Windsor, Ont. gym instructor takes fitness to the classroom

Amaris Yueying
By Amaris Yueying May 1, 2017 22:05

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By Yueying (Amaris) Liu

It may not look like a Grade 4/5 math class since all the students are standing beside their desks.

But as they turn to the left and to the right, with lots of giggles and smiles, they are learning about angles.

This is how Kimberly Van Nie teaches math. She is a teacher at Lakeshore Discovery Public School but she is also an instructor at a local gym.

And this is how she brings both of her strengths – teaching and fitness – together.

That may seem like two totally different careers, but this local woman sees a connection.

It was not easy for Kim to become a fitness instructor. Actually, about eight and a half years ago, she used be about 200 and 20 pounds.

Kim decided to lose weight because she just had her second child at that time.

“I was happy and everything was great but I decided to make some changes,” said Kimberly Van Nie.

Kim didn’t want to miss happy times with her kids because of her body shape.

“I wanted to be around for a long time with my kids. I wanted to bike with them, be able to do different things with them. So I made a goal for myself to begin my lost weight and fitness journey,” said Kim.

Then Kim started working out again at Goodlife Gym. It took over a year and she lost 85 pounds.

It has been seven and a half years now and Kim has a perfect body shape and she has been maintaining.

“I want to be stronger so I work out hard. After a few years I got recruited and I became instructor. Now I have members coming to my class and they’re going through some of the same struggles that I went through. When I share my story, I told them it’s been a long journey. It doesn’t come easily,” said Kim.

Kim’s story encourages many clients. They are influenced by the energy and power she has.

“I love working out with Kim. And I’m always follow her every single class because she is very positive. And at the end of my work out, I feel exhausted, but so accomplished,” said Jaclyn Miles, a client of Goodlife Gym.

Working at the gym is not Kim’s entire life, she is also a teacher at Lakeshore Discovery Public School where she teaches Grade 4 and 5 students.

Kim brings her gym instructor skills into her math classes. She really likes to use that physical activities in the classroom to get her students become math.

“What children do today is a lot different from what I was doing at their age. I was always outside. But they are sitting all the time with new technology. So one of my goals as a teacher is to get my students interacting with each other. I am reaching for incorporating movements and physical activities in the classroom and try to make sure it is related to curriculum. My big focus to make sure they have hands-on learning, visual learning, auditory learning. My goal is healthy learning,” said Kim.

Her students do love her teaching style.

“I like Mrs. Vannie as my teacher, because I like being a hands on learner, so I get to see it right in front of me instead of having to do it all in your head,” said Molly Cuerrier, Grade 5 student in Kim’s class.

“I get to the all the time as a fitness instructor and now I am really try to transfer into classroom and a make a healthy learner as well,” said Kim.

For Kim, life’s happiness comes not only from her students but also from her daughter and son. She shares what she is learned about fitness with them too.

“My mom plays basketball with me and hockey with me and volleyball too. I like playing basketball with my mom. I feel happy because we play together,” said Jacob Van Nie, Kim’s son.

“My goal for them is to be healthy and happy with their body. I want my son to know that women can be strong. I want my daughter to grow up and be a strong young woman. I’m trying to teach my children to keep a balance of fitness, fun and joy in their life,” said Kim.

Kim has lots of things going on in her life. She is a full-time teacher, fitness instructor. She is also a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend. She plays many kinds of role in her life. But all the center of it all, is she needs to be active and to help others get active.

She can balance them very well. And she really enjoys these things.

“If you really want to balance them, you can do it. It is not the matter you can’t do it, it’s the matter of do you want to do it. So got the point where I wanted enough and I chose to do it. So now I am who I am. I choose to do every day, I enjoying doing every day. It becomes part of me, it’s a routine of who I am. So I love having all of these things in my life. They make fun, exciting and colorful life. And I am looking forward to next challenge too,” said Kim.

Amaris Yueying
By Amaris Yueying May 1, 2017 22:05

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