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Face to face with Jessica

__What brought you from the States to Amsterdam?__ A wonderful job as a Professor at the University of Amsterdam! __Which study are you teaching at the UvA?__ I teach and do research. I am the director of our Entertainment Communication program where I teach courses on Developing Media Entertainment and Digital Media Lifestyles. I am also the Director of the Center for research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media. I am particularly interested in understanding how youngsters approach and are affected by media. You can read all about it my co-authored book Plugged In: How Media Attract and Affect Youth. __What is it you love about Vélo?__ The staff are awesome, the instructors are fabulous, and the products (shout out to Rituals and Naif!) feel like such an extra treat! __What is it you love about the Rides? __ They are always different, always challenging, and always let me dance on my bike! __What does an ultimate Ride feel like for you? __ For me, the ultimate ride is when the world completely shuts off … I find the beat to the music and I go for it. Think fast pyramids, a tough climb, dancing push-ups, and more. There is no email, no meetings, no requests of me except to find the beat and give it my all. For 45-minutes, it is just me, my bike and the music. __Are we touching on the American level of passion during classes? __ I love this question. Americans are certainly known for our passionate ways – you should see me during a Philadelphia Eagles football game! And let me tell you, when Jolien starts yelling her pyramid count or Sophie gets her dance moves on … or when Harry gets a chance for single tap backs … oh the passion! It’s brilliant! Love it! __Could you describe what it is that feeds your passion for indoor cycling (Vélo) and how it possibly helps you in your day to day life?__ I literally live minutes away from Vélo so it’s easy to make it a frequent part of my training. I’m a marathon runner (#MR19 … I’m looking at you) and I initially decided to add indoor cycling to my training plan on my non-running days as a way to be gentle to my knees but push my legs and train my endurance. What I didn’t expect, however, was that indoor cycling would be so much more. It’s my moment, my ME time, my self-care. __Sometimes you read about riders explaining that it gives them some sense of fulfillment or something along those lines; do you recognize that? __ Absolutely! There’s nothing better than a climb where the lights are out and it’s simply you versus that little red knob on your bike. It’s amazing to see what you can achieve – every one of us is so much stronger than we know, and Vélo reminds us of that.