Bold With Care Conversations: Meet Shara Vigeant

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All images by FO Photography www.fophotography.com

I am proud to introduce Shara Vigeant (rhymes with care-ah!) as Cared Humanity‘s first interview in my new series, Bold With Care Conversations. In May I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Shara at her amazing fitness facility, SVPT: Fitness and Athletics, in Edmonton, Alberta. 

Be Bold With Care is the guiding practice of Cared Humanity and has become my personal mantra.

“I provide that support and care” ~ Shara Vigeant.

About three and a half years ago I came to see Shara when I was ready to get back into shape after my daughter was born. I can tell you that she found my inner athlete way before I did! June marks the 10th Anniversary of Shara’s training practice. Congratulations, Shara and I wish you continued success! I had Shara in mind for this feature months ago, but true to form when I invited her to participate she was humble and acted surprised that I would think so highly of the work that she does. Thank you, Shara, for sharing your time and your expertise here. I also want to give special mention to my friends and fabulous photography team, Funmi and Adrian, over at FO Photography for graciously producing the beautiful photographs featured here. 

Shara is a business owner of one of Edmonton’s premier personal training facilities, where she takes on the roles of Head Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach. I sat down – and walked around – with Shara to learn more about her passion for wellness and the unique way she blends leadership, strength, and care. I hope you enjoy Part 1 of our conversation.

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Above you see us in the entryway at SVPT, where Shara glances with pride at her honour board that features photographs of clients like professional athletes, from Boxing to Mixed Martial Arts,  local men and women who have met training goals. The wall also features newspaper articles about her success in the fitness industry. Yet, Shara is quick to take the focus off of her and put the spotlight on her clients.  Shara has built a team, which includes a staff of 7 personal trainers. Together they have created a space for care – and I have experienced it myself. (Since our conversation I joined Penelope’s Weekend Warrior class!)

Shara gets to see the impact of care every day.

With care we can do more and be more in the world.

 

1)   What words would you use to describe yourself and the work that you do?

Coach is who I am. I wasn’t comfortable with Coach before because I felt I needed to earn the title. I still have to grow and learn. Now I am more comfortable calling myself a Coach. It is truly what I do with athletes and all my clients.

2)   You referred to the gym as a playground. Can you please explain that?

People come to the gym and feel like a kid again. I think we need that now more than ever. We’ve forgotten how to move. We make it fun. One of the first things the trainers did when we got the turf in was do a cartwheel! It’s about basic fundamental movement. Be playful. Laugh. I want people to feel a sense being a kid and exercise as being fun. So, we can be creative here. The space breeds creativity. This sets us apart from other gyms.  

3)   What does care mean to you?

I go back to the Triangle of Awareness: mental, emotional, physical. I attack it from: what does the client or the athlete need? Care, to me, means, regardless of who the human being is, taking into account where they’ve come from and where they are. That’s how I care. Not just a person’s past and present but where they are seeking to go.

4)   You use the words “family” and “team” to describe the people here. Can you give some examples of this atmosphere or these kind of relationships?

We all stand up for each other. We care about each other’s goals. We have the board to push people, to look at what someone has achieved. (It is not a traditional Leader Board, but a visible reminder of personal bests). It’s been great. We support each other and have a real sense of family.I want my clients to become healthier from the inside out. Fitness is about that. I provide that support and care. They are also engaging with each other, sharing their experiences

5) As you know, I argue that cared for people care for people. I think that has a lot to do with what’s so special about the culture you’ve created and the environment at SVPT. What sets your gym and your approach apart from the rest?

When I go to a “Box Gym” I feel stagnant and not very creative. Nothing makes me want to push goals. It’s like a hamster in a wheel. Here we are so creative. I don’t call it work.

… When I stopped being so negative and started thinking differently things started to change. I reinforce this with my clients. The way you think changes the bio-chemistry in the body. I’m continuing on my journey and making sure I’m still growing and evolving, professionally and personally. The best Coaches out there are always changing and evolving. Acknowledging that you know something better now gets respect. It makes you human. No one is above anyone.

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I hope you join us next week for more on Shara’s bold with care approach, the challenges of working in the fitness industry, being a trailblazer in a male dominated sport and more, but first some fun!

6)   The concert people would be most surprised to see you at is…

Loretta Lynn. Coal Mine’s Daughter is my favourite.

7) A talent I wish I had is…

I wish I was more athletic! That I could jump higher. I wish it came more naturally to me.

8)   If you could put anything on a T-shirt: what would it be?

 Eat a Fucking Apple. (she smiles!) 

Lift a Weight.

Thanks, Shara, for your willingness and enthusiasm not only for the Bold With Care Conversation, but encouraging me with Cared Humanity. On June 12th 2014 I’ll be back with Part Two. Until then, be bold with care!

Bold With Care Conversations will feature individuals and groups who epitomize the BWC philosophy in the way they Care, Fully. Bold caring involves self care AND caring for others. I hope you join the Care Revolution as we work together to change the landscape of care.

This entry was posted in Being Bold, Care, Community, inspiration, Leadership, Strong, Wellness, Work. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Jillian
    Posted June 5, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Awesome interview! I look forward to Part 2 from this Care Leader!

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