I was shocked and overwhelmed to be even nominated for canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year. I now understand why people say that they cannot begin to describe an event in words. From the second I entered the convention centre to the moment my name was announced I knew I was a part of something great! Since I was in awe of everyone in the room, I never for one second believed I would hear my name, and right before that incredible moment my 5 year old daughter Summer whispered, “I hope it’s you.” and in my heart I knew I did too! I hope that everyone on that stage, in the seats and throughout the hallways as I left the ceremony knows that I share this honor with each and every one of them. As total strangers, each more flattering and sincere than the next, congratulated me (a total stranger to them), it was proven to me once again that canfitpro is more than a fitness community, it is a family. It is your support, inclusion and positivity that inspires me, encourages me and challenges me to continue to learn from you and with you. There was an energy and feeling of positivity that seemed unreal, and that was the last day! My personal weight loss had been self directed and motivated and at times very isolating and canfitpro changed all of that. From the very first day of my very first certification I knew that I had found something amazing, Not only was the education I received phenomenal, relevant and useful, the support from the canfitpro team helped shape the needed confidence to be the best trainer I can be. This award will be a daily reminder to make everyone I work with feel as important, special and valid as canfitpro has made me feel! To my fiancé Chris – it was because you loved me the way I was that I was able to become what I always wanted to be.
Jules Hilliker, CanFitPro Trainer Of The Year 2012!
Jules Hilliker’s enthusiasm and work in the community providing and promoting barrier free fitness to all is a testament to her dedication and belief that everyone can lead a healthy, active lifestyle no matter their circumstances.
Jules spent most of her life obese, struggling with eating disorders, low self-esteem and deep feelings of isolation. After the birth of her first child Jules decided to get educated and healthy by researching fitness and nutrition. This three year journey resulted in her losing 150lbs and gaining personal insight into the challenges and obstacles encountered by obese people striving to change their lives. Many of the trainers Jules worked with during this time did not acknowledge her presence in the class and never once addressed her as an individual. These experiences shaped her into the inclusive and supportive trainer she would become. Jules career in fitness began in 2006 when she proudly earned her certification with canfitpro.
With little more on her resume than a passion to succeed and a desire to help others, Jules was hired to run the popular Boomerang Kids Free Strollercise Program. Her transformation of that fitness program into an all-inclusive pre and post-natal experience sparked a deeper commitment to ensuring all women could find a safe place to train. With personal goals ranging from first steps on a fitness journey similar to her own to training for triathlons, women training with Jules were welcomed into a community that not only exercised but also laughed and learned and grew together. Offered five days a week with instruction in diverse topics such as yoga with baby, infant massage and nutritional seminars for mother and child, this program is supported and promoted by doctors, doulas, midwives and social workers as an effective therapy in combating post partum depression and its feelings of isolation.
With the support of her many clients Jules opened FitnesswithJules, a business created to ensure every client was individually respected and motivated at the right level for their age, ability, and emotional need. FitnesswithJules provides its clients with exciting and effective workouts that inspire all participants to exercise and to also have fun. Known for her dynamic, energetic and constantly changing fitness programs, Jules researches the latest fitness information and continues her education through canfitpro and Human Kinetics, fueling her desire to provide her clients with cutting edge, challenging workouts.
Jules teaches boot-camp classes in many public schools, focusing on introducing students to non-sport specific fitness so that all children can participate and feel stronger both physically and emotionally. Jules conducts regular workshops where parents, caregivers and educators are taught strategies to include children of all interest and fitness levels in fitness activities and also the importance of playing and moving with students to model healthy attitudes in adults. Jules has partnered with many local community centers to teach barrier free fitness to lower income families and people who have newly immigrated to Canada. Participants in these classes are provided with proper nutritional information and tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families, promoting balance and offering support for individuals not traditionally provided with group fitness instruction. Teaching at the Ottawa Athletic Club has allowed her to offer her tailored fitness experience to professional athletes and clients of all ages and fitness levels.
Jules commitment to her community extends beyond her free programs to involvement in many charities and fundraising events. Past charity events include sponsoring and teambuilding for Bell Walk for Kids, promoting and implementing charity boot camps for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and Run for the Cure. Jules also raised funds to provide new shoes to twelve low-income participants of her community center fitness classes. These women who had been working out in flip-flops could now proudly and fully participate in supportive shoes, enabling them to get the most out of their classes and reduce risk of injury. This year Jules is excited and proud to be named Women’s Health Ambassador with the Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health. As ambassador she will increase awareness, interest and participation in the Bumps in the Road campaign. This campaign is dedicated to raising funds for research in women’s reproductive health and promoting healthy pregnancies from conception through birth.
Jules’ passion to arm everyone with the tools necessary to reshape their lives regardless of their socioeconomic or life circumstances is what motivated her to create barrier free fitness. Working with community centers and public schools, her focus is on creating an interest for fitness and nutrition that everyone can participate in. Whether she is training world-class athletes at the Ottawa Athletic club, lower income families new to Canada, creating fitness programs for overweight schoolchildren, or implementing the newest research on effective pre and post-natal condition at the Glebe Community Centre, Jules’ goal is always the same – fun, effective fitness forever!
Jules currently holds a CanFitPro PTS Certification.
Jules visits CTV Morning Live to discuss her award!