Jessica Kimble lives a healthy, happy life - and encourages others to do the same through her work with the YMCA of Central Ohio. She organized The Big Ride, a charity spinning event next weekend for bikers gearing up to ride this spring.

Jessica Kimble lives a healthy, happy life - and encourages others to do the same through her work with the YMCA of Central Ohio. She organized The Big Ride, a charity spinning event next weekend for bikers gearing up to ride this spring.

Growing up, being healthy was engrained in me . My mom took a year off of work when I was first born, and she hand-made all of my baby food. My dad was a baseball coach, and he also was a physical-education and health teacher. Every day before we would go home, he would make me do pull-ups on the bar in the gym.

I knew I wanted to be in health and wellness. I went in, declared my freshman year of college and never faltered.

I don't like to waste my days. I get up really early, no matter what. I usually get up by 7 a.m. My main goal before I'm 30 is to trek and summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

Three things I can't live without are physical activity, water and contact with people I'm close with.

The main purpose of The Big Ride is raising money for our People Helping People campaign. With that money, we are able to provide scholarship applications for people who can't afford a full-price membership here at the Y. We scholarship swim lessons, day camps, overnight camps for kids. Everything goes back to the community.

I can't imagine leaving now after getting to know the YMCA and everything it does for the community. I've been here for over two years. I started as an intern, and I just haven't left. The YMCA's not just a gym-and-swim.

My mom always told me that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I was also told that if you don't like the way things are, change it.

Something people might not know about me is that I like to travel. I love to see new places. I've been to Australia and New Zealand. I went to Nepal. I went to base camp at Mount Everest. I've been to Bangkok, different parts of Thailand, Hong Kong. I spent three summers working at the Outer Banks.

I'm the kind of person who always smiles.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.