Pilates instructor Naarup shares motivational message

Marie Jeruc

Lawrence’s very own Pilates instructor, Wendy Naarup, shared her award-winning public speaking skills in her speech, “Bring It On! You are Your Own Champion” last Thursday in the Warch Campus Center’s Hurvis room.

This event, sponsored by Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, WelLU, Wellness Committee, American Medical Students Association and the Office of Multicultural Affairs aimed to help attendees learn how to overcome adversity through self-confidence and motivation.

Naarup, who is also an author, consultant and athlete, structures her speeches around her own experiences with pain and adversity. She learned how to overcome challenges from many difficult experiences in her teenage and adult years.

During her speech to students, Naarup stressed the importance of taking charge of life in college, having the confidence to be in charge and reminded students that “you are the boss of you.”

Sophomore Sarah Gunby, the secretary of AMSA, attended the speech and thought Naarup’s message was an important one for college students.

Said Gunby, “I thought it was really great to have her here and to give that type of speech. I think it’s really good to have college-aged students get that type of talk about how to keep your goals in mind and how to get yourself there.”

Naarup also stressed the importance of being centered. According to her book “You are Your Own Champion,” Naarup states that being centered gives you self-esteem, which gives you the confidence to lead with your values.

Gunby appreciated Naarup’s perspective on adversity: “One of the things that I really took away was that she talked about how it’s not the amount of adversity you face but how you face it,” said Gunby.

Sophomore Savannah Vogel, Panhellenic risk management director, was the primary coordinator for this event. She started planning for it in Spring Term of last year, and was impressed with the content and quality of Naarup’s speech.

Said Vogel, “I was really happy with how it went and I thought Wendy’s presentation was fantastic. I thought it was very entertaining and like how it covered so many different things.”

In addition to helping people overcome adversity, Naarup also stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy body in order to perform better physically, mentally and emotionally.

She advised her listeners to implement basic health goals into their lives, like sleeping at least nine hours a night, drinking at least 48 ounces of water a day, exercising for at least an hour a day and to avoid over-eating.

Finally, she gave attendees the option of signing up for her weekly “Kick in the Pants” e-mail or text message, which is a motivational tool to help participants keep their health goals on track.

The event was well attended and received a lot of audience support from members of sororities and athletic teams. Said Vogel, “I was happy with the turnout. It was great to have a motivational speaker at the beginning of the school year, and I thought it was a really great that she is Lawrence-affiliated.”

Naarup teaches Pilates at the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center every Monday and Wednesday at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.