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I am AACC: Tara Taggart, Fitness Coordinator continued

Once Tara was in college, she signed up for a P.E. class where she hoped to be entirely active but to her surprise, it was a lecture science class. “My teacher was so excited about the class," she says. "He was up on the tables dancing around and I thought, ‘This guys is nuts!’ But then I thought, well, maybe it is exciting; maybe this is the key to being thin. So I became a certified trainer after my freshman year and have been doing it ever since.”

Tara’s energetic and easygoing personality is well suited for her job since she encounters a wide spectrum of people on a daily basis. She lists: “The P.E. department, the vice president, the computer guys and the maintenance staff…I work with all kinds of different people.” Although her degree isn’t in teaching, she’s embraced all of its challenges. “[AACC] has given me an awesome opportunity to learn how to be a good teacher,” she says. “It’s fun to see kids come back and say, ‘I love your class and I decided to become a physical therapist.’ As far as faculty and staff, I love to see people turn their lives around from being sedentary to being fit and playing sports and living life instead of watching it pass them by.”

Every Monday and Wednesday at noon, you can find Tara at GYM 213, where she organizes a walking group to “truck around the track and country trails” for an hour. “It’s more popular in the fall and spring,” she says of the group that is welcome to anyone. She also organizes short health sessions where she teaches health tips, exercises, and tutorials on exercise equipment. When she’s not at the college, she’s catering to her twenty clients a week as a personal trainer at the Annapolis Athletic Club, and at home, she teaches water aerobics at her pool three times a week.

She encourages the bulk of her clients and those who seek her help to focus on being healthy rather than being skinny. “As long as you feel healthy and you feel good about yourself, that’s all that really matters,” she says.

Tara hopes to eventually get her masters in kinesiology. She wants to work with athletes and become a full-time strength and conditioning coach. “I have all the certification to be a strength and conditioning coach. I would love to eventually work for the Ravens or the Redskins,” she says and then smiles, “but I’ll start here first.” kr

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Tara’s personal workout: “I teach water aerobics six times a week. Eight hours a week I teach group power, I teach a weight lifting class, and I run two miles, 4-5 times a week.”

Most challenging part of job: Getting up at 5 a.m. to teach a 6 a.m. class.

Quotable quote: "Everyone needs a personal trainer but not everyone knows it."

Advice for those looking to be a fitness trainer: “Just do it, it’s fun, why not do anything that’s not fun or good for you? Learning about it is so cool; once you know it no one is every going to take that away from you. Once you quit learning you start dying, so I’m always trying to learn stuff, I like to keep it interesting. Plus you feel better when you exercise.”

Describes herself as: “A tropical girl at heart.”

Did you know? She’s fluent in Spanish. “My Spanish is just as good as my English. I can’t balance my checkbook to save my life but languages come really easily to me.”

Likes: traveling, dancing, going to the beach, cake decorating, painting, kayaking, going to the movies

Want to contact Tara? E-mail her at trtaggart@aacc.edu or call 410-777-2767.

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