CFN Media Interviews Fit Cannabis Girl


Rachelle Gordon

August 30th, 2017

Policy


Cannabis has long been recognized as having numerous health benefits. From aiding cancer patients to relieving muscle pain to treating skin problems, cannabis has shown great efficacy in helping to heal a variety of ailments and illnesses. But what about combining cannabis and exercise? Jennessa Lea, founder of Fit Cannabis Girl and Break the Stigma Fitness, aims to educate the public in the many ways that marijuana can aid in their health. CFN Media sat down with Lea in her newly-opened fitness center to discuss her own powerful journey with cannabis and how she wants the world to take control of their own well-being.

Rachelle Gordon:  Who is Fit Cannabis Girl and what exactly is Break the Stigma Fitness?

Jennessa Lea:  Fit Cannabis Girl is a persona I created to shed light on cannabis and fitness;  Break the Stigma Fitness is the first cannabis-friendly group fitness facility in the US. We are located here in Wheat Ridge, Colorado at my residence. We have about an acre and a half of fenced-in property and we are transforming the backyard into an outdoor gym with a boot camp- style type of class. That’s going to be our main offering because we have all this amazing space in the backyard. I also have a nearly 1,000 square-foot basement that we’ve turned into a studio; we have the space to accommodate about 10 people in there at a time for yoga-type classes and group fitness-type classes. Our classes includes 15 minutes beforehand to medicate here, and also as-needed personal use – it’s your choice here.

RG:  What made you decide to start a cannabis-friendly fitness center?

JL:  I started Break the Stigma Fitness because I found significant success with cannabis, fitness, and clean eating. I wanted to help other people bring those ideas into their daily lives because of all the success I found. I myself was over 100 pounds heavier than I am now and in a wheelchair at one point due to an illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Ehlers-Danlos is a connective tissue disease that affects your collagen, which is basically the glue that holds your body together.  So the glue that was holding my body together doesn’t work. It’s hyperelastic, meaning it’s extremely stretchy. This is a genetic disease that I had had from birth; at a young age, my joints started out as being flexible to hyper-extending to eventually just dislocating. When I had my daughter, I was 20, and that’s when your body actually gets fairly loose so that a woman can have a baby. But because I had this disease, the pregnancy really exacerbated the symptoms; I would walk and my patellas would just slip off. I couldn’t hold my daughter. I would open doors and my shoulders would fall out of sockets; even brushing my hair was a painful task.

At that point I was also on a significant amount of pharmaceuticals, a lot of which were narcotics and that was very debilitating. I was also significantly overweight. I was doped-up in a haze completely, staying in bed. I was a single mom and these doctors were just throwing these pills at me. So for nearly five years, I lived in this doped-up haze and then I found cannabis and I incorporated it into my lifestyle. And because cannabis decreased my pain, I was finally able to complete my physical therapy and build strong muscles around all of my weak joints and I was able to continue to build that strength.

I didn’t have to be in that wheelchair. I used to have to wear physical bracing on all of my joints to literally hold my body together – my knees, my wrists, my fingers. At this point I’ve been able to strengthen my body so much, I don’t need to do that. I want to empower others and remind them that they have the strength and power to take control over their own health and wellness. They can do that specifically with fitness, clean eating, and cannabis.

RG:  What advice do you have for people who may want to begin incorporating cannabis into their fitness routines?

JL:  Everybody’s different.  Some people only like to medicate before or after a workout, or in-between, or maybe they don’t like to medicate at all until after or until they’re in bed at night. It’s whatever works in their lifestyle. I’m not out here saying everybody needs to use it in one specific way for their fitness routine. I would recommend others discover their success. Cannabis has the ability to provide nice relief. It can also reset you and allows you to refocus and push longer, harder, stronger for that last half of your workout. I love to use it at the beginning of my workout, in the middle of my workout, and then after for recovery and pain.

RG:  What are your hopes and goals for the future for Break the Stigma Fitness?

JL:  I’m hoping to see Break the Stigma Fitness being franchised. We will definitely have a traditional brick and mortar facility when we legally have the ability to open cannabis-friendly businesses. I want cannabis-friendly gyms – who doesn’t want to be doing sets and dabs!  Working out and cannabis goes hand in hand. I think once we get people more used to that idea, it’s going to catch on really quickly.

I definitely see this concept being popular and people really appreciating the idea of breaking that stigma. I think a lot of people who use cannabis are sick of being grouped into that “lazy stoner” crowd. We are proud that we medicate with cannabis and we use it in our daily fitness routine. I want to remind people that they have the ability to control their own health and wellness and that you don’t need to rely on doctors and pharmaceuticals. You can achieve great things if you believe in yourself and you take care of yourself.

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Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. She was the president of her college's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and worked in Amsterdam for a brief time. Find her online at www.rachellegordon.net.


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