The Energizer Bunny has absolutely nothing on Mrs. Jacquelyn Whetzel! The 39-year-old mother of three (Ellie-12, Evan-10, and Kellyn-6, all girls) was recently mistaken for one of the high school cheerleaders at a cheerleading camp she was working. Enough said. Whetzel holds certifications in wellness, aerobics, mindset coaching, nutrition, and about anything else that deals with overall fitness. She might be called a fitness guru, but she describes herself as a “Gym rat” that has spent most of her life working out in some shape, form, or fashion.
She started out by earning 11 varsity letters at Stratford Academy in Macon without ever playing a single sport. How is that possible? Well, she became the manager, statistician, announcer, and cheerleader for all the sports. She said, “I love watching sports, but I was always the skinny little girl who couldn’t really play much. However, baseball is my favorite team sport to watch.”
Whetzel now works part-time for her in-laws at Madison Drug as a bookkeeper, works for the Morgan County Recreation Department as an independent contractor teaching clogging, coaching cross-country, and as the lead for the Fit-Club while balancing writing books, raising a family, and working as a personal trainer. Whew! Her whirlwind lifestyle makes me tired just listening to it.
She started her career by majoring in interior design and owning her own business for a while. She told us, “It was a career that I thought would work well with a family. We decided to move to Augusta where my husband (Josh) would pursue a degree in dentistry. It was my opportunity to help put him through school, but the interior design market in Augusta was saturated. I called the Wellness Center at MCG and my soon-to-be boss was doing the same thing. She was also married to a dental student and told me that even though I didn’t have my certification, I could work on it while teaching some aerobics classes and set my own hours. I went to the gym early, got home in time to get my first daughter ready for daycare, and make some money to support him while he was in school. We tried not to take out any more student loan money than necessary, but for a while I was the sole breadwinner for our family.”
It’s all paid dividends for the Whetzel family as Dr. Whetzel now has a thriving dental business in Madison along with Dr. Padgett. She is now pursuing some more of her goals while also home-schooling their three girls. When asked how she describes her career, she said, “I have a little trouble defining what I do. I think of myself now as a wellness specialist with certifications in the areas of nutrition, personal training, mindset coaching, and other areas.” She also told us that, “Fitness is a mental thing. I try to teach everyone that they have the ability to do it. Most everyone can go to the gym, but the hardest part is getting on your workout clothes and getting out the door to the gym. I try to change their mindset that they can do it. Sometimes I feel more like a psychologist. My job is to figure out what’s your why? What are your needs? Why is getting in shape important to you?”
What’s your why? What are your needs? Mental thing.
Whetzel works with kids from 2-15 years old in everything fitness and says she enjoys every minute of it. “One of the things I enjoy the most is working with my Co-Coach Wendy Harper with the cross-country elementary kids. We get the chance to show them through running that they can. We have runners who join us on the very first day that have never run before; never even put on a pair of running shoes. That first day some of them can get pretty discouraged, but when you get to see that twinkle in their eye after two weeks when they feel they can do something they never before thought possible it’s exciting. They learn that they don’t have to be the runner who wins the medal. Sure, everybody wants to be that person, but in cross-country you’re only competing against yourself and the clock. When a child runs a 26 minute time in their first race, and watches that time fall to 22 minutes two weeks later, it’s just a joy to see their eyes light up. In team sports like baseball you need those that hit homeruns. In soccer, you need that great goalie. It’s still a team sport and we teach them the value of those concepts, but it’s still all about you and the clock.”
Whetzel now has a business name of Healthy Chick, but says she’s really had to scale things back and make some choices once they started having kids. One of her taglines is “I’m just a regular Mom who decided to go for it.” When asked about the future for Healthy Chick, she laughed, “Well, the home-schooling has had its challenges, but they’re still young enough that I can understand the material. There are so many positives and negatives of public school vs. home-schooling, but the one-on-one time with my children has been wonderful. They have a hard time understanding when I have to put on my teacher hat and then my mom hat, and even sometimes both at the same time. The biggest thing I want our children to learn is how to be resourceful. We’re going to study the Constitution and World History and all that, but I think it’s more important to teach them how to be independent thinkers.”
She talked about her future plans for her career, “When my kids are older, I’ll be putting together the Fit4Living Series. Everything I sell or promote when I am focusing on my business will be under that name. My tag line is ‘What are you fit for’?” There are four components to wellness: Faith (or mindset), Food, Fitness, For Me (the why behind why you want to live a healthy life). You have to incorporate all four into your life in some way in order to reach your goals. I already have a few things/programs created or in progress.
1. Fit4Happiness (Four part mindset workbook)
2. Fit4Living (in progress; a four week program and intro to a wellness lifestyle)
3. Fit4Fasting (in progress; a four week nutrition program)
4. I’m also in progress writing a four-book allergy friendly cookbook series. (mention her daughter)
This is my business model/plan and how I approach my personal wellness overall. I also have a book in progress, but I’m not focusing on that currently, so I write inspirational posts on Instagram instead.
So, for Whetzel it’s up early six days a week for some sort of workout in her living room. She sleeps in her workout clothes (no surprise there), wakes up, pops in or streams a workout, and says she wakes up about ten minutes into it. Time for coffee, her daily Bible study, and here we go. I’m tired already.