy. This is the best way to stick to an exercise routine.
- Take Time Alone. We all struggle to make time for ourselves. Taking a walk, running, or enjoying yoga class can help turn off your brain.
- Group Motivation. When you make workout friends, you also create accountability.
MW: You are five years cancer-free. How did cancer change your perspective on health?
JK: By God’s grace and mercy, cancer left me stronger, bolder, and on a mission to convince people they are worthy of the fight. Brené Brown said, “One day, you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through, and it will be someone else’s survival guide.” This is exactly what I’ve chosen to do. Exercise is life insurance for your emotional and physical well-being, and you ARE worthy of the fight!
MW: What does Fort Worth have going for it in terms of fitness options?
JK: I’m grateful Fort Worth offers such a vast variety of options for people to choose from. Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, spin, karate, rock climbing, running clubs… Finding something you enjoy is key to sticking with a workout routine. Fort Worth has something for just about anyone searching for a way to get moving!
MW: As we age, what kind of exercises should we do?
JK: Low-impact exercises are a better choice as we get older. Pilates focuses on posture and body alignment, and even people with injuries or physical limitations can do it. Indoor cycling is also easy on the joints and is a ton of fun (in my humble opinion, of course!). Never underestimate the power of walking. It’s simple but very effective. Walking is a form of body weight movement that helps promote bone density.
MW: Music is so important to you. How do you come up with those bangin’ playlists?
JK: The playlist is one of the most important parts of my class. We require a variety of beats per minute for each song… I also think about the emotional build and the fun. I want my clients to leave class empowered, knowing they achieved something really incredible for themselves. I like to incorporate songs from past and present, with a few mashups here and there to appeal to all. Music is therapy, and so is movement!
Here’s my final nugget of encouragement. It’s intimidating to start an exercise routine. Exercise is a process which requires time and discipline. You have to do the work, but that work has a very powerful and beautiful outcome. It’s never too late to start.
Jennifer’s Fort Worth Faves
Coffee shop – Summer Moon
Breakfast/brunch place – Righteous Foods
Hangout with friends – Press Café
Place to relax and recharge – Hotel Drover
Museum or gallery – Amon Carter Museum
Artist or musician – Brian Kieta
Yearly event – Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
Boutique – Winton + Waits
Best bartender or cocktail – Hodge Stokes/Old-fashioned
Sweet treat – Swiss Pastry shop’s Black Forest cake
Hamburger joint – JD’s Hamburgers
Barbecue – Heim
Mexican restaurant – Joe T. Garcia’s