I got my first weightlifting book when I was 11.
A lot of things happened when I was 11. My parents got divorced. And it was also when I got my first job, refereeing soccer. From that point forward, I felt like I worked constantly. I worked multiple jobs through high school, college, and law school. In high school, I worked about 40 hours a week between two jobs, while doing school full time, while playing soccer and also competing in speech and debate. "Busy" doesn't even begin to describe what I was back then. I've never known not working for something, not supporting myself. For years, I hated having to work so much. Hated it. But, I know now that it taught me the value of money and most importantly, how to work.
There were other things going on, too. Let's just say... I felt isolated. I felt pressured from every direction: family, sports, friends, money, work, and largely with just trying to figure out who I was. There were times where I just felt completely powerless. There is nothing worse in this world than feeling like you have no power.
And so the gym became my sanctuary. My outlet. My safe place. No matter what was going on, I could always go to the gym and release the negativity. Make myself stronger. I didn't really know what I was doing back then in terms of technique or programming, but I followed my little Chuck Norris weightlifting book religiously. The feeling became addicting... and no, not the feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing my muscles working... The feeling of empowerment. Fitness saved me. It gave me strength, control, clarity, self-awareness, discipline, dedication, passion, and so much more, during a time when I couldn't find much of those things elsewhere.
... So naturally, I decided to go to law school.
I always thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I have three uncles with their own practices, and I've seriously lost count of the number of cousins that are currently in politics or law. Now, I know this probably comes as a complete and total shock... but I was an arrogant little punk when I moved out to Arizona for law school. In undergrad at The Ohio State University, I thought I was a rockstar. Honors student, perfect GPA, teachers' pet in my psychopharmacology classes; athlete, captain of the soccer team, physically unstoppable; working girl, self-sustaining, ultra confident. I walked into law school expecting to just totally rock it.
So after the first semester, when I finally got my grades... I think it took me about 10 minutes to pick my jaw up off the floor. Straight "C"s across the board. I was absolutely dumbfounded. I had never seen grades like that, ever, in my whole life. Needless to say, I had a major meltdown. I believed with every fiber of my being that I was destined for law. And in my mind, I failed. Completely failed. For years, that thought truly haunted me... and words cannot express the depth of inadequacy that one thought caused. But, regardless of the psycho-emotional chaos at that time, I knew that I had to make a change.
I had to do some real soul searching. There were countless drives over sunrises and sunsets... days and weeks where I had no idea who I was and what I wanted from life. But do you know what got me through that time? Workouts. Impossible, draconian, ultra challenging workouts. Again, fitness saved me. It made me strong, clear, and focused during what one of the most tumultuous times in my life.
In my second year of law school, I became a personal trainer.
It seemed ridiculous. Nobody understood it, and most people definitely didn't support it. But I didn't even care. I've never been more compelled to do anything in my life. I got certified, walked into Bally Total Fitness, and basically demanded a job (in my clean pressed lawyer suit, obviously). From the first moment I stepped onto that training floor, I knew that I was exactly where I needed to be. It felt like I was on fire like I had never been before. While up to that point, the best part of my day was often my own workouts... soon enough, the best part of my day became my clients' workouts. Helping someone else find their fire, their confidence, themselves... there was, and still is, nothing in the world that fulfills me like that.
The rest, as they say, is history. I worked as a trainer all through law school. In fact, my friends, professors, and my parents will tell you that I really wasn't around much in law school. I was way too busy training, studying training, talking training, going on week-long wellness cruises with Jillian Michaels, and everything else TRAINING. Luckily, I'm good enough of a BS'er to have crammed a semesters' worth of law into my brain two days before the finals and generally earned "B"s. But the latter half of my time in law school was really 90% gym, 10% law.
In 2012, law degree in hand, I moved to Phoenix and founded FitPro.
Our mission is to empower our clients to turn their fitness goals from fantasy to reality. I truly find nothing else as satisfying as paying forward the strength, confidence, and clarity that fitness has given me, to whomever wants to receive it. I really mean it when I say to my clients, "nothing is impossible." You can get your law degree, and then become a personal trainer. You can withstand even the most bitter of adversities, and still come out stronger on the other side. You can chase your dreams, and with unflagging persistence, you can have anything and everything you desire. ... You can also lose twenty pounds and tone your butt and thighs, too.
So that's my little story, so far. What makes FitPro different? Yes, we're smart, and personable, mostly punctual, and pretty, sure. But what REALLY sets us apart... is that we care more than you'll ever know.
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