‘Fun time with Rhonda’

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson
  • 78th ABW/PA
On any given night of the week, at either the Fitness Center or the Fitness Center Annex, you'll find Rhonda McKnight moving and shaking while barking instructions to a group of aerobicizers. And although the sweat and pain is apparent, those that are following the orders are doing so with a smile.

"I always tell people when they come to my classes that it's 'fun time with Rhonda.' We're here, we're playing, we're having a good time," Ms. McKnight said. "I like to see people smile when they're working out."

By day, McKnight works as an item manager in the avionics unit in the 569th Combat Sustainment Squadron. But by night, she teaches aerobics at Robins, something she's been doing for seven years now.

"I really enjoy teaching aerobics," she said. "I personally enjoy fitness and working out and I feel if you enjoy it, it's a lot easier to do. When it's a chore or job, you have to force yourself to do it, but if you are having a good time and having fun with it, it becomes easy."

But that's not to say her classes are easy. She pushes people and never lets them give up or get discouraged. And she doesn't want to hear excuses.

"There are a lot of people who make excuses for not working out. They say 'I don't have time' or 'I can't get to the gym.' I understand people are busy. I have a lot of things going on in my life too. But you just have to make the time and make it happen," she said, adding that having a positive attitude goes a long way.

Ms. McKnight spends a lot of time preparing for her classes. She attends workshops and conferences for aerobics instructors and is certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. She said preparing for classes - creating new choreography and keeping routines fresh with new music and combos - is time intensive, but the investment is worth it when she sees the difference she is making in the lives of those who attend her classes.

And the participants are appreciative of her enthusiasm and commitment.

"It's an awesome, awesome class and Rhonda does an awesome job," said Peggy Schappel, Air Force Reserve Command public affairs. "When I first started I was discouraged and she gave me encouragement and told me not to give up. Now I always get a terrific workout. It gives you energy and when you leave, you feel great."

Judy Wilson, a secretary for 578th CBSS, said she was surprised by how much fun aerobics can be. "Rhonda is awesome," she said. "This is the first time I've ever really tried aerobics and I'm having a great time. It's a lot of fun."

John Enterman, director of the Fitness Center, said he's very lucky to have Ms. McKnight on staff and that she does a terrific job.

"She's always willing to step in, going above and beyond by picking up extra classes or doing whatever else she can do to contribute," Mr. Enterman said. "She is a tremendous person and a tremendous asset to the program."

Whether it's the beginner who is attending his or her first aerobics classes or the seasoned aerobics veteran, all participants agree on one thing - the class is indeed "fun time with Rhonda."