Member Spotlight – Allie Levinson


Prior to joining JCF in October 2017, I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle for a number of years. While I grew up in New Jersey, I moved to Pittsburgh in 2010 in order to attend law school. I only intended to stay in Pittsburgh for the three years it would take to graduate, with my ultimate goal being to move to New York and practice law there. However, as life has it, I remained in Pittsburgh for an additional four years after graduation.

As a result of the stresses of law school and, thereafter, working at a law firm, I developed poor eating and drinking habits. I barely monitored what I ate, and I would drink (often to excess) several times per week – from happy hours to concerts to sporting events. While I worked out quite often, including playing soccer on three or four teams, I would always head straight to the bar after games for pitchers of beer. These lifestyle choices were not doing much for either my physique or my general health.

I always knew that Pittsburgh was not going to be a long-term home for me. Neither my career nor my personal life were headed in the right direction, and, after accepting a job offer at a firm in New Jersey, I moved back east at the end of August 2017.

I moved from Pittsburgh to Jersey City in order to recalibrate and reinvigorate my life. I knew that part of this was cutting down the drinking and upping the focus on better nutrition and exercise with tangible results. While I played sports competitively, I never focused on anything other than cardio off the soccer field or basketball court. I knew that this was not enough; but I also knew that I lacked the requisite knowledge to do anything else alone. So, to get started, I took my own “survey” of classes across the Jersey City/Hoboken area to see which ones I liked best. I took my first JCF class through ClassPass, and then signed up for the 3-week trial program. After that, I committed to a yearly membership.

JCF has impacted my life on multiple fronts. The results from a physical standpoint have far exceeded my expectations. Aside from losing weight, I’ve toned up! I used to be terrified of weights at the gym for fear of not knowing what to do and embarrassing myself in front of more seasoned gym-goers. Though my form is far from perfect, those fears are gone, and I try to challenge myself with heavy weights – even if it’s a struggle to get in just a few reps. The nutritional component of JCF has also proved to be very beneficial: I had no idea what a “macro” was before I joined, nor the impact of properly monitoring your intake of protein, carbs and fat on a daily basis. Doing so has completely changed my body composition.

It is somewhat difficult for me to describe what JCF has done for me from a mental standpoint. Like all of us, I find my job to be extremely stressful at times. I am faced with demanding personalities, late nights and intermittent praise for a job well done; and I am often preoccupied thinking about upcoming deadlines and assignments. I would not be able to face these pressures in a healthy manner if I did not first “get my mind right” at JCF every morning. More often than not, I go into session stressing about the day’s upcoming challenges – but I leave with a completely different, more settled mindset, knowing that  I can handle anything that comes my way.

Aside from the workouts, I appreciate the community offered by JCF. I’ve developed friendships with several JCF members, which has helped me maintain accountability both inside and outside the gym. Special events like the beach workout and the Just Can’t Fail Showdown enhance this sense of community, and I look forward to each one of them.

Although I’ve made significant strides to achieve a better body and a better life, I know that my fitness journey is dynamic and not even close to complete. I’m looking forward to whatever’s next!

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