BellaMorphosis director whips SJ females into shape

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Marissa Tucker
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Are you ready?

The question might seem all too familiar to any woman who has had both the honor and the misfortune of taking one of Sharon Grieve's classes at BellaMorphosis, the only women's gym of its kind in the Air Force. From the class' reaction to the 356th pulsing squat she affectionately yells at them to complete in less than an hour, they were not ready.

Standing at about 5'5" with the voice and projection of a bullhorn, she directs her classes with no mercy. As the director of BellaMorphosis and a fitness instructor, this Air Force wife and a proud mother of two teen boys, demands excellence in her classes. She knows they can do it, and she knows they deserve it, the spirited brunette said.

"Everyone who comes into the gym has potential because they decided to come," Mrs. Grieve said. "It is very hard for a lot of people to juggle their busy lives and still have time for the gym, so when people come here, we want to encourage them to keep coming and complete whatever goal they have."

When Mrs. Grieve is directing a class, everyone knows. Counting down steps, reps and whatever else she decides, this northerner's accent has not faded a bit since she left her home state of Massachusetts more than 15 years ago when she married her husband, Tech. Sgt. Christopher Grieve of the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron.

"I was a dance instructor in Massachusetts and my friend was dating this guy who was really cute, so I asked her if he had a brother. He actually had an identical twin, and we just went from there," she said.

The two married in 1995, and by 2003, the couple and their two children, Collin, 14, and CJ, 13, received orders to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The move was a big change from the life she was used to and she never imagined she would find such fulfillment here.

"I became a fitness instructor after many of the parents of the children in my classes told me that they would like me to do a fitness class," the former cheerleader said. "When I got here, I saw that the gym was looking for an instructor and I was hired and began the same day. It has been the best experience. I love everything about Bella, especially my staff. I just love coming to work every day."

Mrs. Grieve has always appreciated being a part of a team, participating in every after- school activity, dance or cheerleading team her high school had to offer. Definitely not known for her shyness, she always has encouraging and many times hilarious words for her class participants as they struggle through her workouts.

"When you roll out of your bed tomorrow, I'm sure you'll be thinking about me," she jokingly says to the class as she encourages them to push through the last 30 minutes of a workout.

Mrs. Grieve acknowledges that while her work outs are tough, people appreciate being challenged; and she is not afraid to challenge them.

On Saturdays in the spring and summer when weather permits, the Seymour Johnson community can usually see a group of women dripping sweat from various exercises during a session of bikini boot camp at the tennis courts, one of the many programs offered at Bella. The staff tries to create something for women of many different ages.

"I am so lucky to have a boss and a flight chief who allows me to get creative and in turn, allows the staff to develop new ideas and run with them," she said. "We keep up on current training by going to different seminars about fitness and trends to provide the females of Seymour Johnson with the best facility.

That's right: females only.

"We are all family here," said Mrs. Grieve, who comes from a very large extended family who has remained close over the years. "Women can be catty and nasty, but here, people just get along so well. I don't think it can be duplicated."

Although they are all like family, she has no problem giving one of her well known lines, " put on your big- girl panties," when she wants more out of her class participants.

Some of the staff credits the friendly aura of the center to Mrs. Grieve's relationship with the staff and the customers.

"She is very involved with people who come in, and she tries to help people break out of their shells," said Amanda Morton, a volunteer at BellaMorphosis. "She is very knowledgeable about fitness and also approachable, so people are not afraid to come up and ask her questions."

Females at Seymour Johnson 18 and older who are ready to sweat can visit the talented staff of the BellaMorphosis gym at 1410 Langley Ave and sign-up for a membership.