By Rebecca Malkin
I am practically drowning in a pool of my own sweat, panting uncontrollably, watching my flabby parts jiggle in a floor-to-ceiling mirror. I’m working my butt off in a fitness class called Boot Camp, a workout program composed of a vigorous combination of cardio, weight training, and calisthenics. The class is tough, but what makes it special is the person running it.
“I love to see sweaty people smiling!” says instructor Angela Turner, her eyes full of life and energy just moments after she completes a Boot Camp class. “Everyone today looked beautiful and shiny! Stunning!”
There’s something about Turner that makes her a damn good fitness instructor, besides her knowledge of fitness and toned muscles. She has a unique attitude that makes her classes irresistible. Turner describes herself as “naturally happy.” Her inspirational one-liners – “I can see your triceps glistening, girls, I know you’re working hard!” – and mini lectures about the importance of working out are more than enough to keep the class going for a very intense 45 minutes.
While her buoyant attitude is great, the best thing about Turner is that she’s completely down to earth and easy to relate to. During class, she frequently brings up her love for a good cup of coffee and lime Tostitos.
“[Turner] inspires me to push through the burn,” says Courtney Morello, a third-year exercise-science major at Fitchburg State. “She makes me want to exercise!” Indeed, Morello is not the only one Turner has inspired to work out. All of the classes she teaches are consistently packed full of young women looking to improve their bodies and their health. According to Heathyr Ward, an employee at Fitchburg State University’s Recreation Center, Turner’s classes, which include Boot Camp, Turbo Kick and Sculpt & Tone, are always the first to run out of space.
Turner says, “Fitness is definitely the way to go! I wish that everybody could get it. I didn’t get it for a while. Once you get it, it’s amazing. My whole goal is to inspire people to get it.”
“I think a fit life is better than an unfit life,” she continues. “I know my life is so much better when I am fit. You have a whole different outlook when you’re exercising. I like my job more, I like my kids more, and love my husband more!” she says with a huge smile on her face.
So, has this fitness guru discovered the secrets of being eternally happy and healthy? It sure looks like it. Without fail, there is always a line of half a dozen or so die-hard Boot-Campers lined up outside the door to the dance studio waiting for what Turner calls their “soul-mate workout,” the workout that they wake up in the morning looking forward to.
For achieving fitness goals, a soul-mate workout is definitely important, but equally important is having someone as inspirational as Turner to tell you how pretty you look when you are working your butt off.