Women of Charlottesville

Highlighting the unique and diverse amazing women of Charlottesville, VA.

Teresa Harris

This is Teresa Harris. You may recognize her as a trainer at acac, where she is loved and adored by many–some might even say she’s a celebrity of sorts around those parts! She has the ability to make strangers feel like fast friends and is full of positivity, warmth and kindness. We shot at McIntyre Plaza and highlighted her obsession love for shoes and HUGE passion for exercise and personal training. Her positive attitude and kind disposition are definitely contagious! Enjoy her interview!

So, Teresa, tell us a little bit about yourself . . .

My name is Teresa Harris, and I’m a personal trainer and group exercise instructor at acac. I’ve been there for over 20 years. Helping others with their fitness journey is my passion, so I turned that passion into a career.

Some of Teresa’s shoe collection

us: What did you have for breakfast this morning?

her: This morning I actually had leftover vegetable soup–at 4:30 in the morning.

us: Mountains or beach?

her: Beach

us: Does pineapple belong on pizza?

her: Yes!

us: Salty or sweet?

her: Combo! 

us: What is your room entrance song?

her: “Roar” by Katie Perry

us: Do you sleep in your socks?

her: Nope!

us: What’s your go to midnight snack?

her: Peanut butter. Yeah, I’ll do a peanut butter lollipop–take a spoon, dip it in…boom!

us: Your pet peeve?

her: Littering

us: If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

her: Wow, so many things – you have to learn everything the hard way, right?  Probably to not stress over the little things, because in the end, it was what it was and for the most part, all okay. I could have saved myself all that worrying time!

us: Any embarrassing nicknames we should know about?

her: T-Bone Steak–my maiden name is Tebo. Middle School–ugh!

us: Your favorite room in your house?

her: The piano room. It’s eclectic. 

us: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

her: Italy

us: Who has been the most influential woman in your life?

her: There’s quite a few . . . but mostly my Aunt Tookie, who is very much a go-getter. I’m inspired by her strength and independence.

us: Tell us about a challenge you’ve overcome: 

her: Switching careers, as it required going back to school.  It was a scary time for me.

us: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

her: Starting in the fitness field as a group exercise instructor and then adding personal training, so I could better help the members was huge. In the beginning, I was asked many questions about muscles, stretching, pain, etc. and I just couldn’t help. I realized then, I needed more education, so a new degree and many certifications later, I feel more qualified to guide the members properly. The fitness field is forever changing so I’m always learning!  I’m very lucky to find a career I LOVE.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I have many mentors in the field of fitness.  Some of my favorite strength coaches and trainers are: Dan John, Mark Rippetoe, Bret Contreras, Sohee Lee, Dr. John Rusin, Dr. Stuart McGill, and so many more. Locally, my group exercise mentor is Christine Thalwitz. She believed in me many years ago to give me my first job teaching classes!

us: What are you most thankful for?

her: My loving, supportive family. They are the best!

us: Any hidden talents?

her: I love doing a cartwheel!  

us: What is your favorite thing about living in Cville?

The seasons are so beautiful here!

Thank you Teresa for sharing with us!