Faculty/Staff Spotlight St. John's College Santa Fe

Staff Spotlight: Mary Anne Burke

I admire Mary Anne Burke for her passion and dedication to health and fitness. She continues to help so many people live an active and productive life.

Interview with Mary Anne Burke

By Sandra Boggie

Mary Anne Burke is a certified Personal Trainer and the manager of the St. John’s College Student Activities Center (SAC) here in Santa Fe. With years of health and wellness experience across fitness centers, she possess proven track record in helping clients achieve fitness goals through customized exercises programs and plans. She has been a source of motivation to many students, staff, and faculty who use the SAC  by helping them to set fitness goals and providing feedback and accountability, in addition to measuring their strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments.  She also educates her clients in many other aspects of wellness besides exercise, including general health and guidelines.

BOGGIE: Why did you decide to become a fitness instructor?

BURKE: I have a personal love for fitness and what it does for me as an individual. My initial decision to venture into fitness stemmed from the fact that I honestly wanted to share my knowledge with the rest of the world.

BOGGIE: How important is nutrition to you in creating a client’s regimen?

BURKE: This is a question that I get from people almost all the time. I love to be honest and say that my background in fitness training does not include nutrition. I can give general guidelines of course but I always like to refer my clients to the student health office or to a dietician. I would love to expand my horizons though and possibly be a dietician someday.

BOGGIE: How do you handle a client who is unhappy with your work, or a client who doesn’t achieve their goal at the end of a regimen?

BURKE: While I take criticisms positively, I like to think that goal attainment can mean very many things. The fact that a client has not had their goals met means that the regimen is not the right one for them. Most times I will work by changing the regimen; find what works. I always check in with the client also to know how they think they are progressing. I am open to communication and it is very important to have a working relationship with your client. It makes the entire process pleasurable when they are open, when they take responsibility and when they are willing to meet with you halfway.

BOGGIE: Do you have fitness goals for yourself?

BURKE: This may sound really silly but my goal is, ‘if my car is to break down, I should always be able to run home.’ This helps me maintain my level of fitness. I suffered a severe back injury for 6 years and my goal is to never go back there. Everyday, I am working on my self so that I can continue to enjoy doing what I love doing.

BOGGIE: What are three essential exercises you suggest for all your clients?

BURKE: Plank, Squats and Compound Exercises; which is just a combination of both Plank and Squats. It helps you work out your whole body because it translates to real life movements.

The student writing staff of the johnnie chair blog

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