By A.J. Rao The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As A.J. Rao reports, "Following a dream has taken fitness guru and entrepreneur Simone Ware far beyond her Virgin Islands roots."
The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas
At just 30 years old, the St. Croix native has spearheaded a burgeoning, global fitness program -- Capri Curves -- that is not only growing in numbers across the country and the world, but has since made her a bona fide TV personality, with her own fitness show on Black Entertainment Television.
Indeed, Ware's journey from Charlotte Amalie High School student to self-described "Fit Queen," was both a process and a risk, considering she left the territory at age 16, studied criminology at the University of South Florida and landed a stable security job with the federal government.
All things considered, she said, the risk was worth taking.
"I was literally sitting at my desk one day and I was just like 'I don't want to do this,' -- I felt like I wasn't living out my purpose," Ware said. "So, the next day, I got a vision board and I asked myself 'if I made all the money in the world and still had to work, what would I do?' And it was fitness."
Ware, who taught fitness part-time during her stint in security, said her decision to embrace her passion full-time in 2018 meant starting humbly, sometimes teaching less than a dozen people, mostly family and friends.
As weeks became months, however, and a social media effort blossomed, it became clear that her brand of "super simple, yet effective" exercises, particularly for women who wanted to lose weight without losing their curves, began to catch fire.
Ware's schedule became busier. Her clientele expanded. And as of today, her "Curves Camp" sessions can reach up to 80 people, with classes in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and even in South Africa, her first international class.
This, coupled with a one-month online fitness program, "Keep the Curves, Drop the Fat" geared toward women who want to "keep their curves but lose fat in unwanted areas," has made Ware a rising star in the fitness world.
"I'm showing that you don't have to do a whole lot to be fit -- no crazy exercises, no crazy lifting, no crazy words that people don't understand," Ware said. "I keep it very, very simple -- that's the main difference."
This mindset to "ditch the gym" has carried over to a new TV program on BET, called "Mad Different Workouts," where Ware explores various -- and entertaining -- ways to exercise besides the gym, including sumo wrestling, pole dancing and even performing with a circus trapeze act.
The program airs Wednesdays at 6 p.m., and can also be accessed via capricurves.com or the BET Networks YouTube page. Ware credits her inspiration for fitness to another notable Virgin Islander -- her father, Hannibal "Mike" Ware, who currently serves as the Small Business Administration's inspector general.
Ware said her father, who once won a Gold's Gym challenge on St. Thomas, instilled in her a passion for fitness and discipline at a young age.
Hannibal Ware, in turn, said his daughter had the discipline in her all along.
"In order to be successful in anything, you have to have a different kind of determination and discipline -- she's always had that," he said. "The fact that she has seized the opportunity and been so successful and driven in doing it -- that is what I'm most impressed with and proud of."
Ware said she will return to teach a class on St. Thomas next year.
"I'm super excited to come back," she said. "It feels amazing to come home and be able to do a class on the beach where you grew up -- nothing compares to that no matter where I go."
For more information on Capri Curves, sessions, the online program or the BET show, visit www.capricurves.com. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.