From The Blog
Susan Lozier Gives Kiawah 20+ Years of Fitness
By Sue Schaffer
Susan Lozier has been the face of fitness for KICA. Over the past 20 years, she has created a career providing fitness programs for the Kiawah community. With the twin goals of variety in program options and involvement by people of all ages, ability and fitness levels, her company offers an average of 30 classes each week in addition to individual training, swim instruction, and recently has added a licensed manual stretch therapist and in-home massage to her fitness staff.
Susan speaks several languages, and once expected to be an interpreter. But recreation and fitness beckoned to her; she earned an undergraduate degree in exercise science and later a graduate degree in exercise physiology. Before coming to Kiawah, she traveled the world, training fitness center employees in Beijing, Hanoi and Singapore, and added Mandarin to her list of languages in Beijing. She also sampled working at a large fitness club in Atlanta, teaching rock climbing with an indoor wall, and working in California for a company with an outdoor focus and Outward Bound program.
She picked Charleston almost randomly when she felt ready to settle down. While freelancing and waiting for the right professional opportunity, Susan came to Kiawah to teach a few classes as a substitute. At the time, KICA had no formal fitness program, just a few classes, and the person who ran them was leaving. Susan and KICA’s previous director of Recreation Kay Narmour got along well, but Kay had no budget to hire Susan, so Susan formed her own company, Total Fitness Concepts, hired instructors, and created a program.
Today, Susan has 16 sub-contractors, all with 10 or more years of experience and all able to handle multiple fitness levels in their classes. Some of the staff also do classes or personal training at the Sanctuary, the Kiawah Island Club and Seabrook. Classes are not limited to fitness activity; Total Fitness Concepts also offers nutrition education and life coaching. Most of Susan’s time is in personal training, but she also teaches three classes a week regularly and fills in when subs are needed. A former competitive swimmer, she offers stroke clinics as well as adult swim classes.
Fitness on Kiawah is a full-time job for Susan. A typical day might be teaching a morning class, working with five or six private clients, then going home to tackle program development and scheduling and other management tasks. “I train, teach and manage. It’s a good balance,” she said. She particularly enjoys the camaraderie of her job. “We have a group of women who come to classes regularly and we have become close. We went to lunch together for my 50th birthday.” (Want to get involved in the community? Check out The Sandcastle’s fitness schedule here.)
Susan has noticed some changes in member interest over more than two decades. “We have more wellness-based classes, and we are moving away somewhat from high intensity. More is not better. We incorporate movement, core strength, balance and range of motion into strength training now.”
The classes Susan offers can vary among seasons and years, and she adjusts them according to interest. “If people seem happy, we don’t change,” she noted, but she also welcomes suggestions for new classes. A recent request was for ballroom dancing, and she once offered line dancing. Although her work, teenage son and two dogs take up most of her time, Susan also enjoys golf and reading. She credits Kay Narmour with her ability to have a fulfilling career in a place she loves. “It has been, and still is, a wonderful journey experienced in this beautiful landscape. Amy Cook is continuing that support for Kiawah’s health, fitness, and wellness programs.”