Say hi to Ann Kehn, the Aquatics Supervisor and Safety Team Member at The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. The Health & Fitness Center at WCC just successfully completed their third MFA facility certification – they have been an MFA certified facility since 2014! Kudos!!
Ann has been with The Health & Fitness Center at WCC for almost 12 years. She has a BS in Computer Science and a Health Foundations Certificate from Washtenaw Community College.
We caught up with Ann recently and here’s what she had to say…
What do you enjoy most about your work?
When I am teaching and coaching swimming and my athlete makes a leap. It could be someone who is a senior and has severe arthritis and they finally feel the glide with a strong pull in freestyle. It’s freeing for them. It could be a client that has been swimming for years and just dropped some time so they feel they can be successful in a Masters Meet. Or it could be the future swimmer who is getting over their fear of being in the water. They are all living life better through working in the water. (Fun Fact: Ann swims 50 laps every year on her birthday! Check out her photo below – she just finished her 50 laps on her 51st – way to go, Ann!!)
What led you to choose this field?
I am passionate about exercise, group fitness in all forms and the benefits of the aquatic environment. Every day I witness members who have had their lives changed by each of these modalities, whether it is functional strength, movement, pain management, or simply relaxation.
What has been your favorite/most successful initiative at The Health & Fitness Center at WCC?
Swim lessons! Not just learn to swim, but also learn to swim better, more comfortable, and within your body’s abilities. Use swimming to work out even though you have some issues. So many people classify themselves as “non-athletes” when in truth we are all athletes within our own body’s abilities. Swimming is kind to the body and everyone can do it!
What one piece of advice would you give to those just coming into this field of medical fitness? Work with everyone. Everyone has potential. There is no one that is too “anything” for me to train, help, coach, teach and support. And every member at our facility should receive this same courtesy. We need to be generous with our time, consideration, appreciation, and acceptance. At our facility, medically integrated, we should always be aware that members may be having a difficult day, and we need to be generous with our patience!
What did your facility gain by becoming certified by the Medical Fitness Association?
Our members can be confident that every staff member is trained to keep them safe and help them to grow in their fitness and wellness. Our facility and procedures also build their confidence in making sure we are considering all aspects of safety. Our members may not be able to use other facilities safely, but here they can be social, grow in their knowledge and work on their fitness.
What do you like to do outside of work? I like to go hiking with my family and friends! The less gear the better! (Note: Check out the photo of Ann hiking in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Alger County, MI!)
Are you involved in any charity or community work? Foster care is an amazing program that gives kids a chance. We raised our own kids and although it was hard, we learned a lot! Now we are doing it again for each foster child we parent. No instruction book, just like our own kids, but we are there trying to be a stable presence in a child’s life. Anyone can be a foster parent!
Thank you, Ann, for being such an inspiration in and out of the pool!