Monday, October 26, 2015

My Fitness Journey

My fitness journey started in 2011 when I walked into my brother's home. He opened his doors for me when he was 24 years old. He took my hand and walked me through the school of survival and how to become independent. I can not stress enough how important it is to have a mentor in your life. I would not be where I am today or the woman I have become if it wasn't for the help of my brother. 

He taught me how to stay hungry and work hard for the things I want in my life in order to be successful. We had a routine the first day I walked in his door that he implemented immediately. It was a lifestyle routine that we would follow every single day that changed my life and redirected my life in the right direction. He signed me up at the gym and every night we would go to bed at 9:45pm and wake up at 4:45am and be at 24 Hour Fitness next door by 5am. When we got home from the gym we showered and he would make me breakfast because he would emphasize how breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

When walking into my first class at 8am after being awake since 4:45am I felt different than I have ever before in my life. I felt like I was on top of the world and all of a sudden I started having a different perspective in my life; I started looking forward to school, to improving my grades, focused more in class, started being on time to every single class and helping my peers be successful. 

My brother always talked about paying it forward at home that it eventually became my purpose in life. I felt like if I was not serving others everyday in my life I had nothing to look forward to everyday. I am very fortunate to have such an amazing mentor and brother that every life skill I have learned from him I love to pass on to others to add value to their lives. The many lessons are as follows; paying it forward, daily routine, most important meal of the day, getting focused, setting goals, staying organized, meditating, reading often, no screen time, working out everyday, eating healthy, how to set a budget, residual income, financial freedom, importance of saving, becoming spiritual, writing a to do list, choosing friends wisely, doing things that will add value to my life, sportsmanship and team building activities, the importance of family, staying connected with your siblings, doing things for others for nothing in return, the importance of getting a higher education and following your passion.

When my friends at school would invite me to parties and school dances he would advise me to refrain myself from going with good reason. He put it like this; would you rather go to these parties and pitch in for beer or would you rather stay home and work on yourself and study to prepare yourself for college so that by the time you are 30 you can retire and be in Maui for vacation. He was always so convincing that I couldn't help but follow his advise. As much as I would like to not admit to this because he is my brother and it will boost his ego, he was always right at the end of the day.

Life has not been a fairytale for me and I am nowhere near perfect I have had a lot of things thrown at me along the way and I have had many obstacles I have had to overcome that have not been easy. Including ending friendships that were toxic and were no longer adding value to my life, quitting smoking, binge eating when depressed, severe depression, personal insecurities, instability, going from one job to another, moving frequently, surrounding myself with bad influences, spending sprees, always being broke, negative account, living on friend's couches, binge drinking during the week, getting in car accidents, mattress falling off my car, parents moving to a different country, not being able to see my parents until who knows when, losing my best friends, (my parents), not being able to maintain friendships and relationships, sleeping in all day, being lazy, not working out, watching walking dead for 2 straight weeks and not leaving my bed and quitting jobs and taking them for granted. As you can tell I am not perfect and I have done just about everything you can think of that was self destructive. However, that was in the past and it does not determine who you are today.

I had to learn the hard way and these life events and mistakes have led me where I am today. As cliche' as it sounds what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and being thrown all of these obstacles has made me the strong woman I am today. After going through all of this I am ready to overcome anything life throws at me. I finally came to a conclusion when I was at my lowest point in my life couch surfing and being homeless without a job that God has a plan for everybody and you don't have to be spiritual to understand this but things in life happen for a reason. God planted these obstacles in my life journey so far to prepare me for anything life has in store for me and made me a solid person.

