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J.J. ROSS, 41

Phys-ed and health coordinator for the St. James School Division

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: One day, J.J. Ross turned 37 and realized his lifestyle needed an overhaul. A dad of three, sons aged 9 and 6 and daughter aged 4, Ross knew good health was in his best interest and for his family.

He got back into the gym and started running. In 2013, he ran the full marathon at the Manitoba Marathon in three hours and 38 minutes. This spring, he competed in his first triathlon and he'll race in two more before the summer is over.

When he started his new job this year as the SJSD phys-ed and health co-ordinator, it took him out of the classrooms and the gym where he had spent many years coaching sports such as cross-country running, track, basketball and most notably volleyball. Ross and the Westwood Warriors varsity girls' volleyball team played in four straight Final Four tournaments and appeared in two straight provincial championships (2007 and 2008).

In his new role, which is an office job, Ross said he is taking almost 10,000 fewer steps per day than when he was a phys-ed teacher. On regular work days these days, he gets up at 5:30 a.m. to make time to train, which he tries to fit in six days per week. It leaves his evenings open to spend time with his wife Maria and their children. He loved his time as a high school coach and is filling that void by coaching his sons in community club hockey.

"With school sports, there's such a great interest in the kids and it's a lot of fun to be in that atmosphere," Ross said. He's been an educator since 1997 when he got his first job in Churchill.

 

1. Favourite workout?

Hit the gym for an upper-body weight-lifting circuit followed with a run outside. When preparing for a triathlon, he increases to two runs, two bikes and two swims per week.

 

2. Favourite workout song?

Right now the top two albums on my playlist are The Outsiders from Eric Church and Pearl Jam's Lightning Bolt. Go-to artist of all time is John Mayer.

 

3. Fitness tip?

Maintaining a healthy weight is simple... Eat less or exercise more.

 

4.What's in your fridge?

Chicken and salad with olives and balsamic vinegar.

 

5.What's your guilty pleasure?

Skittles, Fuzzy Peach Slices and Sour Patch Kids. Basically anything with sugar.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2014 D16

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