SF State alumni, Jackelyn Ho, has an insane schedule for someone who has already graduated college. When she is not at Crunch Fitness training people to get the body of their dreams, she is sitting at her house or Starbucks, running the magazine Fiterazzi, which she created with her sister, Cassey Ho.
“I do have a crazy schedule,” Ho laughed. “But it’s not hard.”
Fiterazzi currently doesn’t have its own office, which is perfect since not all of its staff is from the Bay Area. The magazine’s contributors come from all over the country, including Canada and Australia.
“We did an open call for Fiterazzi and got a lot of feedback,” Ho said. “From 14-year-old girls, to college students, to 30-year-olds, all giving their advice on fitness. We were looking for diversity.”
Reaching out to the community has always interested Ho. When she first came to SF State, she thought she was going to be a news anchor and graduate with a degree in journalism. Although the journalism major didn’t pan out for Ho, she was still interested in the classes offered by the department.
“I like my [broadcasting] major, it’s cool,” said Ho. “I really wanted to take the 300 [journalism] course though! That’s the boot camp for journalists, isn’t it?”
She laughed when she saw the horrified look on the faces of my photographer and myself. For journalism majors, the JOUR 300 Reporting class is where you make it or break it. It’s known to have ended many journalistic dreams before they had barely begun.
Ho admired how different the gym is now compared to where she used to teach her classes, noting the trailers that used to be outside are now gone. Although SF State was not her first choice, she was happy with her decision to stay here and graduate.
“I originally wanted to go to a school on the East Coast, because why not?” Ho said. “I dreamed of being ‘big’ in New York City. Unfortunately, we were in the recession when I started college and a $40,000 per year tuition wasn’t doing it for my parents. So I opted for SF State, which was the only school I applied to in California. I paid off my tuition with a scholarship and never looked back. It was a great experience and I am happy that things worked out that way.”
While attending SF State, she taught a kickboxing classes under the campus recreation department. You can even find her SF State profile here.
“I’ve been playing tennis since I was four years old, and after high school I wanted something different,” Ho recalled. “I took my very first group fitness class when I was 17 and fell in love with it. As soon as the clock struck midnight on my 18th birthday, I applied to teach at a gym. It’s been one of the best decisions of my life. Teaching gives me that excitement and motivation to do what I do. My students are my best friends and I can’t think of a better job in the world.”
Ho noted that she can relate to people who are self-conscience of their bodies and it helps bring her closer to the students she teaches in her class. She even noted that her students are her best friends.
She decided to turn the negative light from fitness magazines, into a positive outlook for her fans and readers. Creating the magazine Fiterazzi was her passion and dream. She wanted to build a publication that helped people with their health and fitness in an encouraging way.
Ho says there is more to being healthy than just a number on a scale, adding that she hasn’t stepped on a scale for years because she feels great and healthy, so what’s the point?
“When you see fitness magazines, they read like, ‘lose 10 pounds in 10 days’ or, ‘melt that muffin top,'” Ho said. “We wanted to be with people who were doing fitness but doing so in a positive light, as it is.”
Ho says that it makes her sad when people ask about negative parts of their bodies.
“I had a client come up to me after a class and ask how to get rid of thigh jiggle and back fat,” Ho recalls. “And I was like ‘You just finished an hour kickboxing class that was hard!’ It makes me sad that they are worried about that.”
For her magazine, Ho says that some of her successes come from when she receives emails from readers.
“When I receive email from people, it makes me feel better about the magazine,” Ho said. “I wish I knew more about the business portion of it though — more of a business plan and funding.”
Ho’s special outlook on fitness sparked Fiterazzi magazine, and it has affected people in many good ways. It has helped teach people that their bodies are perfect the way they are, and that losing ten pounds in ten days should be the least of anyone’s worries.