Stronger Austin Instructor Spotlight: Sekoya Waddy
Stronger Austin is activating the Austin community with one goal: health for all. We believe that every neighborhood in Austin should have easy access to health and wellness programs. One of the free exercise classes we offer is MixxedFit on Monday and Wednesday from 6 – 7 PM at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center. Stronger Austin MixxedFit is energetically led by Sekoya Waddy, the FIRST ever MixxedFit instructor in Austin! Here’s what you need to know about Sekoya!
Q | What is your favorite/most rewarding part about being an instructor for MixxedFit?
A | Hands down it’s the PEOPLE! MixxedFit prides itself on being a people-inspired fitness program and the students I engage with every class make my job as the instructor easier and enjoyable. I look forward to seeing their faces and hearing their stories on how they’ve met a goal or feel themselves improving in their fitness journey every week. To hear someone say their doctor took them off medication just warms my heart. They say they love me, but I think I love them more.
Q| How long have you been an instructor for MixxedFit?
A| I became a licensed instructor in 2015. Fun fact, I was the first MixxedFit instructor in Austin.
Q| How do you motivate yourself to workout and stay healthy on a daily basis?
A| It was after our annual wellness assessment at work when I really had it in my mind that I wanted to get serious with my health. I was thinking of things I liked to do and how I could incorporate more of that. I LOVE to dance and I was doing a lot of choreography for different events with my sorority and through my volunteer work at a local highschool. That’s where MixxedFit came in to play.
The hard part was changing my nutrition, which I think is most important. I LOVE to eat. And although I really didn’t eat a lot of “bad” things, purely based on the fact that I didn’t like the taste, I still didn’t make the best choices with the things I did eat. I was a fried food, no veggie eating queen! Once I worked on my nutrition and started seeing results from a 6-week challenge with NOD24 (I like challenges since I’m competitive), I was hooked!
Teaching classes, MixxedFit with Stronger Austin and a HIIT/CORE class at Fitness Connection, helps me get some cardio in and I also go to gym for strength training. Being an instructor motivates me to keep working on myself so I can be a great example for my students and be proof that the hard work does pay off.
Q| What would be some advice you would give to others to do the same?
A | My advice for others is to evaluate what your lifestyle is like now, where you would like to be and then plan your attack! It only takes 21 days to make something a habit. Start with nutrition, have a friend do it with you for accountability, and attend classes that Stronger Austin offers for FREE. I tell my students and friends all the time who look up to me as an example, “when you want something bad enough you’ll do it.” You just have to take that first step and get “can’t” out of your vocabulary. Using that word has a punishment of 25 pushups when working out with me in class or the gym. If you need a push or partner, contact me and I’ll help you do the work. We can work on US together.
Q | What is your go-to pre or post-workout snack or meal?
A | Pre-workout, I love apples or rice cakes with almond butter. I sometimes grab a banana. Post-workout, if I’m coming from morning workouts, I tend to gravitate to oatmeal with fruit and nuts or egg white with spinach omelets. Evening workouts, I go with protein shakes or meal with protein, green veggies and complex carb of my choosing. I’m known to grab a protein bar every now and then too when on the go – One Bars are my favorite!
Q | How have your class participants influenced you throughout your time instructing?
A | My participants are what keep me going. Knowing that I want to give them a fun, yet effective, workout each class pushes me to keep my endurance up (because I have to be able to motivate them) as well as keep my playlist updated. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over every day, so I have to really utilize my memory bank with learning or coming up with new routines to introduce to the class over time.