Fitness journeys are unique to each individual, but these four TRX Trainers say their moms set them on the path to careers in fitness.
Niko Algieri and Jay Brockway
Celebrity trainers and brothers Niko Algieri and Jay Brockway will tell you fitness is in their DNA. While known for their intense TRX classes at Equilibrium in London, Jay says their mother, Gillian Brockway, has been teaching group fitness for years. She even owns a gym in Wales: Merlins Bridge Boxing Club.
“She teaches five nights a week: Insanity, Taebo, Keep Fit, Legs, Bums and Tums. She's a Brown belt in karate. She's done kickboxing her entire life. She’s competed in bodybuilding competitions,” Jay proudly explained.
TRX Trainer Brandon Wagner said he practically grew up at Tucson’s Canyon Ranch Resort because his mother was a trainer there for 35 years. “She was a Jazzercise instructor when I was little. I started there and kind of became her prodigy, in the sense that she used me as her platform to try exercises out on and just test things. Working out and being in that setting was my biggest influence when I was young,” Wagner shared.
Wagner followed in his mother’s fit footsteps. His first job in fitness was teaching at Canyon Ranch, where he taught for nine years before starting his personal training business.
Shana didn’t follow her mother into a fitness career, but it was her mother’s encouragement that sparked Shana’s love of movement. Shana’s mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease when Shana was five. Her parents knew that her mother’s caretaking would be a major part of daily life in their household, so they encouraged Shana to play sports so she would have time dedicated to her own interests.
Though her mother passed in 2013, Shana continues to work with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Today, she’s introducing her own children to the joy of movement. “We're very lucky in that both my husband and I work at the gym and that we coach sports, so our kids see wellness and fitness every day. I'm trying really hard to be the parent that makes sure sports and activities stay fun and doesn't become a chore to them.”
Her younger son is only one, but Verstegen’s four-year-old is already showing promise as a TRX instructor. “One of his favorite things to do is help me teach my class,” she said.”I kid you not, he has his own strap in class. He now knows how to help lead the warmups. He gets on the microphone and helps to do countdowns for sets. He high-fives everybody in the class. He can get on the straps and do various exercises, and I can't tell you how proud it makes me. And the fact that he loves it and begs to come and join me is really awesome.”