Ahead of the 2024 Paris games, we sat down with Jay Palais, a former pro baseball player, who is also a key member of the Withings finance team in the Boston office. We delved into his athletic journey and found that something close to home had a profound influence on his lifelong love of health and fitness.
Jay, 25, works at Withings as a member of the finance team and hails from the small town of Farmington, Connecticut, a place he describes as being “a little bit suburban and a little bit rural.” When we learned he had previously played professional baseball and still gets up before the roosters do to throw, we wanted to know more and maybe get some inspiration as a bonus. That’s when we learned there was a lot more to the story of his excellence in sports.
A team effort supports Jay on the road to going pro
Raised in a multi-talented household, Jay’s parents, pictured here with him, instilled in him the strong drive needed to excel in athletics from a very early age. Both his Mom and Dad were professional Taekwondo fighters who met while competing in high-level championships.
In fact, Jay’s Dad, Jonathan, was a past captain of the USA Taekwondo team at the Olympics throughout the 1980s and 90s. He and his Dad would often wake up before dawn to work out together — a habit Jay didn’t always love as a kid, but one he still incorporates into his exercise routine today, noting that the “early bird mentality” can help you get one step ahead of the competition.
With two stellar role models at home, Jay—perhaps unsurprisingly—participated in many activities growing up, from wrestling to soccer to playing the piano, before discovering baseball as his true passion. He told us, “I played five years in college, and my senior year in 2020, I figured I could give it another shot after getting an accelerated MBA.” That shot paid off and Jay went all the way to Triple-A in pro baseball, joining a team called the York Revolution, which is based in York, Pennsylvania.
Pitching and perseverance
Jay played different positions during his baseball career, but his primary focus was pitching. He was dedicated to continuously improving, remarking, “I added significant increases to my output and production through various training methods, and I started throwing a lot harder than usual.” With his family close by in Connecticut, he says they were a valuable support system, and would often come out to cheer him on at games.
However, Jay’s journey also had its share of challenges. While pitching, he faced a significant shoulder injury that put his baseball career on pause. He needed a repair surgery and the recovery that followed was tough. Jay recalls it as “probably the worst six weeks I’ve ever been through with pain.” But the discipline ingrained in him from childhood is what helped him never give up — as soon as he was able, he was outside his apartment complex practicing his pitching by throwing against a wall. Jay emphasizes that “Setting goals is important because it gives you something to strive for. Even in baseball, I constantly set goals for myself, like improving my control.”
Balancing life beyond the field
In Jay’s post-baseball life, it’s not a huge surprise he found Withings — a company that aligned with his passion for fitness and health. He regularly uses fitness tracking technology and likes how his devices help him closely monitor his progress. Jay’s enthusiasm has extended to his family, who have also embraced the benefits of health tech in their daily lives.
Today, Jay carries forward the lessons he’s learned from his parents and his time as a pro athlete. Just as his dad continued to coach professional fighting after he retired, Jay gives back to his community in his spare time by coaching youth baseball. He even passes on his top tips for pitching in one-on-one lessons, shaping the confidence and skills of the next generation.
Expressing a desire for a potential return to baseball, Jay highlighted the importance of maintaining a balance between professional pursuits and personal life. And as he continues to hone his throwing skills, we’re confident he will reach whatever goals he sets for himself. We applaud Jay’s unwavering dedication and are proud to have him on our team as we continue to cheer for his success both in the office and on the field.
If you want more inspiration to go for the gold in your daily life, Withings has made a limited-edition smart scale to celebrate the Paris games. See it here: Body Smart Paris 2024