Some people are given a name that describes what they were born to do. Jodelle Fitzwater is one of those people. She is passionate about getting “fit”, doing it on the “water” (as well as indoor paddle training) and leading others towards a healthier state of mind, body & spirit. Jodelle has very special ways to coax people out of their comfort zones and reach parts of themselves they didn’t know existed.
Jodelle Fitzwater lives her life with passion and purpose. Vasa’s founder & CEO, Rob Sleamaker, recently interviewed Jodelle and discovered how she has taken her passion for fitness and Stand Up Paddleboarding to others, as well as learning her secrets for getting in peak paddling condition through indoor paddle training. Her answers to our questions are as refreshing as they are honest.
Purpose and a Passion
Rob Sleamaker: What does SUP paddling mean to you?
Jodelle Fitzwater: The sport gives me a reason to move. I have used my SUP many times in endurance and distance paddles to raise money for local charities and friends in need, as well as shoreline cleanups, and even raising money for Whale research and protection in Maui. It allows me to “stand” for something. It’s more than a sport to me, it’s a purpose and a passion.
Rob: On your website About section, it states:
“I must be a mermaid…I have no fear of the depths, but a great fear of shallow living!”
What are the foundational principles that guide you? What inspires you to do good in your life?
Jodelle: I want to leave this earth better than I found it. There is so much wrong in the world, but one by one each of us has the potential and opportunities to make it a little more RIGHT. For me, that starts with taking my interests and loves and turning them into ways to give back. I lost my parents to chronic illness at a young age and I got into health, fitness, and wellness to learn all I can in preventing others from developing chronic illnesses. If I can help just one person in my line of work avoid illness, whether it be teaching them to love paddling on the water to stay active, or eating healthy, then it makes it all worth it for me.
Rob: In what ways do SUP and all paddle sports benefit people? What are the big paybacks you see in the clients you work with?
Jodelle: SUP is what I call, “Core like never before” because you are forced to engage the core with every movement on an unstable surface. Being outside in nature provides people with critical Vitamin D, sunshine to boost serotonin (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter) as well as getting ample fresh air. But more than that, humans were made for movement and nature, and without it, we start to decline more quickly than intended. With so much stress in our daily life, the biggest paybacks I see with my clients when out on the water playing as Creation intended is what I call “Vitamin P”…pleasure, playtime, passion, purpose, AND PADDLING!
Indoor Paddle Training
Jodelle: The greatest benefits I’ve seen so far is my strokes per minute, and my form improve. I never understood the value of training indoors until I actually started implementing it. With the instability of the Juvo Board, and the resistance of the Vasa SUPErg, it’s the greatest indoor SUP simulator I’ve come across that keeps my paddling muscles primed for the water.
Editor’s note: To read Jodelle’s article about the Benefit of Training Indoors click here
Rob: What else does your training include? How do you integrate using the Vasa SUPErg for paddling and functional movements?
Jodelle: I’m a variety show when it comes to training! I weekly change it up old school split-day resistance training with as heavy dumbbells as I can stand, incorporating HIIT training with plyometrics and balance training on the Juvo Board, and then mix in SUP paddle drills with my SUPErg as well as some Pilates and cable resistance moves (I love doing woodchoppers on the Vasa SUPErg!). I’m also a barefoot runner 3-5x per week. My weekly training is never the same because I believe in always challenging the body and keeping things interesting, but I’m hitting the body some way every day of the week, with only one of those being what I call “active relaxation” by hiking or SUPing with my toddler.
Fitness Benefits of Indoor Paddle Training
Rob: Indoor paddle training may not seem as inspiring as paddling on the water. How do you keep the indoor workouts functional, interesting and fun? Would you describe your favorite indoor workouts, especially the SUP HIIT and SUP Tabata workouts?
Jodelle: Paddle drills done Tabata style, or 6-8 rounds of 20 seconds work, followed by 10 seconds rest, allow me to keep my paddling muscles challenged, but in a relatively short amount of time. Sure I might be staring at a wall while I’m indoors training, but I like to listen to a metronome set to a challenging stroke rate & pace to keep me focused and energized! I love how the Vasa Ergometer Power Meter challenges me by showing me when I’m slowing down and not hitting my set strokes per minute.
Rob: In what ways do the fitness benefits from your indoor paddle training translate well to paddling on the water?
Jodelle: Before implementing indoor training with the Vasa and the Juvo Board, my paddling on the water was feeling a bit stuck. I couldn’t get faster, and my stroke still felt wonky. But with time, effort and focus indoors I was able to improve my paddling form and I feel the difference each time I get on the water. Every time out after training indoors seems like I’m getting faster and more efficient. I love the feeling of constantly progressing!
Rob: How do you use the Vasa SUPErg (& JuvoBoard) to teach an efficient, powerful stroke technique and balance while on land?
Jodelle: In my PaddleFit Coach training, I love to showcase how my coaches can perfect their form and technique on the water, while in the comfort of their own home. Practice makes progress, in my opinion, and with the Vasa SUPErg and the Juvo Board, there is no excuse as to why one can’t make progress. The Juvo Board allows you to find the most optimal foot placement and hip hinge, and the Vasa SUPErg allows you to line up all the stroke techniques we teach in PaddleFit. It’s a stellar combo to have if you are serious about SUP (Stand Up Paddling).
About Jodelle Fitzwater: She is an American College of Sports Medicine certified Personal Trainer, Master Trainer for Juvo Board, a Certified Nutrition & Psychology Coach, and an eRYT-200 Yoga Instructor with the Yoga Alliance. She also is a certifed PaddleFit instructor and Fitness Professional for SUP TV. Jodelle is a self-proclaimed mermaid, with “no fear of depth, but a great fear of shallow living”. She has developed her fitness, health, and SUP business called “Get Fit with Jodelle” and regularly blogs and writes for Standup Journal.