Jennessa Lea: Break The Stigma Fitness

To say that this heroine had to overcome a world of near-impossible hardships and obstacles to even stand on her own two feet would be a gross understatement.



Who is Jennessa Lea?

She is a full-time single mother, a business owner, a cannabis advocate, a model, a photographer and a trailblazer in both the fitness and cannabis communities. In fact, Janessa's tale is not all that different from those of our favorite storybook characters. She was able to rise above dreadful circumstances to become an empowered leader who now enables others to do the same through Break The Stigma Fitness.



Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Jennessa has struggled with chronic pain since childhood. Unfortunately, the source of this remained a mystery for most of her life. It was not until 2013 that she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome- a relatively unknown connective tissue disorder that causes joint hypermobility and skin hyperextensibility as well as tissue fragility. In short, Jennessa could not brush her hair without her shoulder falling out of the socket or walk without her kneecaps popping off. The birth of her daughter exacerbated her condition and forced her into bracing for her knees, ankles fingers and wrists. Jennessa's doctors were prescribing 150 milligrams of oxycontin and 90 milligrams of morphine per day among various other medications and steroids. Jennessa's overall quality of life had become unbearable. A loaner wheelchair sat in her house while a custom one was being built and a switch flipped for Jennessa. She would not accept her new reality. Every day she woke up, Jennessa would look at that loaner chair, knowing hers was coming soon, and immediately go workout. This is also when cannabis became an earth shattering solution. With it, she would find a way to manage her disease, a will to live and be able to be the best possible mother to her child.



Jennessa discovered something both shocking and surprising: All she needed to manage her health was a combination of nutrition, fitness and cannabis. Simple as that. No outside resources were necessary. Marijuana, although initially used purely to reduce pain in place of opioids, started to become so much more for Jennessa. She needed to build healthy muscle around her weak joints and not only did cannabis enable her entire body to feel better but it also enhanced her workouts in ways she never imagined possible.



Since this life-saving discovery, Jennessa has relocated to Denver, Colorado and in July of 2017 opened her very own gym. Break the Stigma Fitness is a place where women (and men) can feel comfortable and be a part of a specific community. They offer unique "experiences." Each yoga or fitness class has a different product sponsor. The clientele is there to exercise, but they also get to smoke or dab before the experience as well as receive education about "cannathletics." Each hand-picked instructor at BTSF has personally practiced cannabis healing in their own lives. One of those instructors being Lia Arntsen (who you may remember from our earlier blog feature here.)



One of the ways the BTSF patrons get to experience medicinals is with the newly crowned High Times #1 Best Desktop Vaporizer, the Vapexhale EVO. "The Evo is the most superior thing I have ingested my cannabis with for sure- the taste is phenomenal!" Jennessa says. She has asthma, so combustibles are not as conducive to deep breathing and long workout routines. "If you are using cannabis for purely medicinal purposes, you need this unit," she promises.



Jennessa Lea wants to leave us with one more thing. Although she has had a complicated existence complete with a lifelong illness, neglectful parents, and strained family relations, "I try to be grateful for the harder aspects of life as well as the good ones," she says. "The problematic parts can propel you towards discoveries you would never have made had things just been easy."


A closer look inside the world of cannabis & exercise at Jennessa's gym, Break the Stigma Fitness.

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