Jess Sims

Ali on the Run Show Episode 261: Jess Sims, Peloton Instructor

“Stop negotiating with yourself. Be like a little kid again and jump into the pool. Don’t stick your foot in to check out the temperature. Don’t think you have to have the right bathing suit on. Jump in the pool.”

It’s safe to say Jess Sims is one of the most popular fitness instructors in the country. As a Peloton instructor, Jess is known for her no frills, no BS, no gimmick approach to working out. She’s the real deal, and she’s passionate about helping people feel their best every day. And though Jess says she never dreamed about being a fitness instructor, let alone a global superstar with a massive platform, being an educator has always come naturally to her. On this episode, Jess shares her road to Peloton fame, which started by teaching not in fitness studios, but in classrooms: Jess did Teach for America, and taught kids in Houston, Harlem, and Massachusetts. Jess also talks about the a-ha moment that led her from her role as a principal to one on the podium, and explains why, at first, she actually turned down the opportunity to teach at Peloton. Plus, she talks about growing up in Peabody, MA, in a biracial family, and offers her take on diversity in the fitness industry today.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Did Young Jess plan for a future in the fitness industry? (4:15)
  • How Jess became a teacher (7:45)
  • How Jess broke into the fitness industry (16:15)
  • On getting hired at Peloton, and what life looks like as a Peloton instructor (20:00)
  • On both “personal branding” and diversity in the fitness industry (41:00)
  • What it means to Jess to “take up space” (47:20)

What we mention on this episode:

Teach For America

Rebecca Kennedy

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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