Angel Jones has seen fitness from both the instructor and student perspective.
She had an inkling about becoming a fitness instructor while taking rookie bootcamp at Oliver Woods Community Centre in September 2012 and instructor Ruth Sabourin encouraged her to pursue it.
“I wanted to become a fitness instructor to keep healthy,” Jones said. “I used to be quite heavy, I joined Weight Watchers and lost 60 pounds (20 kilograms) and thought to myself, ‘If I want to stay healthy I have to be healthy.’ I’m not giving up ‘naughty food’ so I chose a profession that keeps me moving.
“Being active keeps you healthier.”
In December 2012, she had completed a theory exam, the first part of becoming a fitness instructor, and last January, she took the group fitness component with the City of Nanaimo, through parks and recreation. That was followed by her practicum and by April she had a job with the city.
At first, Jones was a substitute instructor for Sabourin’s class but in May, she proposed a Full Body Fitness for Women class, which is now offered at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
“It’s a well-rounded fitness class, and by that I mean we do anything from arms to legs, to both, to abs and we just make it fun,” Jones explained. “We have a good time. I change it up so we never do the same thing in both classes – we usually never do the same thing in an entire month.”
As someone not far removed from being a fitness class attendee, Jones likes to exhibit characteristics she admires in instructors, playing an active role in her classes.
“I participate with my class. The biggest thing for me is, when I was working out, I like to see an instructor that can tell you what to do and do it. Not just tell you what to do and stand there and watch you do it,” Jones said.
And while she takes her profession seriously, she is careful not to take it too seriously.
“They say you have to be slightly insane to be a fitness instructor; I’m OK with that,” she said. “You have to be able to laugh at yourself because you know what? Sometimes we make mistakes too.
Jones will also be running a Zumba class in the new year and there is child-minding available for mothers wanting to attend the Full Body Fitness class.
For more information on classes offered by parks and rec go to www.nanaimo.ca.