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Friday Fitspiration: Interview with Fitness Instructor Jayme O’Connor!

Photo: Jayme O'Connor

Recently, I took a Turbo Kick class at American Family Fitness! My instructor, Jayme O’ Connor, was so positive and upbeat that I just HAD to pick her brain a bit! Check out my interview with Jayme to find out how she learned to love fitness!


Kiesha: Tell us a little about your love for fitness.

Jayme: Let’s just say it took some time and an attitude adjustment to establish this love affair!  I was pretty chubby throughout high school and generally not a fan of physical activity.  I did enjoy dancing though, so aerobics classes were fun for me.  My college instructor encouraged me to become certified to teach classes and I’ve been moving ever since – it’s been almost 10 years since I taught my first class!  As I’ve grown older, I developed a positive attitude about trying new things and keeping myself healthy.  We have only one body to propel us through a (hopefully) long life, and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is essential to find out what we’re made of and keep ourselves balanced.  I’m always happy, on a deep level, after completing a workout or physical activity and I’m proud to consider myself a “fit” person!


Kiesha: A lot of people complain about losing the motivation to workout. How do you stay motivated?

Jayme: I have the attention-span of a toddler on Red Bull – the key for me is constant change!  I get super excited and newly-motivated whenever I try something new!  This year alone I’ve tried Zumba, pushed my limits & perfected my Olympic-barbell exercise technique with CrossFit, taken & taught a variety of group fitness classes like step, boot camp and barbell strength, incorporated Beachbody’s P90X, Insanity, ChaLEAN Extreme & TurboFire DVDs with my home workouts and completed more than a few circuit and strength programs from Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness Hers magazines <phew>.

I believe that you have to “date” a lot of workouts in order to find your “soul-mate” workout: the workout that puts a smile on your face and gets you out of bed ridiculously early in the morning.  My soul-mate workouts are Turbo Kick & PiYo Strength, so naturally I became certified to teach them!  Now, I feel lucky to share my favorite workouts with the community at both American Family Fitness in Vestal and the Riverwalk Athletic Club in downtown Binghamton!


Kiesha: One of the newest fitness crazes is PiYo. Can you explain what exactly that is?

Jayme: PiYo Strength is strength training and core conditioning that incorporates aspects of yoga and pilates.  Don’t be fooled – it’s not yo’ momma’s yoga class!  PiYo Strength is a fast-paced workout to hot new music and is designed for people who like to move.  It’s the perfect class to round-out your regular cardio and strength workouts!

Kiesha: Recently, I got my butt kicked in your Turbo Kick class! Some people may not be familiar with Turbo Kick. Can you tell them what a typical class is like?

Jayme: Turbo Kick is a party!  Hot, bumpin’ music + killer kickboxing moves keep your mind off the fact that you’re sweating off a crazy amount of calories!  This style of kickboxing has a little “sass,” and the moves/combinations are designed to target and engage your abs more than in traditional kickboxing.  Throughout class I throw in 1-2 minute Turbo HIITs (high intensity interval training) to kick it up a notch and really get your blood pumpin’!  It’s intense and everything can be modified for the participant – you can keep it high or low impact.


Kiesha: Last but not least, what is the schedule for your classes?


Starting September 10th


5:55am Boot Camp @ American Family Fitness, Vestal

6:30pm PiYo Strength @ Riverwalk Athlestic Club, Binghamton


5:55am PiYo Strength @ American Family Fitness, Vestal

6:30pm Turbo Kick @ American Family Fitness, Vestal


6:30pm Turbo Kick @ Riverwalk Athletic Club, Binghamton


6:30pm Turbo Kick @ Riverwalk Athletic Club, Binghamton


Thank you, Jayme, for taking the time to answer my questions! For more information, check out Jayme’s Facebook page!

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