Faculty Feature: Diane Gurner teaches students fun fitness

Energetic, inspiring and motivating are words often heard when people try and explain the kind of person Diane Gurner, Clarion University fitness instructor, is.

This Redbank Valley High School alumnus has lived in the Clarion area her whole life and gives her workout participants a different, unique experience every time.

“In August of 1987, I obtained my first group fitness certification, and just four years later I was hired by Clarion University as the Group Fitness Coordinator and Instructor,” said Gurner.

Gurner’s passion for physical fitness started in her early 20’s when one of her roommates in college was the fitness instructor at a local gym. From there, she fell in love with group fitness workouts.

“When my roommate relocated, that’s when I decided I wanted to get out there and get my certification,” she said. “She was a fantastic instructor.”

Gurner’s fitness class participants vary in age from high school students to adults who are in their mid-60’s.

“I like to offer a variety of workout classes,” said Gurner. “I have a strength class, a low- and high- impact cardio interval workout, a high-intensity interval workout, core and jump rope interval workout, bench and boxing interval and Tabata workouts.”

Inspiring individuals to be the best they can be is something that Gurner said she strives for. Students have come and gone at Clarion University, and Gurner’s presence, encouraging words, and fun funky dance moves have left a mark on several.

Current Clarion University student, Tricia Bubacz has been attending Gurner’s classes since her freshman year, and continues to go five days a week.

“I love how fun she is,” said Bubacz. “I love how much energy she has and how she pushes you and wants you to do your best.”

Clarion University alumna Gabby Hutchinson went to Gurner’s classes every single day when she was a student, and said she couldn’t get enough of her jump rope class.

“Over summer break, I actually bought a jump rope and worked out with it on a daily basis,” said Hutchinson. “I still keep in contact with Diane when I need a little extra push.”

Senior Brynne Buchner is also an avid attendee of Gurner’s classes. She has also been going since her freshman year.

“My favorite class that Diane holds is her Friday kickboxing and cardio class. I really enjoy that class because the moves that Diane has us perform really target all areas of the body,” said Buchner. “Between the workout itself and Diane’s high energy and willingness to push you to challenge yourself, I always leave that class feeling good because I know I just got a great workout in.”

Gurner said she loves the feeling of working out and witnessing how daily activity changes how a person looks, lives, eats and sleeps. Most importantly, she said working out can change happiness levels. She finds the most rewarding part almost unexplainable.

“Over the years, I have met many young individuals who, after graduating and moving out into the world, have continued to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Gurner. “The benefits to daily movement are life-changing.”

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