Health has always been important to Rhonda Jones ever since she was a teenager giving impromptu aerobics lessons to her friends. Now Jones works for the Michigan Education Special Services Association as a health promotion consultant. She is also a physique competitor and is preparing for a national competition in July. Q: What do you like about personal training? A: Helping people get healthy — especially women, that’s my target population because I did my thesis on working women — and we know that physical activity and exercises are low in African American women. And I have a lot of friends who are overweight, and they tell me their feelings on it. I just have a heart for helping people meet their goals; I’ve been told I’m motivational and inspirational. I start with weight, but I like to look at all aspects of your life because everything correlates — spiritually, your health, job and your relationships. Anything I can do to inspire people to do better, I don’t feel like it’s just for me. There’s a spiritual quality in helping people do better. Q: Tell me about being a physique competitor. A: I did my first contest in Chicago in 2010. I always wanted to get into bodybuilding, but I was too fearful. Then they added a new division of bodybuilding in 2003 which was more feminine. People always told me I should compete, so I finally decided to do it. And now I’m hooked — I love it. You’re scared at first, but it’s just so rewarding to set a goal and accomplish it. It takes a lot of discipline. It’s a challenge, but I like taking on challenges and setting a goal and accomplishing it. It inspires people, too. It helps people even though I’m enjoying it myself. It helps me be happy, but it also inspires other people. Q: What advice do you have for women looking to get into shape? A: You are the average of the people you hang around with. Whatever their habits are will become your habits. So get around people who are doing what you want to do. If you see someone fit or have some friends who are fit, instead of standing on the outside looking in, go ask some questions. Most times if they’ve been doing it, they want to share and want to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask those people questions — see what inspires them, and they’ll probably inspire you even more.