The Truth About Jill

Who I am and what I can tell you "about me"  is best summed up in Albert Einstein's statement:
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." ~ Albert Einstein
That curiosity has led me to so many wonderful discoveries about myself, about others, about the human body and movement, and about the things that make people tick!  As in all things in life, our education gives us the framework and opens the doors to experiences. The experiences themselves and our courage to pursue them are what define us.  Below is a list of my "framework":
  • ACE & AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
  • Level 3 Institute of Motion Mentorship
  • Level 2 TRX Instructor, and 4 TRX course certifications
  • Fascia Dissection Course with Thomas Myers, 2014, 2015 & 2016
  • Jungshin Master Trainer
  • Pilates, Cycling, Taiji Fit, and MELT Method certified
  • Todd Durkin Mastermind Team, Platinum
  • IDEA Health and Fitness Association
  • FASTER Course Director
  • Speaker and Innovator
  • Creator, Owner and Chief Motivator of The Energy Lab

I decided to become a personal trainer in 2007.  Never in a million years did I imagine this is what I would be doing when I was in high school, when I graduated college, when I got married or had my first child.  For that matter, I never imagined I would create and own a business.  Yet, in 2011, I opened The Energy Lab. I worked by myself in my training studio and teaching every class for the first year.  I never imagined I would have other trainers and instructors helping me, but by the end of my first year of business, I did.  Now, in The Energy Lab's fifth year, we have two other coaches working with clients and 6 other instructors teaching over 30 classes a week.

Three things I have learned and try to live by are:

  1. Be Kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato
  2. Be open to every opportunity that comes your way. You don't always have to jump, but nothing changes without risk and struggle.
  3. We all need coaches and mentors, whether they be voices in our heads, lessons from the past, or reminders from people who have influenced our lives. "Wisdom given by those who have justly shaped your life is worth passing on."

My fitness story: I was a student-athlete, swimmer and water polo player. In college I became a runner and focused on my studies to be able to graduate in three years.  Upon entering the professional world and getting married, I found myself 50 pounds overweight.

One day, I decided to change. I have never looked back.  I was 23 years old.

I began swimming again, running again, and grabbed some weights and DVD's and began my fitness journey.  It was time to take responsibility for my health.  I changed the way I ate and how we cooked.  My nutrition consisted of steamed vegetables, rice, chicken and oranges.  I quickly lost 40 pounds.  I was a different person.

Swimming was my meditation; it was where I got my mind right. But often, my time in the pool was interrupted by Aqua Aerobics classes.  Finally, I decided to join them and the instructor noticed me and asked if I had any interest in teaching. And so it began.  I became certified in 1999 for Group Exercise. I quickly branched out and discovered the original Spin Program and became certified for group cycling in 2000.  That led to my interest and certification in Pilates, in group training and sculpting, in yoga and kickbox and every format that was offered.  I was asked to teach Aqua Aerobics and Yoga for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  I said yes to everything I could and found a way to make it work.  The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. I attended every conference I could and soaked up as much education as possible.  There was something to learn from everybody.  I eventually became a coordinator for the group exercise program at a big gym.  I learned a lot about life, fears, people, human nature and human movement.  It led me to want to become a personal trainer and really be able to help people.

During this time, my husband and I were also starting our family.  I taught through both of my pregnancies, but I struggled with weight after each of the kids were born.  My solution was Weight Watchers.  And once I began eating right again and re-discovered my exercise as meditation, I was back to a comfortable weight and was asked by Weight Watchers to help others do the same.  That worked for a little while, but as I became stronger from my workouts, the muscle I was gaining weighed more than Weight Watchers thought I should weigh even though I was extremely fit and had dropped to a size 4.  I realized that the old-fashioned way of losing weight was best for me. I did not like purchasing the pre-packaged low-calorie foods that had no nutrient value.  I found whole foods and consistent breakfast and balance along with exercise every day to be my constant.

Life still happened. The kids still got sick. We still went out of town. Dinner parties, eating out, holidays and family gatherings took place. But none of those things changed the fact that I needed to eat right and exercise every day. I could never understand why my friends could do well with their habits for a few weeks or a few months and then just stop because something got in the way.  This is life and it is going to happen whether we are ready or not. I have chosen to take care of my body, even when it is not convenient.

Why a personal trainer?  Because every body is different and the same exercise protocol, routine, and workout is not right for every body.  It’s a fascinating study in to the human body and what it is capable of, or not capable of, based on history and experience.  Each one of us comes with a story, and as that story unravels, so do our bodies!  In the end, the only thing we can count on is our health.  And a healthy body can move. It can glide, it can dip, it can twist, it can run, it can jump and it can soar.  One of my favorite sayings is “where the mind goes, the body will follow”.  This means the body will only be capable of what the mind allows it to be.  If the mind is not right, the body will not be right either.  This changes everything when it comes to training.  If you are trying to “muscle” through movement and if the mind is not right, chances are very high that the body won’t respond well and usually injury or pain will occur.  One of the biggest reasons for having a trainer who is educated is that they will know “where the mind goes, the body will follow” and ideally they will be able to perceive where a person's mind is to be able to direct it to offer ideal movement from the body in return.  It is a relationship.

It is the relationships that lead to the success. My degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara was in Communication Studies.  I continue to stay current in my education, and I stay curious about the human body.  I surround myself with other like-minded movement professionals.  But I attribute the special and unique quality that exists with my clients and The Energy Lab's coaching program to the relationships and the ability to communicate beyond what is spoken.

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said"~Peter Drucker

 The Energy Lab was founded by Jill Ruth Rooks as a personal training studio and to offer group exercise classes that focused on correct movement patterns.  There are no machines, we do not sit to train. We train in 3 dimensions where life happens.  We value preparing the body for movement and respect the fact that “2000 generations ago we were hunter/gatherers. 200 generations ago we were farmers. 20 generations ago we operated machines. And just in these last 2 generations, we have become the sitting generation”~Thomas Myers.  It is our mission to get more people moving and enjoying the life they have in their bodies.

 My concept of personal training offers flexibility and variability. The entire body is looked at as a whole. I am fortunate to have many brilliant people who study the body and why our health is so important as mentors.  I teach my coaches and team at The Energy Lab to listen, and then especially to 'hear what isn't being said'".