Today we’re talking to one of Oxford’s most well-known and loved team members: Jackie Frederick!
Jackie has been at Oxford for 13 years. As the Assistant General Manager, she plays a big role in the club’s daily success. We sat down with Jackie to learn more about how she got into the fitness industry, where her passion for fitness comes from, and why she loves heart health all year long—but especially during American Heart Month!
How long have you worked in the fitness industry?
Jackie Frederick: I’ve worked in the fitness industry for over 26 years now.
How long have you worked here at Oxford?
JF: I’m going on my 13th year here at Oxford.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
JF: I was a self-proclaimed ‘tom boy’ growing up so I was always active. When I was ten I saved up enough allowance money to purchase a set of free weights. I’ve always been involved in competitive sports throughout my life and competed in swimming, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, and triathlons.
What’s a fun fact from your past that most people might not know about you?
JF: I used to perform at the McKeesport Little Theater. I made my first stage appearance at the age of 4!
How did you get started in the fitness industry? Where did your passion for fitness come from?
JF: My background initially was in business administration. I chose to stay home to raise my two children and began taking fitness classes at a gym near my house.
It was then that I discovered I had a passion for fitness and the positive benefits it offers. While being a stay-at-home Mom, I became a certified instructor through the American Council on Exercise and taught fitness classes part-time. I now consider myself fortunate enough to have found a career that blends both my business background with my passion for fitness. Thank you, Oxford!
How did you get started with Spinning specifically?
JF: I was working as the Group Fitness Manager at a facility in Sylvania, Ohio, when I first heard about the Spinning craze moving across the country. I brought the Spinning program to that facility. All in all, I have been teaching Spin classes for over 20 years. My first job here at Oxford was as a Spinning instructor.
What are your favorite songs/artists to listen to when you’re exercising? Are these different from your picks for when you’re running a class?
JF: I enjoy listening to a wide-range of music—from classical to techno. Music I find motivating needs to have a strong beat. Positive lyrics are a real bonus, too! I choose my class music based on what I personally find to be motivating. I’ve told my classes in the past; the instructor needs to be motivated by the music in order to motivate their students.
Some of my favorite artists are: Rihanna, Coldplay, Prince, Calvin Harris, Pitbull, David Guetta, Phil Collins, and The Chainsmokers.
Where does your passion for fitness and cardio fitness specifically come from?
JF: I know through research and through experience what a strong impact cardio fitness can have on your health. I come from a family where heart disease runs rampant, so I consider staying fit to be critical for my personal battle against heart disease. If I can inspire others to become more active to benefit their own health, I am grateful for the opportunity.
Why do you think American Heart Month is such an important awareness month?
JF: Our lives can become so busy, it’s good for us to pause and think about what our hearts do for us on a daily basis and not just take that for granted. I definitely think about this when February rolls around on the calendar and the awareness campaign begins.
Raising awareness helps everyone to challenge themselves to be sure they are doing everything possible to take care of their hearts through proper nutrition and exercise.
Did you know the average heart beats 115,200 times per day? That adds up to more than 42 million beats per year!
Why do you think so many women, more than men, tend to take their cardio fitness for granted? How do you try help women see the value of investing in their heart health?
JF: In my opinion, women tend to be multi-taskers by nature and often put themselves “second” to their family or career needs, which may result in putting off workouts. Any opportunity I have to encourage or support women (and men) to take time out of their day to take care of their own health and wellbeing is time well spent.
The benefits to maintaining a consistent cardiovascular fitness routine are far reaching and one they will never regret. I also try to encourage people to choose an exercise routine they enjoy doing so they are more likely to stick with it.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to improve their heart health but might not know where to start?
JF: Find out their own starting point by going to their physician for a wellness checkup. The knowledge they gain from that visit is the first step to safely beginning a cardio exercise routine. Once they have the green light they should reach out to a fitness professional, who then can steer them in the right direction and offer sound advice.
I also always recommend that people set realistic goals. There have been times on 90+ degree days when I am waiting at a stoplight and see someone who is obviously struggling trying to run. It makes me wonder if they are even enjoying themselves and more importantly, if they would stick with this routine for long. Realistic goals are the best way to develop healthy habits!
What’s the most rewarding part of your work? What keeps you passionate about and interested in the industry?
JF: The most rewarding part of my job is when members share a story of how fitness has made a positive impact on their life – those are priceless moments to me. I consider it a gift to be in a position to share my knowledge and passion about fitness through conversations or teaching classes. I love working to empower people to change their own lives.