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start before you’re ready: an interview with jordan sved

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an interview with philly VIR jordan sved

Jordan Sved is a movement enthusiast, extroverted runner, and software engineering manager. Ian is the founder of the sports app, eseo. Check out this interview between Ian and Jordan where they discuss movement, play, and approaching fitness goals as a beginner.

Tell us about your fitness life. What makes you tick? 

Well, I’m an extrovert. I like trying new things, exploring, and meeting new people. The activities I’ve been involved in— running, acro yoga, lifting, and ultimate frisbee— really allow for that. It brings me a lot of joy.

I like to know a little bit about a lot of things. Getting to know people is a way to learn something new about topics I’m unfamiliar with, and it helps the person express what they’re passionate about. I feel my best when I’m working with a team and challenging myself. I think I’m flourishing in this phase of my life taking on new challenges.

I’ve played ultimate frisbee for years. I like having the play-by-play and understanding the Xs and Os of the game, but also the social fun aspect of it. Sometimes I joke, “I’m only in it for the high-fives”. 

Has movement and sports always been an important part of your life?

I’ve gotten really into it over the last five years. I was always somewhat active growing up, but after college, it became a way to manage stress and anxiety. It created balance in my life while working a white-collar desk job.

As I’ve invested in nutrition, health, and what feels good, life’s better. Spending all my time inside on a weekend feels pretty sad to me. The community element of athletic groups is enticing, too. The times I feel most fired up and present in my own body are when I can move, think about strategy with others, and feel physically tired and sore afterward.

What advice would you give to anyone who finds it hard to get out and get active?

First and foremost, to quote my friend Julie Sussman, “People are meant to move.” Find something that makes you feel alive. Whether it’s dancing to music or getting back into a sport you used to love, find something. Start before you’re ready.

Know that it’ll be a little bit of a challenge at first. But dare to try and find a small goal that feels manageable: sign up for a 5k, join a sports league, or ask a friend to shoot hoops. The first attempts are the hardest. I cried during a run when I was new. But it’s okay— it gets better.

The other big piece of advice I’d say to anyone joining a social athletic club is to make sure you tell people, “Hey, I’m new.” That releases a lot of tension. It helps regulars know to make an effort to get to know you and help you learn the ropes. The right people will be looking out for new people. They’ll empower you.

Even if you’re no longer a first-timer, keep telling people you’re new to the sport. Say it until you don’t feel like it applies to you anymore. 

Another thing I’d add is to prioritize play. Sports don’t have to be as serious as society makes them out to be. Let loose, have fun, be silly, and enjoy the experience.

Lastly, I’m big on recommending meditation and mindfulness. It’s easier to practice than you think, and it’s super accessible. Since movement can be a mental challenge for beginners, mindfulness is helpful.

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With all your activities, what does a typical week or month look like for you?

I’m active but I don’t have a rigid structure for it. I listen to my body and know when I need additional rest. Typically, I do 3-5 days of activities per week. Sometimes it’s all running. Sometimes it’s a mix of running and acro yoga. Sometimes it’s getting an extra bike ride in with a friend. 

I try to maximize the fun. I’m a relatively new runner— about 1-2 years— so signing up for races has been a way to add goals to my calendar. And I always try to be playful about it. 

Now that I work fully remotely and I need to get some social time, I decide what activities to do when I have an evening free. Is it a running group, acro yoga classes, or lifting weights? It depends on the day. Sometimes I do multiple activities one after the other, like a run, weightlifting, then a sports club meetup. 

How did you get into acro yoga?

I’ve always had a fascination with it. I did some regular yoga over the years and a few basic acro poses with friends. 

When I moved to Philly, I was introduced to Acro &. I started going to classes and will be attending an acro yoga intensive in Boston this year. 

From the times I’ve tried rock climbing, I liked how there was a problem-solving element to it. That part’s fun for my intellectual side. Acro yoga is all those things— movement, problem-solving, strategy— plus communicating with a partner to make sure everyone’s supported and working together. 

What do you have coming up in the future?

I’m running a marathon in November. I want to increase my knowledge and expertise with lifting this winter. I’m curious about triathlons, so I might practice swimming and see if I want to go for it. 

Ultimate frisbee might also be a winter thing for me. I love it. The sport brings me a lot of joy. 

If anyone’s in Philly and wants to organize a group run, ask questions about mindfulness or movement, or learn how to throw a frisbee, hit me up: Or connect on LinkedIn. I’d be happy to help.

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an interview with philly VIR jordan sved