When work in the banking industry started stressing her out, Nikki Wilander always turned to exercise to help her relax. She was happier in the gym – calm and at peace. Wouldn’t it be great, she thought, if this @@was@@ her work?
“I think it was one of those things that was always eventually going to happen,” Wilander said. “…I had other jobs that always stressed me out, and I’d fall back on fitness for de-stressing.”
Coming from a family of athletes, the gym was a familiar place to call home. It was four years ago that she decided she wanted to call it her office too.
She started in membership sales at a local gym before learning the ropes to switch over to the training side of the fitness business. Today, she teaches classes around Central Florida through her own personal training business: Nikki Athletics.
In April she launched her classes in Baldwin Park, offering Total Body Conditioning classes in Enders Park on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at 6 p.m.
The classes cover, literally, the total body – both inside and out, Wilander said. From aerobic to anaerobic exercises, social events to nutrition counseling, she said her classes focus on getting, mind, body and spirit aligned to make people as healthy as possible.
“I make sure that if I wasn’t there, they could do it without me,” she said. Because that’s the goal of her fitness classes: getting people into healthy enough habits that they can continue on with them without needing a regimented class schedule anymore.
Her classes are a “judgment-free zone” where participants are encouraged to socialize, including with monthly outside-of-class gatherings where they all meet up for fun.
In June, Wilander hosted a yoga and wine social for her students, letting a guest yogi take the lead while she sweated along with her students, bending and twisting in the Enders Park Gathering Room.
With every pound lost and inch shed by her students, Wilander said she feels reaffirmed that she’s doing exactly the job she was meant to do.
“I know it sounds cliché, but I don’t feel like I work a day in my life,” she said. “I can’t imagine going back to doing anything else after this.”