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FITT Q&A: MONICA JONES – GO-GETTER, WELLNESS WARRIOR, AND BADASS BOXING BABE

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MEREDITH O'CONNOR

MAY 12, 2020

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IMAGE VIA @COURTELIZABETHPHOTO | INSTAGRAM

In a recurring series, we’re talking to inspirational people doing amazing things in DC’s fitness scene. Recently, we chatted with Monica Jones, program director at BASH Boxing.

You might know Monica as one of the studio’s favorite instructors or as a familiar face on Under Armour Women but today… you’ll get to know her a little bit better.

START AT THE BEGINNING. HOW’D YOU END UP IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY?

I’m from Maryland, born in Baltimore and raised in Anne Arundel County.

In a search for my purpose, I went to culinary school. My hope was to find something that could pay the bills, and I felt I could do fairly often. But I was struggling through school, with my identity, and what I could contribute to the world.

In my darkest times, fitness brought me happiness. Once I started helping others find that connection through fitness, I’ve never experienced anything as fulfilling.

SO, FITNESS WASN’T THE PLAN?

My dream was to be an actress and a model. I still plan to pursue that, but I think even if I had, my path still would have crossed with the fitness world.

HOW DO YOU BUILD AND MAINTAIN CONFIDENCE?

My parents influenced me in a huge way — they taught me about hustle and teamwork. You have to commit all the way, stay consistent, and practice your craft.

If you have a small class, you give just as much to them as you would with a large, high-energy class. It's just about your intention and maintaining integrity.

@trainwithmon | Instagram

FITNESS IS CLEARLY YOUR PASSION.

Luckily, work for me every day doesn’t feel like work in the traditional sense. It's a blessing to be in an industry where you can play fun music, we can have real conversations with members or with other fitness professionals, and we can all get together outside of the studio.

BESIDES THE CULTURE, WHAT DRIVES YOU?

For a long time, I had a goal and desperation to look a certain way. But once I finally figured out how to apply goal-setting to my fitness routine, it changed my relationship with working out.

I'm obsessed with performance, but PRs aren't so important to me. It’s knowing my mind and body can work together to perform.

HOW DOES THAT PLAY INTO YOUR ROLE AT BASH BOXING?

Group fitness is such an experience-driven business. And when we founded BASH, the hardest part was staying true to science while still keeping things entertaining. Of course, we wanted to provide results and maintain the integrity of the workout, but we also wanted to make it more fun than what was already out there.

DO YOU FEEL PRESSURE TO WORK OUT EVERY DAY?

I don’t work out every day. When I was in my normal schedule, I was coaching so much that I actually strained my body more than my own personal workouts. So, I've learned to respect recovery.

Now, in quarantine, the weather dictates if I go outside and run. But I promise myself at least 20 minutes of movement every single day. It’s all about being kind to yourself.

@trainwithmon | Instagram

LIGHTENING THINGS UP, ANY TIPS TO SHARE WITH THE FITT CREW?

Practice gratitude every day, multiple times a day. Just like any other habit, I believe that you manifest more when you live your life that way. And always find a way to contribute to others once you’ve celebrated your own gratitude.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU WANT TO LET LOOSE OR GOOF OFF?

Whether I'm on set or in the studio, when I’m goofing off, I like to quote comedy movies, like Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up... some Vince Vaughn movie.

Or, you know, crashing somebody's TikTok nowadays is pretty fun.

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’RE WATCHING AND ONE THING YOU’RE READING?

I’m currently watching Insecure. I’m obsessed. This season is moving kind of slow but I look forward to it every Sunday at 10pm.

I’m reading Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes again. It was really inspiring when I was in normal life, but now that we're in quarantine, this book speaks to me even more.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT DC?

Diversity is the norm in DC — that’s my favorite thing about it. Whether it’s the food, or the culture, or the fitness options.

Fitness is a force here. It’s one of the fittest regions in the country, and that’s always given me a purpose.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE DC SPOTS (WHEN WE’RE NOT IN LOCKDOWN) THAT YOU’RE EXCITED TO GET BACK TO?

The Wharf — there’s a different space for each vibe, be it social, beautiful scenery, or good seafood. I love 12 Stories. [A cocktail bar in the area.]

China Chilcano in Penn Quarter. It’s arguably the best José Andrés restaurant.

The Mall, of course. It’s a great outdoor space with a rich history and great museums.

Union Market for working, shopping, hanging out, pop-up workouts, and eating.

Dupont for its variety of walkable nightlife.

OKAY, WE GOTTA ASK: HOW ARE YOU ADAPTING DURING COVID?

This pandemic forced me out of personal perfectionism. I started to feel overwhelmed with having to stay at home and the studio closing down, so I decided to start a program called Adapt. It has helped me and my clients cope with the situation. We work on self-awareness, personal acknowledgment, and put together action items to do and each week.

The same with doing online workouts through BASH — it's been wonderful to see new people logging in and just be able to offer our passions and still provide something to those people.

Follow along with Monica on Instagram, check out her workout playlist and tune in to the Fitt DC ’gram for more local trainer spotlights and the latest fitness news.

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Get the latest news on Washington DC’s fitness scene.

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