SPECIAL BLOG: MIND AND BODY HEALTH - A CONVERSATION WITH JEN LEWIS
It’s a new year, ARMY, and you know what that means – New Year’s Resolutions! If you are like some of us here at AM, you have decided to better yourself in this new decade. You might want to drink more water, move your body more, or simply do more “Namjooning”. BTS has inspired all of us to love ourselves more each day, no matter what that looks like. So, whatever it is you have chosen, we hope you go for it with all your heart.
It’s in the spirit of loving ourselves that we wanted to sit down and have a conversation with fitness trainer and fellow ARMY, Jen Lewis. Jen has recently found success with her online fitness classes thanks to the support of ARMY. When she tweeted a 26 second clip of her high-paced routine to Dionysus in May 2019, she quickly learned just how much we love all aspects of BTS’s music. If we can enjoy their music while loving ourselves at the same time, that’s even better. Join us for this conversation and then head over to Jen’s Twitter (@therealjenlewis) or YouTube channel (Cardio Party Mashup Fitness) to show her some purple love.
Q: Thanks for talking with ARMY Magazine today, Jen. Tell us a bit about your fitness journey.
I first got into the fitness world when I was around 23. I struggled with not knowing what my purpose was in life, but I knew that I wanted it to be in the artistic and teaching fields. I also knew that I wanted to help people. A friend of mine ended up inviting me to a fitness class at our local gym and I fell in love with it. I loved the diverse group of people and the energy that came along with it. I also saw how people’s lives could be changed, not only on the outside, but on the inside as well. I went out immediately to get the training to become a fitness instructor and starting subbing classes. Then about a year later I finally got my own class and have been teaching ever since.
Q: Your first video that featured BTS was 2 years ago with MIC Drop. Were you a fan of their music at the time, or did you pick that song for its cardio beat?
It was for the beat. I always check the iTunes chart to see what new songs have come out. One day I looked and saw a song called MIC Drop and noticed it was by a group I had never heard of. I saw the music genre listed as K-Pop and researched to find that it meant Korean Pop music. A good friend of mine from class and a fellow instructor is Korean so I texted her and asked her if she had heard of BTS before. She said that she knew about K-Pop but had not heard of BTS. I listened to the song and immediately texted her back and was so pumped up; their song was perfect for our class! Also, during that time, to be honest, I had been frustrated finding good, energetic songs to use in my cardio classes. I’m also very picky about what I think is good; when you do it every day, you get tired of hearing the same type of songs over and over. But when I first heard their song, I was so blown away. It was like a void was being filled by one musical group. I used MIC Drop in class the following week.
Q: We love that! Your class was receptive right from the start?
Yes! In fact, no one in my class questioned anything about it. We have always used a variety of artists in class, but I was still happy to see that they weren't bothered by the fact that this song was in a different language. When they saw how much I loved it, it caused them to love it as well. From there, I started searching for BTS albums; I would click through each song and listen to the samples on iTunes. I found the ones that had a powerful beat to it and then used it in class. After learning MIC Drop, my class learned Fire, We are Bulletproof pt. 2, Idol, Am I Wrong, Dionysus and so many more.
Q: We all have a story of how we became ARMY. What’s yours?
Well there I was using their songs in class, but I didn't know any of the boys’ names except for RM. Then this past April, that same friend sent me a text and said that BTS was performing on SNL. I watched their performance and decided right then I had to know more. Something was different about them. I started watching some videos about all the members on YouTube and I realized they were more than just a group with great music to work out to. This group has a message that resonated with me. I began listening to more of their music and not just the songs that were fast paced. A few days after that, I decided to post a clip to Twitter of my class doing our Dionysus routine. My hope was that people would see they could work out to BTS’s music if they wanted to. I didn't think anything would happen because I had no followers. I was blown away from the response I got; everyone was genuinely so happy to see BTS's music being used in a workout class.
Q: Has your interaction with ARMY impacted you in any way?
The support and encouragement from everyone was so inspiring. I had never before received that from any other fanbase of an artist. I could see just how much ARMY loved all the members of BTS and how proud they were that someone would be using their music in a public setting.
Since then, I have dug deeper into BTS because I want to know more. I truly have loved everything I have found. In fact, I have even more trouble now finding music for my fitness classes because I put everything up to the standard of what they bring to a single song. Also, using their music and befriending people in ARMY has pushed me to do more than I ever have before. I have always had a passion for reaching people for health and fitness. I have always believed that fitness benefits your physical AND mental health. But the members of BTS have shown me that there is still so much more I can do. There are still more people that I can reach.
Q: Recently you have started to include all fitness levels in your newest routines. We love this idea! Why is this important to you?
Honestly, BTS and their message are the reason I have started doing workouts showing 3 levels. Everyone deserves the chance to better their health, to workout right where they are, and everyone has a need. I want to be the person to help fulfill that need. I am so grateful that I found BTS and their music 2 years ago. And I am so grateful that, through them, I was introduced to the BTS ARMY. The only thing I wish is that I had found both sooner. I look forward to continuing to spread the importance of health and fitness to the world and I look forward to being able to do that through the amazing music that BTS gives to each of us.