November 2023 Athlete of the Month

Tradewinds is proud to announce or November 2023 AOM will be Jen Okereke! Congratulations Jen. 

Jen has been with us through many seasons, she started out personal training and became interested in our group class environment. She is now an absolute staple in the 5:30am class, always keeping us entertained and on our toes! Jen is dedicated to her schedule like no other, she is always making time for her fitness routine, putting her head down and getting the work done in the gym. She does it all with a smile, some quick wit and a laugh- never taking things too seriously! Jen has put in loads of work to master some of our more challenging skills on the barbell, and is a truly gifted athlete. Jen knows how to meet herself where she is at each and every day, and is always working out intuitively with the bigger picture in mind. Jen is a great role model for someone who took something they once thought would be too challenging for them, and persevered until she mastered it. We continue to admire Jen for her work ethic and efforts- thanks for being you Jen! 

TW: Where are you from? 

Jen: Born in London, UK

TW: What do you do for work?

Jen: I am a Healthcare Executive for a Software Company

TW: How long have you been at Tradewinds? 

Jen: Joined in 2020

TW: What motivated you to try Tradewinds?  

Jen: I realized in late 2019 that I no longer had the range of motion or flexibility that I had just 5 years before and needed to retain or improve my overall health.  That year, I bumped into Leah, saw how great she looked, and decided to try it.

TW: What group class do you usually attend?

Jen:  the 5:30 a.m. ‘Top Crowd.”  We ROCK!!

TW: Did you have a fitness background prior to starting at Tradewinds? 

Jen: I have no fitness background but did a lot of races in the past  – Spartan, Tough Mutter, Foam Fest, and 5 ks 

TW: If you could program your dream WOD, what would it be? 

Jen: I would do a 2 K run, then a lift 30-minute workout, then a 2k walk, finishing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of Expresso 

TW: What is your proudest accomplishment since joining Tradewinds? 

Jen: Being able to back squat 90 lbs and still being able to move the next day!

TW; How has Tradewinds helped you in your everyday life?

Jen: I feel I have accomplished something great after my 5:30 workouts.  I feel ready for the day ahead and know that nothing can be more fulfilling after that. 

TW: What do you like to do outside the gym? 

Jen: I am an amateur potter, an avid traveler (I have visited 51 countries), and a lover of great wine.

 TW: What is your favorite song to workout to

Jen: When trying to motivate myself, Linkin Park is my go-to, but if I need something in my head, I find myself playing Victoria’s Secret by Jax on repeat because it reminds me of my much younger self and what I was thinking….

TW: What’s one thing you’d tell someone who is curious about trying Tradewinds but not sure if they could do it?  

Jen: You do you.  Take it one workout at a time, and don’t worry about being like everyone else or lifting like everyone else what you do works for you.  I would also say that Tradewinds is like a family, some days you will feel great, and some days will be hard but the trainers are always there for you.

AOM Closing Thoughts… 

When I started at Tradewinds, it was hard.  I felt like I would be unable to do a group class because it was so much longer, and I felt I did not have the stamina to get through it.  I remember watching the class taking place from the corner of my eyes and wondering how those men and women managed to lift, row, and cycle through the hour-long class.  I was in awe.  It took me a while to get past the fact that I needed to try and keep coming through the Tradewinds doors to make a real difference to my overall health.  Also, knowing that I did not need to lift as much or move as fast as others allowed me to be in my head and work at my own pace.  This is a personal journey for me to come out of what has been a challenging couple of years to be the best I can be from a fitness perspective.  My success over the last few months is because of the trainers and my 5:30 a.m. cohorts, who are sometimes funny and always ready to meet the day’s challenge.