Learning the ropes

Southern Ute tribal member, Jakob Box is currently interning at the SunUte Community Center as a personal trainer. During his time at SunUte, Box will learn the primary and secondary responsibilities of being a personal trainer as well as gain knowledge and experience working with a variety of clients that utilize the fitness center.
Divine Windy Boy | SU Drum
Divine Windy Boy |

Southern Ute tribal member, Jakob Box is the new personal trainer intern at SunUte Community Center. During his internship, Box will fulfill personal training appointments and fitness assessments as well as a number of secondary responsibilities. Box has been training at SunUte since Tuesday, Aug. 23 and will be interning for roughly three months from that date. Box will also be heading the “Lunch Walking Club” program, which is set to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 20.  

Box will be learning what it is like to work in a dynamic position as well as to work as a member of a highly functioning and productive team. While a trainer’s primary responsibility is to complete personal training appointments and fitness assessments, there are a number of other responsibilities that he will take care of such as: cleaning fitness equipment, washing towels used by guests, providing the Front Desk with staff coverage when needed, assisting other programs and divisions, and interacting with the community through various events that are open to the public.  

Following a brief interview with SunUte Fitness Director Abel Velasquez, he says working alongside Box has been great. “Working with Jakob, so far, has been amazing and it is a joy to have him as part of our team, he is a self-driven, highly motivated person with a very open and friendly personality,” Velasquez said. “With the traits that Jakob possesses I can see him being very successful in his future, regardless of what he decides to do. I am excited to see what Jakob does over the next couple of months with us.”  

Having obtained his personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Box has been able to begin personal training with cliental at the SunUte Community Center as well as assist with the “Ute Elders and Their Friends” workout classes. Upon absence of another trainer, Box had the opportunity to lead a “Ute Elders and Their Friends” workout class. 

“It was in the moment Abel [asked] ‘you’ve sat in on a class, would you be able to instruct it?’ and I was like yeah, they didn’t leave any plans, so I had to come up with the entire plan,” Box said. “I was really happy with the end of it — that they were all good, still standing and happy.” After the experience, Box shared that the elders enjoyed the challenge that he had provided in teaching them new material.  

SunUte Director Robin Duffy-Wirth is happy to have Box working as a new trainer and emphasized that she is excited to see what he accomplishes during his internship. “To have a young tribal member come back and want to be here and learn from someone like Abel, it is fantastic,” Duffy-Wirth said. “I’m hoping for him that he gets people that come and workout with him — he is a great trainer; he’s had years of working on his own body and he knows what to do and if he gets lost or has a question, he has so many people he can ask.” 

Box hopes to delve into injury rehabilitation training in the future and is eager to learn all he can from his peers at SunUte. By the end of his internship, Box will be able to work with a wide variety of clients and will be able to work with anyone comfortably and successfully, regardless of training age or physical limitations.  

“Injury rehabilitation training is where I’m going to have some studying to do and a little bit more training for myself, it’s always just been muscle growth and development,” Box said. “It’s a challenge that I’m ready to accept and learn more on because I know a lot of this community has injuries and they feel that the trainers here can help out a lot, I really want to perform that for them, make sure that they can come here and know that I will do a good job with that.” 

For more information regarding personal training at SunUte Community Center or to schedule a personal training appointment, contact a trainer at 970-563-0214. 

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