Businessman has passion for P.E.

Jalel Aossey ’97 was a dual major in international business and physical education. He’s now director of business development at Midamar Corporation in Cedar Rapids. But even though his job isn’t in physical education, he still holds the lessons he learned in his mind.

“Physical education has taught me and does to this day that we cannot treat our bodies as we please without accountability for our actions,” he said. “We may have gotten away with it at Cornell during our college years but as we age, take on the stresses of work and family life, maintaining an awareness of our physical health is critical.”

One thing he learned is that a healthy body doesn’t come from a fad diet or an exercise gadget you see on television, but comes from daily exercise, a moderate diet and good sleep. Aossey travels internationally throughout the year, and there are times when exercise is the last thing he might want to do, but, he said, he makes himself.

“I always find that I am not motivated to exercise, rather I am motivated after exercise because that’s when your remember how good it actually feels and how much it revitalizes your body,” said Aossey, who was a Ram defensive lineman.

His classes also taught him how to be smart about his food choices. Being in the food industry, he’s more aware of the ingredients used in food products today and said he’s very particular at times both with what he eats—and more importantly—what he doesn’t eat. He said he’s a big believer in organic and natural foods, especially for his daughters.

“I want them to have a head start on life without first being victim to the vast amounts of preservatives, additives, and unhealthy ingredients found in food today,” he said.

He might not have a job using his degree in physical education now, but that wasn’t always the case. It’s long been a passion, and if he hadn’t gone into business, he said he’d likely be a physical therapist or trainer. In fact, during his time at Cornell, he earned his Personal Trainer Certification through the American Council on Exercise and started his own business training families and individuals.

Aossey has stayed close to the college since graduation, supporting it financially, with speaking engagements, and by talking with prospective and current students.

“My time at Cornell was truly a time of learning both in and out of the classroom. Having the opportunity to be part of a campus small enough to provide enriching experiences is something I have carried with me till today,” he said.