I have done just about everything you can think of from being the annoying marketing person you see on the streets handing out flyers, to the membership person calling you multiple times a day trying to get you to come in and sign up for their gym, getting into the real estate industry, selling cars, working as a receptionist, doing auto shows, roadshows, trade shows, conventions, event planning, managing people, working as a barista, being a costume character and working at Costco giving out samples. Eventually, I realized after working all these jobs I had an epiphany starting with the beginning of this article; I asked myself one question, how am I serving others and am I doing what I love? The answer was no and it wasn't until I found my niche. When working at Gold's gym in Issaquah selling memberships for the second time after working at LA Fitness in Bellevue I was talking to this kid that opened my eyes. I asked him why he became a trainer and what he liked about it. He told me the greatest thing about being a trainer is that it completely takes the attention away from you and redirects it solely on somebody else. As soon as I heard him I knew that was my calling. I would never be happy if I was not doing what my brother told me, "serving others and adding value to their lives."

I spoke to my boss and I told him I no longer wanted to do memberships and that I wanted to become a personal trainer and he let me go. But I did not quit my job I decided to move from sales to training. So he told me first get certified and the sooner you get certified you can start training. My eyes lit up and I have never in my life looked more forward to anything. Not to mention I do not like studying and never did. But this was a different case I no longer lived with my parents and I was on my own. I was under pressure and I work best under pressure frankly and I needed to pay rent and survive. So I went home and turned my phone off and fell of the face of the earth for two weeks. I did not talk to anyone I studied all day from morning until night and woke up at 5am, went to workout, came home showered, ate breakfast and made a couple hundred note cards. Needless to say this certificate took most people 3 months to pass. I went in after studying for 2 straight weeks without any interruptions and failed my test. I had never been so depressed about anything in my life and I fell into tears. This was a challenge for me so I shook it off and set my mind to passing this exam no matter what. I had never been so determined to do anything in my life, not even in college. I realized there was something different this time that made me so determined. The difference is when I was in college I did not look forward to going to my accounting class because I had no interest in pursuing a business major and going to college. Whereas, fitness changed my life in 2011 when my brother signed me up at the gym next door. I realized working out and setting an example for others to live a healthier life was my passion. 

After going back home and studying once again I spent the whole weekend uninterrupted studying for the exam. I told myself I am going to pass this exam no matter what and I thought very positive of myself and my abilities. I woke up early the morning of my exam had a hearty breakfast that would fuel me for my test and drank a lot of water and I walked in and demolished my test. My score was exponentially higher and that day was the day that changed my life for the better. It gave me hope and I started looking forward to waking up everyday and going to work and I became very positive. This was a huge test for myself I told myself before taking the exam this is a challenge and I am going to grab it by the horns and pass it. I had never finished something in my life up until then whether it was quitting a job or dropping all of my classes in college, I was a quitter. I told myself if I can set my mind to pass this test and put in the work and actually do it I can do anything in my life.

From there on out I became the person I always wanted to be my whole life; a motivator, leader, mentor, coach and friend. I did what I was most passionate about and started realizing how much I loved my job that I didn't even consider it work. There were times I could not go to bed at night because I couldn't wait to wake up to go workout and train my clients, it was my purpose in life.

Funny story, one morning I woke up so early that when I pulled up to the gym in my car I saw the Gold's Gym sign lit up and no cars in the parking lot, and I was confused why nobody was there. I was the only one in the parking lot and all I wanted to do was workout and the gym was closed! That's when I realized how hungry I was to make it happen for myself.

One night I could not fall asleep so I drove at midnight to the gym and I swam for 2 hours until 2am. Another night after working 12-15 hours trying to build my one on one business I spent my time at the gym from 10pm-12pm making videos for my clients to help serve them better with virtual training videos. I simply went above and beyond for them because their results are a reflections of my work, and I wanted to give them as many resources as possible to be successful. 

It was incredible how dedicated I was to my job and to fueling my body with whole foods and how strong I had become. I felt good about myself and I felt like people could see it from a mile away. It's not very hard to see through people. Therefor, my positive energy was contagious and that is why I was so successful in my experience so far as a trainer. I not only emphasized the significance of living a healthy lifestyle but walked the talk. I lived it every single day and I set an example for everyone I came in contact with.