Physical fitness is an important part of self-care and living a well-balanced lifestyle.  Physical fitness, healthy eating and Aromatherapy are personal cornerstones that support my daily lifestyle and help me to gain greater balance in life.

I believe it was my childhood involvement with sports that helped me managed the stress of growing up, even if I didn’t realize it at the time!  I am now so thankful for having been physically active as a child.  I’m especially thankful that the love for fitness created in childhood has carried forward into my adult years.

The activities I do now are different than what I did as a child yet the core benefits of being active have remained. As we change and grow it’s only natural that our interests also change and grow.  The sports you played as a child may not resonate with you now.  Maybe the sports you thought were silly as a child now hold appeal.  Whatever your connection with fitness has been, it can only improve and evolve as you get moving with something that excites you.

The qualities of leading an active life that have stuck with me most are creating a healthy outlet for stress, teaching me how to physically persevere, learning team work, making friends, laughing and having fun! These qualities of physical fitness are now what I look for in every activity that I do.  If I’m having fun and the activity is meeting my present fitness level then I’m in!

For this blog post I’m excited to have Sam Wilkinson of Fit Coast Training and Nutrition talk about her passion for fitness, her business and about the fun Jazzercise classes she teaches.  Sam is an inspirational woman who makes fitness fun and inviting.  I’ve taken Jazzercise with Sam and had a great time, even though I really don’t know my left from my right when it comes to coordinated movement!!  Even with that challenge, Sam’s class was welcoming, a great workout and lots of fun.

Sam really can help you find the fitness passion you seek and guide you toward finding the FUN in fitness now or again!

Here’s Sam’s story on her “why” to the question of “why work out,” and how she found the fun in fitness.


Sam: Why do you workout? Have you ever really stopped to think about it?  I don’t mean the typical “to stay healthy” or “to look good” answers. I mean deep down… what’s the real reason you work out? This can be a hard question to answer if you think of exercise as a chore (or avoid it like the plague). If exercise feels like a chore to you, I’m willing to bet you just haven’t found your exercise passion!

Think about it for a minute. We’re meant to move! There is no other animal that spends its life going from one chair to another. Maybe we just need to shift our thinking from “working out” to “play.” Find some form of movement that makes you feel alive and all of a sudden that workout feels like play!

As a kid growing up, I wasn’t athletic. I tried out for teams…. and never made them. I was usually picked close to last in gym class and stood out in left field the entire season I played baseball. All great experiences for my self-confidence, right?! It sucked. I was naturally good at one type of movement though – dance. I loved to dance and I took classes until the distraction of high school set in. I dropped pretty much all physical activity in place of hanging out with friends and partying. I’ll admit I had no real goals or plans for my future other than finding the next party.

Fast forward to my early 20’s, when my mom dragged me to an “old lady workout class.” I fully expected it to be lame but man, was I wrong! It sparked something in me I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

That “old lady workout class” was jazzercise. I was blown away by the whole experience. The music was cranked up, the room was packed (with people from all age groups), the instructor was entertaining and the way she led the class was so confident and engaging. I danced my butt off and sweat more than I ever had. It was invigorating! I had found my passion again.

My mom loved it so much she decided to become an instructor and bugged me relentlessly to do the same. I guess she saw something in me that I didn’t. I eventually followed in my mom’s footsteps, becoming an instructor, which ignited a whole new passion for all things health and fitness and a real love for teaching and coaching people to push themselves beyond their perceived limitations.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, pull yourself out of your comfort zone and hit up some group fitness classes. Working out at home or the gym is great, but the energy you get from working out with others can’t be beat.

Beyond the workout itself, I get that each person is coming to class for a special experience during their busy day. They’re looking for some time to just let loose and have fun! The team of instructors in Sooke and Metchosin understand that and we strive to give each person a memorable experience with every class.  Which is why I approached Wendy (Evoke Aromatherapy) about developing a unique essential oil blend to diffuse prior to members arriving. Wendy did an amazing job of capturing the uplifting feeling I want members to have when they arrive for class.  Lately I’ve been thinking about my experience with sports as a kid. Was I really not athletic? Or was I just not passionate about those activities? Which brings me back to my initial question: why do you work out? If the answer doesn’t relate to how it makes you feel, I’m willing to bet you just haven’t found your passion yet. Ask anyone who loves to workout why they do it and I’ll bet they say something like, “because it’s fun!” or “because it makes me feel strong and confident!” or “because it gives me energy!”

If you haven’t experienced that feeling yet, don’t ever give up!  Just keep trying new things.  You’ll eventually find something that gives you that spark! And if you need some inspiration, think back to when you were a child. What did you love to do back when you just PLAYED???

Exercise IS play! Our bodies are meant to move in many different ways.  There is no wrong way to do it and no perfect way either.  If exercise feels like a chore, don’t settle or give up! Try something new. Find your passion.

Come check out jazzercise. It’s fun but that doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging! You’ll work hard and you’ll be supported to strive for progress. We’ve got your back with a community of supportive, inspirational members. We are active fundraisers in our communities and offer innovative programs to support and encourage movement as evidenced by our highly successful “Youth Force” program that saw many 16-21-year-olds attend class for free all year long in 2017. We continue to support youth by offering student pricing to make movement affordable.

Now is a really great time to join us! Each February, we run a class attendance challenge that includes some nutrition coaching and daily movement goals. Challenges are great to get the ball rolling or increase motivation when it’s lacking (which is why we don’t start this in January!)

And in case you still have that 80’s image of jazzercise in your head, the program has evolved over the years. It’s a well-rounded program and isn’t just “dance cardio.” Click here to check out all of our class formats. Seriously. Are you gonna let a name stop you from checking it out?

Sam Wilkinson is a personal trainer based in Sooke, British Columbia, offering small group outdoor classes, one-on-one training/personalized programming, nutrition coaching, a 16-week redefine fit program and jazzercise.

FIT COAST – Training & Nutrition

jazzercise Metchosin-Sooke