Rosalie Brown (BA ’85) describes her childhood as one of “non-stop movement.”

“My mom said that if they’d had those calming drugs when I when I was a child, she probably would have used them,” she says with a laugh.

Instead, Rosalie’s mom kept her busy — a choice that set her up for a lifetime of physical fitness. She played multiple sports in high school while working as a lifeguard at her local pool (where she met her future husband). Then, she made the varsity volleyball team in her first year at Waterloo and became heavily involved in campus recreation.



“My experience at Waterloo was amazing,” she says. “I had so many opportunities outside of the varsity team, like working in the swim program, or coordinating the referees for the volleyball team. There were lots of chances to learn on campus.”


Rosalie and her volleyball team

Rosalie (foreground) and her teammates from Waterloo. 


When Rosalie’s volleyball coach, Pat Davis, recommended that she attend a fitness class as part of her conditioning, Rosalie found her calling.

“I thought the class was so much fun. I loved that there were no winners or losers and that we all left the club feeling happy.”

Rosalie got her first job as a fitness instructor on campus, and she never looked back. Her passion for movement and her willingness to venture into new territories opened doors for her to work with celebrities like Chuck Norris and Paula Abdul while making regular appearances on Today’s Shopping Choice and QVC’s American and European shopping channels.

Rosalie’s 21-day challenges using the Simply Fit Board earned her team a 2017 IMPACT Award from the Internet Marketing Association. CanFit Pro voted Rosalie one of Canada’s Top Personal Trainers in 2009, and IMPACT Magazine named her as one of Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors of 2019. For her achievements and volunteer work, Rosalie received the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.



Rosalie’s pro tips for the New Year

Looking to start or amp up your own fitness journey? Here’s how you can meet your fitness goals in 2020, according to Rosalie.

1) Use a calendar

Treat your workout as an appointment to yourself. Rosalie recommends going old-school and writing it down.

“You can plug your appointment into your phone, but I also like having a calendar on your desk or wall so that you can make a big ‘x’ every time you go.”

2) Choose an activity you enjoy

If you don’t like it, you won’t do it. Simple as that.

3) Work out with a friend

Having a partner will keep you accountable on days when you feel a bit sluggish.

“Try to find a friend who’s a little bit fitter than you,” adds Rosalie. “They can encourage you and keep you on track.”