It’s time to introduce you to yet another one of our star players. This time around, I want to put the spotlight on Jesse…I mean Fred…erm Jesse (well, I’ll let him clarify his name for you). A regular early bird, Jesse (or is it Fred?) likes to work out in the morning given the busy days that lie ahead for him. As a product manager for a small company called WyzAnt, he leads a team of developers and designers who’ve been focused on building apps that help students find a tutor faster. In fact, he’ll proudly tell you the Android app just came out and the iPhone one will be available soon. Being in charge of all of the planning, strategy, business analysis, and project management, he spends a lot of his time wearing a lot of different hats to help his team solve problems. With a day like that, it only makes sense to get his workouts out of the way first thing in the morning. Now, I’ll let him take it away from here.
So, first off, what is your actual name?
My real name is Jesse. My parents have called me Fred (or Fred-O) for as long as I can remember, and, honestly, no one really remembers how that started. I do know that before I was Fred, my nickname was Meatball. So I guess I'm happy the second one stuck.
Where are you from?
I moved around some as a kid, but I think of New York as home. My whole family is from in and around the Bronx, so we'd always go back there for holidays and vacations. I was born in Washington, DC. I then moved to New Jersey, then Dallas, and then wound up on Long Island before moving here 15 years ago.
For those who don’t know you (yet), which classes do you prefer at Paramount?
I typically do the 6am classes with Alex at least four times per week. Lately, I've been throwing the Rowing Boot Camp with Megan into the mix on Saturdays, too.
So in those rare moments you’re outside the gym or work, where do you like to hang out?
I love Lula. It's been so consistently great throughout all of the years I've lived in Chicago, and I really enjoy popping in and eating at the bar they built a few years ago. I've also recently been obsessed with a drink there called the Bunny Slope, which has carrot juice in it, so that must mean it's healthy.
Putting you on the spot. Tell me something really unique about you.
I've been to all 48 contiguous states while touring in a couple of bands. I still play shows in Chicago from time to time.
So why did you first start coming to Paramount?
I first started coming to Paramount because I badly needed a kick in the ass. Things were spinning out of control a little bit for me at work, and I figured exercise and my health were things I could take control of at that moment. Other workout plans I'd tried over the years didn't stick for various reasons, and I was looking for a place where I'd feel comfortable, motivated, and challenged, all while staying close to my home. I tried out Paramount based on some Yelp reviews, and I'm so glad I did. Going to Paramount has easily been one of the best decisions I've ever made. The progress I've experienced and the changes I’ve felt over the past six months have been life-affirming.
What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?
Man. So much. I was crazy out-of-shape before coming to Paramount. I think I've made the most progress, though, with my squats. I'm finally no longer squatting to a box, and while I'm not moving a ton of weight, the progress I've made in terms of overall flexibility, mobility, and my form is unbelievable to me.
Do you have any preferred workouts?
I really like deadlifting and any sort of timed workout where I can push myself to squeeze in an extra set before time is up. I was a competitive runner in high school, and while I was never all that great, I still like that moment where you push yourself just a little bit further than you think you're capable of going to try to beat your time or another runner.