Clark sees many aspects to staying fitPersonal trainer went from student to instructor
Class was about to start at Roosevelt Community Recreation Center.
Each of the six women grabbed a bosu unit, which is a unique device shaped like a half circle with a light blue rubber dome, so they could complete aerobics exercises. To say the class had a relaxed and inviting atmosphere would be an understatement. The back and forth banter topics ranged from hairdos to poor music selections during the last class session.
Instructor Kristy Clark took her place in front of her small group. The beat kicked in, and the group began to move. Most of Clark’s participants had trained with her many times before.
Clark, 43, is currently the only physical trainer that is employed by Fairfield Park and Recreation. Her training career began with her own pursuit of health and fitness.
“I started taking classes here,” Clark said. “The old trainer was about to leave, so I began investing my time into personal training because I could see that it was something I wanted to pursue more.”
After getting her personal training certification, Clark earned her bachelor’s degree taking online classes with Ashford University, which is based in Clinton. Her degree is in human behavior because dealing with the mental portion of fitness is important as well.
“As I’ve progressed, I’ve found it’s not a limitation fitness wise with most people, it’s a limitation mentally,” Clark said. “Maybe they have a block that is hurting their weight loss or exercise. [My] learning how humans behave and their thought processes has made me a better teacher.”
Clark leads weight loss challenges and teaches a cardio sculpt class. She has now been with Fairfield Park and Recreation for three years.
“She does everything I ask of her,” Park and Recreation Director Derik Wulfekuhle said. “She does a fine job.”
Many people will take her classes more than once. Jeff Vorhies took her eight-week weight loss challenge course. During that period he dropped 20 pounds. Vorhies recommends the classes to anyone looking to shed some extra pounds.
“They’re challenging but she keeps them fun,” Vorhies said. “She’s a great motivator.”
Clark has found there are many aspects to looking and feeling better, which is another reason she teaches classes.
“There are a lot of people who will come to me and say ‘I didn’t realize there were so many aspects to weight loss,’” Clark said. “Cardio and weight training both come into play when you talk about weight loss.”
For instance, Clark learned that looks don’t necessarily translate to fitness. Being thin does not necessarily mean someone is in shape or that person is in better shape than a larger person. She uses this as a tool as well.
“People use visualization when they think of fitness,” Clark said. “That’s not necessarily true. I’m not the skinniest creature, but I can go out and run with an 18-year old.”