Need some fresh fitspiration? Give Jay Manuel a follow. She’s the most upbeat, motivational fitness influencer around.
Jay, 23, is a music producer from Georgia. She has osteogenesis imperfecta type three, a brittle bone disorder that affects her height and her ability to walk, meaning she uses a wheelchair to get around. Like Sherise, a woman with brittle bone disease who risks her health to do aerial yoga, Jay is in danger of shattering her bones if she were to take a tumble. Jay has broken her bones more than 200 times and undergone 22 surgeries.
She experiences significant pain and restricted mobility. But she won’t let that stop her. Jay has a passion for fitness, so regularly works out, adapting traditional gym routines to work for her body. She shares her workouts online to give motivation to anyone else who wants to get healthier, and to show that her disability won’t prevent Jay from living a happy, fulfilling life.
Jay tells Metro.co.uk: ‘A lot of times I’ve noticed that disability is seen as such a negative thing that people tend to tell me they feel bad for me or think my life is not as happy because of my disorder.
‘Even though I may have to do certain things differently, I would say having osteogenesis imperfecta has taught me to adapt and contributed a lot to the type of person I am in a positive way. ‘I created the page @rolloutfitness because I didn’t see anyone that looked like me that was working out. ‘I wanted to keep myself motivated by making it public and holding myself accountable. ‘It’s important for me to be able to show other people that it’s possible.’
Jay started working out because she wants to stay as mobile as possible and be able to move around freely. She’d always liked seeing transformation stories on Instagram, so set herself the target of getting and staying in shape.
Then she started to hit the gym, combining weighted exercises for her arms and legs with push-ups, sit-ups, and dancing for cardio. Her favourite workout is Insanity Max 30 with Shaun T, a program she’s been following for a while, while her most hated is anything to do with push-ups.
We relate. Jay started to share her workouts online and was overwhelmed by the response. She’s racked up over 1,500 followers who love her positive attitude and motivational captions. ‘Working out helps me physically because it allows me to stay in the shape I’d like to be in so that I can still be able to move around,’ she explains ‘The way that I keep motivation is reminding myself how it will affect my life overall.
‘Being in shape and working out is what allows me to be able to move around as easily as I do and without that there would be a lot more dependency on others. ‘When it comes to pushing limits, just thinking about what’s next for me and the possibilities are what make me want to do more.’ Jay’s progress has shaped her relationship with her body, too, which hasn’t always been so positive.
‘It’s been tough because there aren’t a lot of examples of people who look like me who are openly talking about loving the bodies they have,’ Jay tells us. ‘My relationship with body image is a process, I feel like I have made a lot of progress in how I see myself. ‘From a mental standpoint, when I look at myself, I’m becoming more happy with what I see in the mirror. It’s boosted my confidence and I get more pumped when I see new changes.’ You can follow Jay’s journey and get motivated by her workouts over on @rolloutfitness on Instagram.