September 24, 2019

Brittanie Naff: Taking Fitness to Heart

Brittanie Naff, assistant director of Campus Recreation. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Brittanie Naff, assistant director of Campus Recreation. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Want to jog through the streets of Paris, browse Facebook or catch up on Netflix – all without leaving Mary Washington? Brittanie Naff says now you can – and still squeeze in your workout – thanks to the cardio equipment she and her team have brought to the fitness center. UMW employees are invited to take the new machines for a spin – or sprint – and enjoy healthy snacks and beverages at Cardio & Katora, Friday, Aug. 23, noon to 2 p.m.

Planning special events like this is just one of Naff’s responsibilities as assistant director of Campus Recreation, a job she’s held since 2016, when she met now-supervisor Kelly Shannon, who convinced her to become an Eagle.

Naff, who has a master’s degree in public health from Virginia Tech, ensures that Mary Washington’s recreational facilities, staff and programs meet the fitness and wellness needs of the UMW community. She assists with marketing efforts, hires instructors and trainers, and manages schedules for group fitness programs like Zumba, barre, yoga and cycle.

“I’m living proof of the impact fitness programs can have on students’ lives,” said Naff, who began hitting the gym after trying a Zumba class her freshman year. “When I realized I could make a career out of managing collegiate fitness programs and facilities, I pursued that and haven’t looked back!”

 

Q: How did you know it was time for new cardio equipment at UMW’s fitness center?
A: Our rental term was ending, so we worked with procurement to secure a new vendor. We wanted quality, affordable machines; excellent customer service; and an asset management system that allowed us to track the status of the equipment to limit downtime in case parts break. We found it all with Matrix Fitness and got 45 pieces of cardio equipment, six with cool touch screens that let you escape to other locales.

Q: We’re excited for Cardio & Katora! The coffee shop and gym equipment are new, but what else do exercise and caffeine have in common?
A: When planning this event, we all agreed that exercise and healthy, delicious drinks and food contribute to a high quality of life. Why not put these things together and promote the message? You’ll see plenty of collaborations between Campus Rec, Katora Café and UMW Dining in the future, and you can find Mindful Dining info at the Top of the UC.

Q: What would you say to people who feel guilty about procrastinating starting a fitness routine?
A: It’s never too late. You have to find something you enjoy if you want to stick to it. Exercise can be way more than treadmills and dumbbells!

Q: What’s your favorite way to exercise?
A: I love Orange Theory. The workouts are intense – but modifiable, the coaches are motivating, the music is awesome and the classes work with my calendar. All I have to do is show up!

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I started dating my husband when I was 15, after a high school homecoming dance.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.