First, let me say that I am a really closed off person and quite the introvert. Weird, considering my job, I know; some things you just learn how to handle better over time. I’m not sure if anyone ever thinks about why people choose to become a fitness trainer. There are many different reasons why people choose this profession. Some choose the field because of their passion for helping others , side hustle, some are pushed to, some for their own knowledge, and some because they’re trying to find their purpose. I became a trainer for my family, but mainly for my mom.
In all my 27 years of living. I’ve been through quite a few things. Some things that I can’t speak on and witnessed things that a teenager shouldn’t have. None of those situations hit me as hard as when my mom had got diagnosed with breast cancer. It was like that movie scene that you never wanted to experience, becoming a part of your reality. All I could think about was possibly losing my mom. When we found out my sister instantly started researching the best hospitals. Luckily, my Mom and Dad knew someone that went to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, GA. My mom had to fly there every so often for Chemotherapy and the few times I went, the people were very warming. I started to realize how real this was when she started losing her hair and sleeping a lot more. My Mom is the backbone of the whole family, she’s always moving, cooking and planning. So seeing her less active was different.
Once she started getting used to getting the chemo, she got right back in the groove. The doctors would tell her to rest, but she just went right back to her regular routine. Cooking for people, couponing (which I appreciate because I get all toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, everything for the free!) to make sure people had toiletries and laundry detergent etc. She just loves to give and makes sure people don’t leave empty handed.
We began to get frustrated with her because she wouldn’t rest like she was supposed to. Then one day she stopped me mid sentence and firmly said “ I refuse to let this take over my life and keep me bed bound. God is my savior , I am not worried about what man says”. She shut me up and changed my mindset really quick. You never know what someone is going through or thinking when they are diagnosed with cancer. Unless you’ve been through it yourself, you just try your best to help them through it. I never stopped and took into account, that maybe her moving and doing normal activities helps keep her mind off of what’s really going on.
After all she had been through, I started thinking and trying to figure out a way to help her stay healthy. I started blaming her getting cancer on things like how she ate and not being physically active. So, I started watching documentaries like “what the health” and telling her she needs to stop eating processed foods and pork. Even though it’s a little deeper than that. I was surprised at how much I wasn’t aware of, as far as what we put in our bodies and how difficult it was to stay healthy. At the same time, I felt like knowing and being aware was worth it.
I started studying everything to do my best to help her and I came across an ad for ACE PT certification. Many people had already been encouraging me to, but never considered it until then. She was my motivation! I ordered all of my materials for the test, read the book word for word for 3 months, and FAILED (Got a 485, and I needed 500). A whole wave of emotions came over me, I was thinking ” I drove all the way to VA from NC just to fail.” I felt like I should just stop and continue my day job.
At the time I was already working for the government as a Data Analyst and I was comfortable. All holidays off, take off and make up time whenever I please, couldn’t ask for anything better. I called my sister on the way home and she gave me some encouraging words to get me back on track. I wanted to be that person to give my family all the advice and knowledge they needed in order to avoid going through another tragic time. I know some things are going to happen, but I always say “control what you can control”. You can definitely control what you put in your body and how active you are.
I realize that I needed to work somewhere that would allow me to better understand what I was reading, because I’m a kinesthetic learner. So I ended up taking a major pay cut and landed 2 jobs working as a trainer for Planet Fitness and Duke. I started studying again, but no where near as hard as I did the first time. I probably only read 4 chapters out of 18. Even though I studied less, I was more confident because I had better understanding of everything I had read. I rescheduled my exam and passed with a 545. Ever since that day, I’ve been helping my family however I can. Answering exercise questions and motivating them to stay active in their free time. It actually feels good to be that person they can call on for advice. On the other hand, It’s a challenge to move people by the masses, but I can still move them one by one.
Since then, I always think about my mom and her strength through her battle. I wish I would make and excuse about what I can’t do because I’m too tired. My mom battled cancer, preached at 2 churches every Sunday, babysitting 2-4 grandkids throughout the week and still made sure we had food to eat at night. No way I could complain about the smaller things I’m going through. Most of the time I feel like I don’t have enough time in a day to do things I need. Or I feel like I’m too tired from being up from 4:30am-10:30pm the day before, with only 3-4 hours of sleep. Then I think about how I have good health so there’s no excuse why I cant complete all that I need to. Stop making excuses if there’s literally nothing holding you back but yourself! Be grateful for your good health and make moves, go be great!
Greater Things Await!