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Murray Journal

Jackilyn Rock: An Example of Strength to the Community

Mar 09, 2016 02:04PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Alisha Soeken | [email protected]

Murray - There is no material like the human body. Without programing, paying or persuasion, it grows, heals and sustains itself. Every human on earth is given one, and to strengthen it is the profession and passion of Jackilyn Rock. Tiny in frame and magnanimous in force, she emboldens her community.

“My passion is to be the very best version of myself and to inspire others to do the same. I want to empower people. Fitness has changed my life and I want to share that with others,” Rock said.

Rock is a certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and owner of Rock Fit Training. But like the growth of muscle, she came into that passion and occupation progressively. 

“Growing up I never considered myself athletic by any means. My mother was a group fitness instructor. She played in adult sports leagues and would drag us around with her to practices and games. I did not appreciate that influence until I realized I wanted to start teaching fitness myself,” Rock said.

Though Rock received her bachelor’s degree in communication, she spent only a few years perusing that career. 

“I fell in love with helping people get in shape. I realized how passionate I was about teaching,” she said.

Rock currently has 14 personal clients and teaches seven group fitness classes, four of them at Murray’s Park Center. 

“I absolutely love the city of Murray. I love the sense of community here. The people are some of the most kind and helpful people I have ever encountered,” Rock said.

Rock is also the mother of two children and knows well the battle of balance she must negotiate as a parent and professional.  

“I think my level of fitness enhances the lives of my children.  I am able to participate in any activity with them instead of just watching them play. They have also learned the importance of working hard to achieve physical goals,” she said.

Along with the human body’s capacity to achieve goals comes its frailties and inabilities. A man or woman may be born without arms or with the disposition for laziness. Rock teaches her children that intangible achievements over oneself are just as important as the outward physical results. 

“My children watch me struggle to achieve personal feats, like a one-arm handstand. They see my effort and my disappointment when I fail, but they also see me try again over and over until I achieve it. I cannot quit; it is simply not an option,” she said.

Rock’s hope is that through her example, determination will be embedded in her children -- that they, as well as her clients, or the woman with no arms, will understand it’s not the handstand but strength of character that matters. 

Proof of Rock’s character is found in the words of those she influences. 

“Jackilyn inspires me. Because of her I was able to go skiing for my 40th birthday and have never felt better. The social network she’s created helps me and others feel supported. We all progress together,” Jenelle Klingler said.

“Jackilyn has helped me with weightlifting, teaching me form and technique. She is very encouraging and supportive of any challenges I need to overcome. She brought together an amazing group of people of all fitness levels which has developed into friendships and a wonderful support system. She is the force behind all of that,” Marilee Peterson said.

“Following Jackie’s direction means achieving one’s fitness goals. She is a living example of what she teaches. As a result, her own physical fitness is very impressive, yet she’s humble and non-judgmental. There’s something about Jackie in that when she asks me to execute an exercise, I do it,” Rick Pettus said.

The human body needs exercise to thrive. Making that a priority takes grit, and yet mastery of that priority doesn’t render it easy, even for Rock. 

“My mind is my biggest fitness challenge. I can get distracted by fear. Sometimes my mind tells my body, ‘There is no way you can do that,’ but I go for it anyway. I fail so many times before I achieve something. I am learning not to listen to that fear,” Rock said.

Rock may have fitness challenges like most, but she is unlike the average person in her dedication. Missing a workout is never an option. 

“I pretty much consider it personal hygiene. I wouldn’t skip showering or brushing my teeth, and I wouldn’t consider skipping my workout,” she said. 

Rock is dedicated. She is also beautiful, yet Rock talks candidly about the fitness industry and the stress it puts on beauty.

“I often struggle fitting into the fitness industry. It sounds strange, but my personal journey isn’t about my physical appearance; it’s about my ability. I struggle daily with the vanity of professionals in the business who are wrapped up in only one aspect of it. Fitness for me is about mental strength, the challenge of it, and being able to inspire others. It’s not about appearance alone,” she said.

And inspire others she does. 

One might say Rock’s greatest accomplishment is that she can lift three times her bodyweight, that she never skips a workout or that she’s helped multiple clients lose over 70 pounds. Yet, it is in the use of her physical body to master itself and to serve her family and community  that she considers herself most victorious.