Mary Jane Fonda gets interviewed by Marie Claire Magazine / by Amarett Jans

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1- What is Mary Jane Fonda? 

Mary Jane Fonda is a cannabis infused workout party. It has the depth of a workshop but the sparkle of a party. MJF is an inclusive event that brings people together and makes fitness fun.

2- Why Jane Fonda? Tell me your personal connection with her:

I grew up watching my mom do Jane Fonda workouts in our living room. I was maybe five years old, because it was in the early 80’s. I have memories of her talking on the phone and also doing Fonda style workout moves; standing with one hand holding the phone and the other hand holding onto the back of a chair doing leg lifts. I loved watching her workout. Growing up I loved doing aerobic moves for my own exercise. I love selecting my own music and doing moves inspired by what I saw my mom and Jane Fonda do.

The name Mary Jane Fonda was a plant-inspired thought for sure. The idea was already established about creating a daytime event mixing cannabis and fitness. Considering my personal love of aerobics and my memories of my mom doing Jane Fonda, I’m sure the thought process was like, ‘Hmmm I like aerobics, reminds me of Jane Fonda, ohh...reminds me of Mary Jane...how about Mary Jane Fonda!’ That's it. I wanted the name to be fun and easy to remember. 

3- Why did you start? When? What's your goal for that? 

I started MJF Nov 2016. It was right after Trump won the ’16 Elections. The political climate was leaving me and a lot people around me in the greater community feeling pretty depressed. I didn’t start MJF to directly defy or react to the new President, but I knew this event would certainly attract people who felt similar to me and would be uplifting. It was really important for me to create an event that was a particularly welcoming. I’ve always been interested in curating parties and events that involve music and dancing that bring people together. Typically, it was always a late night type of party. After doing that many times, I wanted to do something more day-time orientated. It was also important to create a social event that didn’t leave everyone so drained and exhausted at the end of it. I wanted something more holistic, more thoughtful, meaningful and still really fun. I think thoughtful social interactions, physical movement and cannabis is one healing trifecta. 

MJF is an experience that not only motivates physical movement but encourages people to expand their current friend network. I believe life is better when we have a varied and diverse people in our lives. I’ve seen quite a few professional relationships start and friendships start because they met at MJF. Everyone who comes instantly has two things in common: Fitness and cannabis. What great two things to start a friendship!

4- Tell me more about yourself (i've seen your website, you are very talented professional!)

I was born in Big Bear California in the early 80’s and as a family we moved to Oregon when I was 9. My mom was an artist/athlete when I was younger. My dad has always been very hard working and was always helping people. My mom taught me to paint and my dad enrolled me in my first junior college live drawing class when I was 12. The whole time my mom and dad were together she didn’t have a job and my dad seemed to never stop working. For myself, I’ve translated that into; work SO hard on something you love that if feels as if you're not working at all. 

I was born into a religion that looked down going to college and mixing with people outside of the religion, I had to fight or rebel to do the things that most people may not think twice about. At the age of 21 I was ex-communicated from the religion and began forging my own path. I put myself through enough college to get a Graphic Design degree and I still continually seek out mixing with all kinds of people. I think this experience has made me more open minded, resilient and nonjudgmental. I learned a lot about creating one's own opportunities.

I've worked as a freelance creative for the past 10 years and have made traveling a priority. This way I can keep meeting all kinds of people and learn about life outside my bubble. I continue my education or at least enhance it via my passport. Almost every country I've visited I find the local ganja and I've met some awesome people that way. It's a great ice breaker. The best way to get a local experience is to seek out some flower. I've never had a scary or bad experience doing that. 

5- How long have you been combining cannabis and physical activity? What are the benefits of it? 

My whole life I've been into physical activity and movement, but I only just got into cannabis in 2011. I was dating a wonderful person at the time, who was also a medical grower. He had such respect for the plant. He was the first person to treat and talk about cannabis like it was an Entity, the Green Goddess he called it. He would take his shoes off in the city park and we would walk around, feeling the earth and we would just appreciate being outside so much. He was also the first person to show me how to meditate. I remember crying because it was so uncomfortable at the time to sit so still with myself. I couldn’t think of a better introduction to such a beautiful plant. 

For me, when THC passes through my blood brain barrier my thoughts become very active and creative. My thoughts can sometimes become very therapeutic and inclined to be about personal growth and creative ideas. I enjoy that. My blood is moving, my thoughts are creative, my mind is open. I direct my thinking to be positive. If I’m lucky I’ll come up with a whole new perspective on something.

Physically, I get deeper in my stretches and I feel incredibly connected to my breath. It’s so calming.

6- Is there a specific type of marijuana you prefer / recommend to use it? Sativa, indica or that is just bullshit? Flower, edibles, extract... what's best for your meetings and why? 

