finding gratitude in my fitness journey
I entered high school at 5 feet tall and 195 pounds–legally obese. “Bro, get a bra” was one of my classmate’s favorite insults. Although I knew the severity of the situation, I never cared, and just wanted to eat, sleep, and find an easy way to get through school. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I developed my passion for a healthy lifestyle. That healthy lifestyle quickly became something I fell in love with. Like many people who decide to start living a healthier life, I quickly became the go-to for fitness and nutrition amongst my friends and family – a title I still proudly hold today. Not only did my newly discovered regimen alter my physical appearance, but it also changed my mental awareness. Exercising on a regular basis, and regulating what nutrients I put into it, transformed my life for the better. I saw a growth in my confidence and in the energy I was giving off to others. Now, I love bringing progressive change and self-confidence into other people's lives like I was able to do for myself.
Following my own personal journey, the road to becoming a trainer was a no-brainer. On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to create positive change, physically yes, but more so (and more importantly) mentally and that truly excites me to the fullest. The opportunity to do something I love everyday but also the ability to be creative and collaborate with other fitness entrepreneurs was and continues to be, something I can’t turn down, day after day. Having the platform to inspire people to accomplish goals they once didn’t view as attainable is my greatest accomplishment as a trainer. As I write this, I’m in the middle of a Zoom session witnessing one of my clients surpass their previous PR’s and truthfully, I couldn’t be more proud. It is such an amazing feeling when you witness your clients go from being shy and doubtful, to realizing they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve held someone’s hand as they are frantically doing box jumps. In fact, one of my favorite experiences as a trainer has been when I had a client who was terrified of jumping onto the box, adamant that she could not do it. She was on the brink of tears and thought I was crazy! In her mind, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she was confirming to herself that she would stop coming to sessions. It was then that I looked at her and told her nonchalantly that “she could do it”. As tears were about to run down her face and with her legs shaking, she jumped onto the box and slammed her feet on the landing. She continued jumping, still riddled with anxiety, and all I could say was, “What happened to I can’t? I told you, you've got this!” Once the session ended my client leaned in to say, “I still want to cry, but it wasn’t that bad. And because you told me I could do it so confidently, I trusted you.” And there it is–those are the exact moments that I live for as a trainer! I am not here to give my clients a workout of the day, or things you can easily accomplish. I’m here to challenge, support, and encourage my clients and when they’re struggling and experiencing those “I can’t” moments, I’m here to be the reminder that in fact they (and you!) can.
If I could simplify what fitness has taught me into a phrase it would be “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” I was the kid that was last in line because I couldn’t do a single ladder drill and now my whole brand revolves around ladder drills. Fitness has taught me what it means to be disciplined. If you have a goal, game plan, execute, and witness yourself do what you thought was impossible. You come to realize failure doesn’t exist if you’re consistently progressing towards your goals. If I fail on Monday and try again Tuesday, I didn’t truly “fail.” I took what I learned from my “failure” and used that to help me improve on my craft. This method holds true in our everyday lives as well.
I get asked regularly how I’m able to do the “crazy exercises” I’ve become known for and for me, the first word that comes to mind, consistency. I didn’t start off amazing at ladder drills. It took time, consistency, and lots of failure, but I stuck at it. Now explosive exercises are second nature to me, but it took time! Wishing and hoping won’t get you there. Sticking to your routine will, especially when you’re measuring your progress and refining what is and isn’t working. When you work hard to be better than you were yesterday, success is almost guaranteed. And the surprise you once felt when reaching your accomplishments will start to turn into expectations, understanding more and more that you are in fact, more capable than you first believed. This is the drive I live with and try to pass down to my clients. So, I’ll leave you with this: Approach life with fearlessness and a willingness to embrace adversity. Don’t let anything deter you from your goals. Learn to pivot and learn to use setbacks as motivation at whatever point you’re at within your journey.