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It is such a pleasure to speak to JT Peterson and get motivated to do good in the world! As a personal trainer, coach, and co-owner of Ripped Body Fitness, he exudes positive energy and a “you can do it” attitude. JT has been a wonderful member of the ZBC board for almost two years and we took some time to talk to him as part of our Get to Know the ZBC Board series. We are honored to share his insights with you!

Q: Could you tell me about your day job?

A: My brothers and I are entering our fifth year of owning Ripped Body Fitness in Mill Valley, CA. We have group classes, personal training, and work to get people healthy and fit. We work to make sure that our members become their very best selves!

Q: What motivated you to become a member of the board?

A. For me, a big part of being health-conscious is getting people active and healthy. About five years ago, I lost my aunt to cancer, and I understood more about what families and patients go through when dealing with the disease. I wanted to have more impact on getting people to stay healthy, and I had a client who was a breast cancer survivor who reached out to ZBC Executive Director, Rose Barlow, for us to explore a partnership. I knew I wanted to be part of a non-profit and after looking at different organizations, ZBC took the forefront of things and felt like the best fit for me! We started out by fundraising and sponsoring the Dipsea Hike in 2015 and, then, six months later I was asked to be part of the board.

Q: What does ZBC mean to you?

A: I love that ZBC is an organization that wants to have a stronger impact on the community by serving and getting involved with youth! The fact that they are involved with the high schoolers and serving the community through fitness events and community events, highlighting that we are in this together as a community, speaks volumes.
We can have such a huge influence on the health of the next generation coming up by raising awareness about the impacts of healthy eating, exercise, and daily habits that directly shape our health. I love that push. It is so meaningful to me to get people motivated to stay on a healthy path.

Q: How has breast cancer touched you personally?

A: When I lost my aunt to colon cancer, it was very hurtful for us all. I also have seen what a number of clients have gone through with their own breast cancer treatments, as survivors, and what it does to their families. It was through supporting them that I saw the true impact of breast cancer and we decided that there was no going back, that we are on a positive health-conscious path that needs to continue to move forward.

Q: What is your favorite ZBC memory?

A: Wow, there is a good amount! I think that my favorite is every year when my brothers and I warm everyone up at the start of the Annual Dipsea Hike. We have done two so far. Being a part of the cultivation and motivation of the big day is truly an awesome experience! There are three to four hundred people there for the local hike and we get everyone pumped and ready to go with different stretches and exercises. It is a great community event and it is a privilege to be a part of it.

Q: When you talk to friends, family and colleagues about ZBC, what are the three most important things you want them to take away from the conversation?

A: I always emphasize that ZBC has been around for so many years and that it is has a strong foundation of community. I think that community plays a big part in keeping people healthy and ZBC puts so much energy towards that piece! Breast cancer has a big impact on society and it can be scary and focusing on community support is key. I also love that ZBC is an organization that people know they can be a part of and that it includes people who have already experienced it and who can share knowledge. Also, ZBC focuses on how to inspire people to be aware of how to live their lives in a positive way on a daily basis without always going back to the negative side of their mind, which is huge!

Q: What are your hopes for the organization?

A: I want to help make sure that we deliver the best service to our community and have a strong positive impact on prevention and recurrence. We can do this by having more firsthand impact on the community, getting out there and spreading our brand of how we can help serve them and impact their lives. I look forward to our future fitness events too! Ripped Body Fitness plans on doing free community workouts in the park and inviting the community to just give a donation. ZBC is going to be a big part of this in getting the word out and sharing information - it will be wonderful!

Q: How do you support the mission of ZBC?

A: I dedicate so much of my time to spreading as much awareness as I can around what is going on with our youth and how important it is to get active and make healthy decisions. Even just 20-30 minutes of activity a day can make a big difference in breast cancer risk reduction and other health issues—it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! It also impacts your happiness and mood, bringing joy. These are all good things and it is huge that I am part of an organization that is a part of this mission too.

Q: What is one surprising or fun fact about you that our readers might not know?

A: I had seven surgeries from sports-related injuries when I was younger! That experience has shaped how I want to live my life and impact people to live healthy and vibrant lives. It inspires me to make sure that other people are on a better path towards health!

Written by Helaine Alon, ZBC Communication Coordinator

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