Growing up, Sharlie always enjoyed various forms of exercise, but in small spurts. She never found anything she truly loved doing, and if she did not enjoy it, she was not going to make it a part of her active living. Her mother began teaching aquatic fitness classes in 2013, which for the most part she wrote off as something for the older crowd to keep them moving. You know, what almost EVERYONE on the outside believes aqua fitness to be.
In 2013, Sharlie was diagnosed with a stomach disease known as Gastroparesis which severely limited her physical activity. Many days she barely had energy to get out of bed, which lead to depression and not much of a life to live. Even though after a few years the disease was slowly becoming less destructive, she was still depressed and also developed a food addiction. She didn’t like the darkness she had surrounded herself in, but was comfortable there.
In 2017, she finally decided to join the gym where her mom taught her aquatic fitness classes after she expressed worry in her health. She knew it was time to make a change. She started attending her mother’s aquatic classes that she used to make fun of and ended up falling in love with water fitness! Sharlie could move her body in ways that a typical land exercise class wouldn’t allow her to, and she wasn’t super sore after. She immediately knew this was something she wanted to pursue, specifically to show others around her age that the water does, in fact, work.
Sharlie became a certified aquatic instructor in July of 2017, creating her first ever class known as Aqua Jam. Aqua Jam started out mainly a water dance class but has evolved into so much more thanks to class members who told her that even though Jam was fun, it was also easy. When 70-year old tells you a class is easy? You take it up a notch! Aqua Jam is now a fusion of Cardio, kick boxing and dance. It has something for everyone and every fitness level, and to this day it’s her highest attended class.
In the last few years, Sharlie has realized that there is a huge need for powerful water workouts that challenge both the body and mind. Realizing that even a class full of older adults want more than a social hour - they want to be pushed and to be able to feel good about what their bodies can do. This is why in 2019, she created Shockwave Aqua Fitness. This is her personal training brand of aquatic exercise, designed to help introduce instructors and those who would like to become instructors to new ways to reinvent themselves and their classes. Sharlie wants aqua fitness to explode in Kansas and the Midwest! Kansas is not a state you think of when aquatic fitness comes up in conversation, and her goal for the next few years is to put Kansas on the map through amazing instructors who are going to show their classes just how powerful a water workout can be!
The water has saved Sharlie’s life in more ways than one. Though she still battles through her Gastroparesis, she can now use it as a tool to show people that the only thing stopping you from living a better life full of joy is your mindset. Sharlie’s own life is so much more full now. She loves going on walks with her mini bulldog and spending time with her mom and friends whenever she can. Sharlie has discovered a new passion for video editing and doing special effect makeup which is a big hit around Halloween! “I never would have done this before I got into the water and found the joy I was missing”. Any person, any age, anybody can get into the water and have an amazing experience, and my job is to take on that challenge and show you how the water will not only change your body, but can save your life!” -Sharlie P.