I have to say that I am very blessed to have work that is a passion and a labour of love. If I were to start at the beginning, my fitness career began when a Fitness Coordinator from the YWCA visited our school. She was offering grade 8 girls the opportunity to take the fitness course in order to teach the dry land training for the teams at our school. Having enjoyed the practices more than the actual games, this was of interest to me. I taught the teams conditioning all through school.
When I turned 16 I took the course again and began teaching high impact aerobics at my local gym and in the community. Of course when it was time to start University, I enrolled in Kinesiology, became an Exercise Physiologist and began work at a physiotherapy clinic. Teaching fitness allowed me to attend University without student loans and was my absolute passion.
Having wonderful mentors throughout my career, my resume kept growing with various courses in therapy and fitness. Around 1993, I became an Instructor Trainer for the YWCA, then for Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation. I began sharing my passion with others training them to teach classes in the province. I also cultivated an interest in doing some Masters work at my University and training in manual therapy. In 2004, I became a Registered Massage Therapist.
I still remember the first Fitness Leader course I taught at the YWCA as an Instructor Trainer. It was a lot of work but I honestly could not ask for a more fulfilling job. What a pleasure to be involved training teachers who want to help others in our community. Years later, I feel the exact same way. I take pride in training leaders for SPRA who care about their student’s safety, health and well being. I strive for a safe, welcoming, warm learning environment where the leaders feel they can ask questions and practice their skills. I am grateful for everything my career has given me and am I blessed to still be going strong today.
Today you can find me at my small business, Body Connections Fitness & Massage Therapy. I just had my 10 year anniversary! It is there that I have combined all that I do under one roof. Exercise Physiology, Therapeutic Massage Therapy and Fitness Services. In the evenings and weekends, I partner with the community to teach fitness classes and courses. It’s been such a wonderful journey and I hope to continue on for years to come!
Written by Laurie Idema-Wood, Karma Activist