This Worldwide Ladies’s Day, Stuff celebrates girls in Aotearoa and raises consciousness of gender inequities that exist throughout and inside our social, financial, political and cultural lives. Health teacher Lisa Jurakovich, an aerobics champion and bench press document holder, has performed a big half in many individuals’s bodily and psychological well being journeys.
When Lisa Jurakovich began instructing health courses it was with a cassette tape in hand. Now it’s her laptop computer that’s important. One thing that hasn’t modified is the vitality and pleasure she delivers to her college students whether or not in school or over Zoom.
Jurakovich teaches barre match and retro dance match courses at college recreation centres, conserving college students and tutorial workers glad and wholesome.
Retro dance match “was referred to as aerobics again then”, says Jurakovich, who gained the New Zealand Aerobics Championship in 1987.
“These are the twilight years of my instructing profession, however I’m going to complete on what I began with.”
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Jurakovich’s barre courses are influenced by her ballet coaching from the age of 5 to 18. “I really like the music and I really like the strict coaching about it and the way disciplined you must be.”
Over the previous couple of years, she has been instructing her courses over Zoom. Not solely did it maintain her going via lockdown, however “for those that participated, it was one of many issues that stored them getting via week after week”.
Jurakovich’s fundamental goal is for her college students to expertise happiness and pleasure in her courses. “It’s not about shedding 1 kilo or 2 kilos … I would like them to go away class considering, wow, that was a lot enjoyable, and I need to see them smile and, higher nonetheless, I’d wish to see them have a number of laughs.
“That’s my outlet for me. That’s the place I can go nutty and loopy, and so I actually get pleasure from it,” she says. When Jurakovich wants to modify off, she hits the health club to coach by herself.
On the 2015 Train Trade Awards, Jurakovich gained the title of Personal Choreography Teacher of the 12 months in Group Train. She can be the GPC (International Powerlifting Committee) New Zealand under-52s document holder for an 85kg bench press.
“I didn’t precisely have a ballet physique … so I simply sort of moved into health after my ballet coaching,” she says, calling her benching profession a “fantastic, sudden journey”.
Jurakovich had all the time lifted weights on the health club, impressing folks along with her benches. After coming into a number of competitions, it was advised that she ought to bench extra, some even teasing her about benching 80kg.
Regardless of considering it was ridiculous at first, “Ballet coaching taught me this: practise one thing again and again and get actually good at it and that’s what occurred with this. I simply stored benching and received stronger and stronger, broke some information and received invited to the Arnold Classics.”
Seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger was a health spotlight, Jurakovich says.
On the competitors, she would get requested by giant athletes what she was doing there, they usually have been all the time stunned when she’d inform them she was there for powerlifting. She’s amused by folks’s reactions to her means to be each robust and sleek. “My goodness, the human physique can achieve this way more than we expect it may well.
“Younger newcomers will stroll into the barre class figuring out that it’s a form of ballet-type exercise and I can see them wanting me up and down, scratching their heads and going, ‘Is that this barre class?’” she laughs. “I like it as a result of I feel it’s simply going in opposition to the grain slightly bit … I’m quick and muscular, however I can do ballet as properly.”
She and her buddy, Chris Olwage, carried out comedy ballet and gained the present dance class on the Kiwi Traditional Dance Competitors for every of the three years they competed.
“Folks would take a look at me and say, ‘Oh, she’s a bit muscly,’ and take a look at him and go ‘What the hell is he doing en pointe?’ And so we simply need to mess with folks’s heads a bit.”
Regardless of burning meals and leaving the laundry out for per week, Jurakovich says her son and husband “help me in my mad, quirky methods”.
“I’m not the very best housewife, however we’ve got an excellent snigger,” she says cheerily. “I’m very fortunate.”