Building confidence, connection, and community through conversation and movement.
A native New Englander who’s found a home in Philly, Jessica grew up a competitive three-sport athlete in basketball, volleyball, and track & field. After high school, she relocated from the deep woods of New Hampshire to the land of the pines in North Carolina, where she competed as a D1 sprinter for High Point University. She was active around campus, having served as Philanthropy Chair for Kappa Delta Sorority and Track & Field Representative for the NCAA’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, while maintaining her status as a scholar-athlete studying Sports Management and Business Administration.
In her senior year of college, Jessica entered into a relationship, which turned verbally and physically abusive. By graduation, she had quit the track team, lost her scholarship, and ended up on academic probation with her sorority. For the next two years, she’d struggle with this relationship, her mental health, and her self-worth. Without feeling shame to access resources or ask for help, Jessica did what she knew she could do - run.
Jessica signed up for her first marathon while working as an employee at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. She joined the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Marathon Team, and together they’d train and fundraise to participate in the 2013 Boston Marathon. On Patriots Day, April 15th, 2013, Jessica started what she anticipated to be a victorious day in reviving her feeling of self-worth and freedom. At mile 24.5, Jessica was stopped from continuing along the course. Surrounded by other confused runners, they learned a bomb had exploded at the finish line. The violent chaos that ensued across Boston in the hours and days after the bombing, to Jessica, felt like a direct correlation to the violent chaos happening in her private life.
Jessica committed to returning to the 2014 Boston Marathon for one reason, despite two traumatic experiences: To show you can find resilience and love among terror and hate. She hasn’t stopped running since.
Over the years, running has continued to transform Jessica’s life and in return, she puts purpose to her steps in serving local non-profits by raising awareness and funds through racing. She uses her experience with self-worth and mental toughness as motivation to share the way she lives so her clients can experience their own life-changing breakthroughs through running and fitness.
Today, Jessica works as a certified Personal Trainer, Run Coach, and Fitness Consultant for her brand, The Wayashe Lives, and leads group training classes at the Fitler Club. She’s completed five marathons and is currently training for her third 200-mile ultra-marathon called the Run Across Haiti to benefit WORK. As of November 2019, Jessica has raised over $26,000 through charity running to help those in need.