Motivation from above: Rowe’s faith-based exercise show to celebrate 10th season

It was Oct. 1, 2019, when personal coach and fitness instructor Theresa Rowe’s faith-based exercise television show “Shaped by Faith” made its debut onto the airwaves — all of which was recorded in her Calhoun home.

Less than five years later, the 60-year-old just finished filming the series’ 13-episode 10th season on Friday.

“It feels incredible,” Rowe said Monday about hitting the milestone.

Rowe, who was 56 when the show started, said creating the program was a dream of hers — one that she first thought she would have pursued in her 30s, but said she “(didn’t) have a clue how to go from what I was doing to television.”

She found her first step into this territory occurred in 2006 with her 27-minute DVD “Pilates For The Soul” gained traction, despite at first being encouraged to follow the template of other fitness programs on film that typically cover an hour of material.

“... I prayed about it and took out like half the workout … and that was between the Lord and I because He spoke to me about taking out yoga (and) make it all pilates,” Rowe said.

The DVD eventually caught the attention of the spiritual publication Guideposts and began “opening up more doors,” Rowe said.

In addition to the show, Rowe has produced a motivational book, inspirational music CDs, a wide range of other fitness DVDs, a column for the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer and McLean County News and a radio show that has been running for 10 years.

“Shaped by Faith” — which is also the name of the ministry that Rowe said God founded through her at age 26 when she became a Christian — is a 30-minute exercise television show that combines a standard televised workout routine with a faith-based theme by weaving in Bible scriptures in each episode — a concept that was a “no brainer” for Rowe.

“It was natural for me,” she said. “When I teach in-person classes, I don’t bring a scripture with every single exercise but there is a key scripture all through the class and there’s prayer time.”

For the television series, Rowe said there’s about 27 exercises per episode with scriptures.

“I started theming (the episodes) thinking, ‘People … really need to be encouraged and they really need to know what God’s word has to say about whatever this topic is,’ ” Rowe said. “... During the show, I just ask the Lord to help me speak whatever He wants me to speak.”

Additionally, Rowe takes the opportunity to share personal stories to relate to the viewers.

Since its debut, “Shaped by Faith” has now gone onto air on Inspiration TV, NRB TV, Global7.TV Albania, Grace TV India, Faith Unveiled, Safe TV and Total Living Network among others. Rowe also has a YouTube channel that features older episodes.

The program also got a boost in 2022 when Rowe inked a two-year contract with the Christian-based streaming service Great American Pure Flix, formerly Pure Flix, which has helped Rowe and the show continually reach a worldwide audience.

Additionally, the show was the Bronze Winner at the 2022 Telly Awards for the category “Series: Health & Safety — Television.”

While the show has retained the same behind-the-scenes crew — Randy Lanham as director, Wayne Morris as videographer and editor and Vicki Sims as the teleprompter technician — since its inception, Rowe said she tries to “come up with something unique” for each season, and the 10th season is no exception.

“I, myself, started doing … a foam rolling workout with my pilates classes and I’m like, ‘People need to know how to do this; it’s so beneficial,’ ” she said. “... I think (with the) foam rolling, people are curious about it but they just don’t know how to do it.”

The season also includes a partner workout, which Rowe demonstrates with her husband, Robin Rowe, that includes a weighted medicine ball and resistance tubes.

Throughout the years, Rowe feels the show has continued to have an approachable feel for viewers and she has been able to connect with some of them, including a fan from Canada who traveled to the Commonwealth to meet Rowe and attend a few of her in-person classes.

Even after filming 10 seasons, Rowe is still energized and motivated to keep the show going.

By the time the new season begins airing in October, Rowe said the 11th season will already begin production.

“I’m always excited about it,” she said. “I love doing it.”

Regardless if one is a returning viewer or watching the show for the first time, Rowe hopes the program is a source of encouragement.

“... I hope it motivates them to want to draw closer to Christ and to move,” she said.

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