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Somatics and Fitness Instructor Kristin Jackson Says Her Business Is Her Calling

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Name: Kristin Jackson

Business: Think Somatics and class leader at Joyn

Location: Portland, OR and online everywhere

Launched: 2003

Personal trainer Kristin Jackson had spent more than two decades exploring and teaching different kinds of exercise including Pilates, yoga, water aerobics and even hula hoop. For herself and for her clients, Kristin focused on “typical” training goals like building a strong core, keeping shoulders back and maintaining excellent posture. But when she was hit by a car in 2011, Kristin discovered the muscles and muscle patterns she’d worked so hard for were hindering her recovery. In her quest for healing, Kristin turned to somatics, a gentle neuromuscular practice that helps people regain flexibility, get rid of pain and move with ease – and with joy. Today, spreading joy is a key part of Kristin’s entrepreneurial mission as a certified somatics practitioner and a class leader at Joyn where she teaches somatics, hula hoop and a playful “Take It Outside” movement class.

Kristin, you’ve always worked for yourself. Tell us one thing you love about being an entrepreneur.

Just one thing? Every day is fantastic! If I won the lottery, I would continue to do what I do -- and probably even more so, because I’d have the funds to travel and reach more people.

My mission is to help people reconnect with the natural way humans are meant to move and self-regulate through somatic awareness and nature. I love seeing people do things they initially say they can’t do. When I help an 80-year-old woman learn to hula hoop or a 79-year-old client get up and down from the floor with ease, my job is not a job. It’s a calling.

I love collaborating with my industry colleagues, too. But ultimately, if I set my mind to something, it gets done. I’ve always been that way. Imagine it. Make it happen.

What do you particularly enjoy about working in the outdoor/fitness industry?

Humans are meant to be outdoors and to play and move with wild abandon, just like we did as children. I never wanted to work at a desk. My job makes sure I stay true to natural living.

What shifts or changes are you noticing in the outdoor/fitness industry?

Not surprisingly, the industry is getting more and more technology-oriented with gadgets telling us how, what and who to be. It makes me concerned for those who are surrounded by technology all day. Maybe now more than ever, we all need to take a break and get more centered and grounded. Everything on the outside is just “stuff.” Internal awareness makes us healthier, especially when we’re attuned to our natural surroundings.

What has been most challenging about running your own business? 

The amount of technology and social media stuff I need to do to stay in front of the public. It’s almost counterintuitive – we’re using technology to encourage people to go outside and trust themselves. 

That being said, I started a YouTube channel to share what I do, and it’s connected me with people around the world. I guess tech has its place after all!

Who or what keeps you going on a tough day? 

Honestly, I don’t feel I have particularly tough days. If I find myself anxious, stressed or hyped-up I know walking with my doggie, getting enough sleep and doing pandiculations (somatic awareness movements) will settle me back to a more homeostatic state.

Over time I’ve learned that family, health and death are the only real hurdles we have to overcome. They are a part of life, but they can throw a wrench into every aspect of our mental, emotional and physical life. Some people will “soldier on,” but I honor the time I need to heal. It helps me be better at what I do in the long run. 

Kristin, what do you know now that you wish you known when you were starting out in business? 

I wish I’d known it was okay to believe more in myself and not be afraid to tout what I do as freaking awesome!

Now it’s your turn

QB Community members, how are you using technology to get new customers and move your business forward?

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