My name is Jami Shields and I am the owner/fitness director of Fit Forward in Carlisle. I’m a mother of three children, the wife of an Army veteran, and a former educator. I started my career as a second-grade teacher in the Harrisburg School District ten years ago. During this time I obtained a Master’s degree in Education and completed a Principal Certification. I was working toward my goal of becoming a principal. Then, my husband was called to serve a tour in Iraq and life took a different path.
While my husband was overseas, I continued teaching and raising our two small children at the time. Life was crazy to say the least! During this time, one of my close friend’s mother passed of cancer. My friend was inspired to run a long-distance race in her mother’s honor and asked if I’d join her. I was never a runner. I never really liked running, but I couldn’t turn her down. While my husband was away, running became my escape from the world. Throughout the training process, I tried to prepare myself by researching proper diet and exercise plans. My body started to transform, and I wasn’t the only one to notice. In 2009 I completed my first half-marathon. In 2010 I completed my first body building show where I took an overall win in the fitness model division. I didn’t realize how my life was about to change. After that competition, all I could think about was learning more, and I couldn’t wait to get back up on stage again. I quickly gained a passion for health and fitness, and I was excited about the idea of not only helping myself but, helping others also transform their minds and bodies to get healthy and fit.
In 2011, I became a certified trainer. I started personal training at a small fitness studio part-time before and after school. At this point, I was still teaching full-time, raising my two small children, training for competitions, and attending graduate school.
After about a year, in the spring of 2012, a friend approached me about helping to open a fitness studio in Carlisle. I knew it was time to devote my life to helping others make lifestyle changes. No more fad diets, yo-yo weight loss and gain – I wanted to help others do it the right way. It’s hard to believe that in just a year, I went from teaching all day to opening a fitness studio and running my very own gym.
In 2016 I decided it was time to relocate my studio. I have a very clear vision and passion for helping others in the community and give back. I have been operating as Ab-Solute Fitness & Nutrition for 4.5 years and with the decision to relocate came the opportunity to also rebrand to a name that I truly believe in and that has evolved over the last 4 years. Fit Forward “No Looking Back” is more than just attending a gym. My goal is to help others in all areas of life, body, mind, spirit, become healthy and fit and never look back.
This new location/opportunity also allows me to continue to raise money for cancer research, another very strong passion of mine. Throughout the year 5% of our services sold will go to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Cancer has taken so many of our loved ones and so many of our loved ones are fighting the battle each and every day. I presently hold the 2016 Leukemia, Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year title for raising over $66,000.00 for blood cancer research. I am pleased to share that I am currently enrolled in a cancer prevention/longevity certification through the Health and Sciences academy, and will continue to educate myself forever to help those around me in delivering the best information and knowledge there is out there! I have been blessed with the opportunity to help YOU! I hope you come visit us and let us help YOU on the path to being fit and healthy no matter how big or small the challenge!
I will always be a teacher at heart, but now I’ve chosen to focus my energy on teaching others how to be fit and healthy. I’m honored and blessed to work with people of all ages, shapes, and sizes gain confidence, to lose weight, get off medications, prevent cancer/promote life longevity with cancer, prepare for races/fitness competitions, train sport specific, help mothers get back to their “pre-baby” state, or just become over all more fit and healthier.