Tara Bone, contributing writer
Megan Woolstenhulme started a revolution – right here in Cache Valley. It’s a fitness revolution called REFIT, where everyone is welcome and the philosophy is simple: “You belong here.” Some may call it just a fitness class, but the women who are part of the revolution believe it is so much more.
At every class, a steady stream of 20 to 30 women of all ages, from all over the valley, file into a gym. Along the walls are posters that declare, “You are Worth It!” and “This is My Happy Hour!” When asked to describe Megan’s REFIT classes, these fitness warriors use words like: support group, dance party, lifelong friends, love, second-home, life-changing, therapy, no judgement zone, safe place and life-saving.
These REFIT classes have their roots in aerobic classes that started almost 20 years ago in Hyrum. These free classes were offered by different instructors over the years, and Megan started attending them when her now 11-year-old daughter was a baby. She started to help teach classes. While looking for clean routines and music online, she found REFIT, a nation-wide program started by three friends in Texas that describe REFIT as a life-changing fitness experience that combines movement and music to inspire.
Megan said the program worked with her value system and that she was “instantly a fan because there’s no shaming, no judgment – everyone belongs.” When REFIT started the instructor training program, she said she jumped at the chance because it’s what she believes in, and she wanted to create a positive, encouraging place.
In 2013, Megan became one of the first REFIT instructors to receive training in Denver. She said she loves the goals of REFIT and how it changes lives.
“REFIT is a fitness revolution, it’s a cultural shift. The difference between REFIT and other fitness classes, is we try to change you from the inside out,” Megan said. “It starts with your heart, believing in yourself and strengthening your heart and your soul, then once you start to care about yourself and realize how incredible you are, you have that motivation to take care of your body.”
A typical one-hour REFIT class includes dancing to positive and encouraging songs, and ends with prayer, motivational thoughts, announcements, and a group cheer. Megan’s vision has spread and there are about 250 people who receive REFIT emails, and six active REFIT instructors in Cache Valley. Classes are offered in Hyrum, Nibley, Mendon and Logan.
Kathryn Fielding has been coming to Megan’s classes from the beginning. Kathryn says the classes combine her passion for dance and her love for friends who support each other through the ups and downs of life. She adds that it’s all possible because of Megan.
“Megan is so humble, but she has so much energy for us,” Kathryn said. “She comes early and stays late. She volunteers her time for us, and she is such a rock for all of us. We try to thank her, but words don’t do what she does justice.”
Another REFIT class member, Celeste Durham, says Megan “brings out the best in us and loves us.”
Megan insists REFIT is a group effort that helps her to be active. Megan was diagnosed with MS in 2007. She said when she knows she has a group of women that she loves waiting for her, she’s motivated to focus on taking care of herself, so she can help them.
“I feel the strength of what I do comes from everyone else. Yes, I can motivate them, but it’s this whole group of women who care about one another and make things happen. Maybe I’m the catalyst, but it comes back to them,” Megan said. “It’s the ‘we’ mentality, what can we do for everyone else. And that’s what honestly gets me out of bed every day. I know as a group we’re so much stronger and we can accomplish so much more than if we’re just one person.”
Megan has always been active, and gymnastics has been an important part of her life. After graduating from Weber High School, she came to Utah State University where she was a walk on athlete for their gymnastics team. She competed from 1998 to 2001, and earned the Big West Vaulting Champion title. During this time, Megan met and married her husband Aaron and graduated in Marketing. She later earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Today, Megan’s life is characterized by service to others. Her focus is “to bring happiness to someone’s life.” She is a busy wife and mother, and can be found volunteering at her kids’ schools. Next year, she even made time to serve as a PTA president.
Rain or shine, REFIT will continue and always. Everyone is invited to join the revolution. Visit refitrev.com to find a class, or to find more information.