I seek out Sativa strains. I prefer Sativa over Indica, because the nature of Sativa seems to give me energy versus the more grounding and relaxing effects of Indica. For working out, vaping is cleaner, more discrete, the effects are immediate and the heat is not nearly as harsh as a joint. MJF as an event is aiming towards less joints and more vaping.  Edibles still scare people a little bit and it takes a little too long for the effects. With a vape, it’s one puff and you’re good to go for quite awhile.

7- Who goes to Mary Jane Fonda? What are they looking for? Male and female? Trans? Any age average? 

I would like to think that every person who has been or comes to MJF is progressive, socially conscious, adventurous, curious, open-minded and is interested in wellness and personal growth. I believe participants are looking for fitness, motivation, thoughtful networking and friendships. I get asked a lot if men are invited, and yes of course. Session’s have had 1-3 men and every one has dressed up in some fashion, furthering the feeling of inclusion and participation. I’m starting to put more focus on how I’m marketing MJF because I want the marketing to reflect the intentions behind MJF, that it's welcoming to ALL types of people. While any age (21+) is welcome, the average age attendance is between 28 and 38. 

8- Can you please indicate two of your clients so I can also interview them? 

Brydie, Leah, Shevonne and Heather (which no one from this list got interviewed)

9- Did you have any issues with the police/friends/family before cannabis legalization? What's the importance of making this plant totally legal?

I personally have not had any issues with the police before cannabis was legal. Before legalization I was careful to not offend certain friends or family. Although, nothing I do surprises my friends or family. The importance of making this plant totally legal is so people stop getting arrested for it. It’s not fair to me to completely bask in this new excitement of this newly legal industry because there are still people being penalized for it. In the states where it is still illegal they don’t have the same luxury as we do, and that doesn’t feel good. 

10- What people usually wear during Mary Jane Fonda meetings? How important is that? Is there a connection between clothing/costumes and what you are trying to bring up? 

Dressing up is way to get guests on a similar page even before they arrive. It also makes an event feel and look more cohesive. People generally feel more connected if there is a theme. They walk into the space, seeing others looking different but having the same vibe. Dressing up is also a creative outlet for a lot of people. It’s a chance to express yourself and giving someone a compliment on what they are wearing is a good way to meet someone. And besides I love dressing up and I know other people do!

Guests are encouraged to mix a retro, individualistic look with modern workout clothes. I steer away from saying 80’s because I’m not trying to be nostalgic. The 80’s provide a good foundation and leg warmers are awesome but making it a little more modern is key. 

11- We are living the women's empowerment era. Why this is important and how is connected to Mary Jane Fonda?

I believe the whole earth is out of balance when it comes to female and male energy, and the outcome is conflict. Thankfully, for progressive pockets throughout the world that are fighting to equalize the rights of not just women but for everybody. We are shifting into another phase of women’s empowerment. But it's not just about women but equal rights for everyone, everywhere. I want to be a part of a great Equalizing Era. I want to look at it as an era where women, people of color, LGBQT work hard together and lift each other up. I hope MJF can help facilitate that.

Cannabis is a known globally and it brings people together. MJF is built upon the spirit of consideration and collaboration over competition. Any of the MJF’s events might be a chance to align people together who might not otherwise have come in contact with. Sometimes all that is needed is the one right introduction to the right person. That person over there might appreciate knowing that person over there. It might mean a mutually beneficial relationship. I’ve been so inspired by the women fitness leaders I’ve collaborated with like Heather Craig of Booty Luv®, Brydie of Byrdie Babes and watching women like Samantha Montanvaro and Lisa Snyder with Tokeativity events which aim at empowering up women.  I want MJF to be considered a space that invites people to unite, mix ideas and create friendships with, in addition to getting a little high and werking out. 

1- The 3 best songs ever are…

Power by Moon Boots

Sativa by Jhene Aiko

Breathe by Telepopmusik 

Alternate State featured Roisin Murphy by Hot Natured

Time to Dance (Maya Jane Coles remix) by Tricky

2- Favorite munchies after working out…
Butter and toast

3- Smoking together makes me…
Feel connected

4- When I say it's time to work on your abs people say…
Bring it

5- What's best: 50 shades of grey or 50 types of green? 
50 types of green and 50 shades of grey at the same time

6- Jane Fonda is a queen because… {edited} She is pretty rad because she started such a big aerobic movement that you could do in your home and is regularly speaking up for Women’s Rights.

7- I always keep reading this book .... The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz because…. I keep forgetting them!

8- If I could run a workout with Melania Trump I would… tell her I wouldn’t tell anyone if she wanted to hit the vape pen. 

To learn more + see all the wonderful contributors and collabs that make MJF magical, follow MARY JANE FONDA on IG: @mjfonda.pdx