For me, fitness has always been a coping tool – a form of therapy. As a youth, I struggled with severe drug addiction which eventually led me to drop out of high school and begin participating in criminal activities. By the time I was 21, I had been to prison two times. It was here that I discovered the gift of the human body and began to study and practice the art of fitness. It was my escape, my passion, and very quickly became my way of life.
When I was released in 2013, my prospects for gainful employment and assimilating into regular society were grim. However, my passion for fitness endured. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the reason I had such a hard time finding a job was because I was so focused on my training inside, and my nutrition outside of the gym.
I met my wife at this time, and she became pregnant with my first son. This was a blessing and a curse as I had no real job, and we were living with my parents at the time. So, this is where I committed to becoming a Personal Trainer so that I could use my gifts and live my passion, while providing a stable lifestyle for my family. While working fast food during the day, mopping the floors at my gym during the midnight hours, and studying for my CPT whenever I could, I got certified and became a trainer.
Fast forward 3 years, and I am now the owner of two Women’s Training Centers with over 300 members between both locations. All of my coaches (Including the one whose story I will share below) were my CLIENTS FIRST. They followed this program, got amazing results, got certified and are now spreading this awesome program to the lives of hundreds of women in our Community.
One thing that I have learned since entering the “business of fitness” three years ago is that this business has a funny way of bringing some amazing people into my life. It is natural, I suppose, since ours is a business of service.
One of these amazing clients is my friend, Mary. Mary is currently one of my top trainers, the General Manager of one of our Women’s Training Facilities, an expert nutrition coach, as well as a close personal friend to me and my family. We are close enough to even share Thanksgiving dinner together.
When I met Mary she had already lost a ton of weight. In fact, she had been studying to become a nutrition coach, and had already applied her knowledge to her own eating. She, like most women who see significant weight loss, felt stuck. She had tried running, cutting her calories back, and even tried the latest “Herbal Remedy” to get rid of unwanted bloat, and yet she still could not get past what she described as being “skinny fat”. She had lost weight, but she wasn’t toned.
Mary was standing at a gap. Where she stood on that first day was a scary place. Up until that point she had been killing herself during her runs (which were no longer getting results), and she was manically counting every calorie while starving her body of the nutrition she so desperately needed. She didn’t want to be “bulky,” and everyone has heard that lifting weights makes you look “big and buff!”
Where she stood on that first day was an extremely exciting place! She was at her wit’s end, trying to figure out this “fitness” thing on her own. No matter how long or hard she ran, no matter how little she ate, she was STUCK! That is a feeling that goes deep. If we’re not careful, we may start to believe that there is something wrong with us.
Being in the place that Mary was on her first day as my client is terrifying for many of the reasons I stated above. But mostly it is scary because it means that we are lost. We don’t know how to take that next step towards our dreams……and this is when the excitement kicks in!
I was excited for Mary because I knew she was in a place where she would be willing to try all the things that she had been terrified to try before! That included less cardio and eating more food. Her excuses were, “But I’ll get fat!” and “That’s too many calories!” When we added in weight training, her excuse was, “I don’t want to get bulky!”
When she found herself in a place that her commitment to her goals far outweighed her fear of the unknown, that is when her transformation could truly take place. I have been blessed enough to go through similar experiences with Coach Mary two other times over the course of our journey together.
The first was when we decided to open our own facility. We were working in the same box gym that I used to mop the floors in, and we were losing our business. The gym was going under, and we were feeling the pressure. So, I decided that, with the help of Mary and another one of our Clients-Turned-Coach, we would open a studio that would cater to the needs of Women over 30.
I was terrified! I was excited! And I found myself leaning on Coach Mary for the same support and guidance that I had been giving her not so long before.
The second time was when she made Body Burn her full time gig. That was hard for her. That was scary for me! It was scary to have someone depending on my business besides me! At the same time, we were so excited!
It meant our dream was real. It meant we were both 100% committed to seeing our little program turn into something powerful and amazing. Since then, neither one of us has ever looked back.
Mary’s transformation from that first day to now has been such an integral part of the program that is changing so many lives in our community. From the nature of the workouts and our style of eating, to the structure of our accountability program, Coach Mary has been such a huge part of the forming of this program. It was originally designed for women like her.
There are a few key things here that I hope you get out of Mary’s story, but if nothing else, you need to learn this: That moment when you are faced with the scariest challenge of your life – that moment when you are so terrified it is actually a little exciting. When you are facing the thing that has been keeping you up at night, the thing you have been thinking about every day for as long as you can remember……..
That is your moment. That is YOUR THING! And it is ok that you are so scared you are about to pee your pants…..that’s how you know it’s right.