A few years ago I was working in the medical field, where I aspired to help others in every way I could. I worked as a dialysis technician, taking care of many people who were chronically ill.
The majority of my patients had high blood pressure and/or diabetes, which led their kidneys to fail. Most of these patients didn’t realize what years of abuse to their bodies, in the form of poor diet and lack of exercise, was doing to them until it was too late. My patients would never again have functional kidneys and would forever be on dialysis. That is, until their bodies could no longer withstand it. The kidneys are such vital organs to a person’s survival. And that’s what my patients did on a daily basis – struggle to survive.
As a dialysis technician, my primary job was one I loved – to take care of people, while making them feel comfortable during the treatments they received on a weekly basis. I built amazing relationships with amazing people and heard so many stories from older generations of their decades of “living the good life,” so it was always sad when someone’s time had come and they passed on. During my many years in this job, I saw many people pass away. Again, it was just sad to me…and I always thought to myself, “I just wish there was something I could have done for them.” This was when I first started to realize that my purpose in life was to not only help people, but to do it in a different way. Before they ended up like those I watched pass away. Before it was too late.
During this time, ironically, I had started to focus on some of my own personal fitness goals. I had always been an athlete in school and always in good health growing up. However, after having children and suddenly seeing my life’s priorities change right before my eyes, I seemed to drift further and further away from the healthy athlete I once was. For me, I didn’t like how I looked and felt and that made me realize I needed to change something. I 60
needed to figure out a way to incorporate exercise and fitness into my life again. I knew that I didn’t have to drift from it because of kids or being busy. I just had to do it. Especially as I worked a job every day where the effects of NOT doing it were right there in front of my eyes. I didn’t want to live that lifestyle. I didn’t want that to end up being me.
So, I decided to join a gym and hire a personal trainer to help guide me. And during the course of the six months that followed, I truly felt I had found my passion. I felt great. I felt strong. I felt empowered. I was taking control of my life again and transforming unlike I had ever imagined I could. I was doing more work in the gym than I ever thought I was capable of doing. I experienced breakthrough after breakthrough and, as each day passed, I realized more and more who I truly was, the person I wanted to be, and most importantly, what I wanted to do with it all. I had found my passion. I wanted to inspire and help people who were struggling to take control of THEIR lives again too, just like I did. It was then that I knew I finally found my purpose in life – to inspire and help people through fitness.
At this point, I knew I had to educate myself as much as I possibly could to help others reach their goals. I wanted to help others learn. I wanted to help others try. I wanted to help others find their own passion for life again. I wanted to just help others live! Because it wasn’t just the physical changes I felt during my fitness journey, it was the mental changes as well. As I came to learn later, most people don’t even realize the impact poor nutrition has on them. Our attitudes, our moods, our immune system, our skin…it’s all effected because of the harmful, chemical-filled products people put in their bodies. The more I dove into training and started educating myself, the more I realized how devastating it all was, and worse – that people just didn’t seem to know about any of it. People weren’t educated on the negative impacts these chemicals had on them and how the body refuses to function properly when it’s loaded with these things – leading to obesity and the great number of diseases we all hear about today. I knew I had to do something. And my heart was telling me that this was it. I knew people needed to know how important this information was and suddenly, I was excited about it all! And I wanted to be the one to tell them! THAT is the reason why I became a personal trainer – and that decision was probably the easiest decision I have ever made in my life. 61
I have now been a full-time personal trainer for two years. I still wake up each day with a fire and a passion to walk out the door each day ready to help change someone’s life. It’s so exciting for me every day to drive to work and wonder who is going to crush what goal that day! Seeing the blood, sweat and tears pouring down and the look on people’s faces when they crush goals and do things they never thought was possible is priceless to me. The most appealing thing about being a personal trainer is that there is no one formula that works for everyone. There is no “cookie cutter” diet or routine that works for everyone. My love for fitness rages because of the diversity in clients – from weight loss to injuries, to athletes, to those who have limited mobility, to bodybuilders – and every single day is a new experience that always brings a different level of excitement. There is no “one-size-fits-all” program. Working one-on-one with clients requires variation, preparation, specific technique based on personal factors, and constant evaluation. Even for the same person, there is always a time for adjustment and change. And in order to truly change someone with all this considered, it requires learning about them – learning who they are and what makes them tick. It requires learning about their goals, their mobility, their health history, their current lifestyle and their personal life. Everything plays a role in the desired outcome. In order to fully develop a program that’s successful for each client, it must be customized for THEM, not just one plan you come up with for everyone. That’s another thing I love about being a trainer. The job is what you make it – where creativity is key and every day is a new and different challenge filled with amazing and exciting opportunities for my clients…and for me.
The most rewarding part for me about being a personal trainer though, is establishing strong and lasting relationships with my clients. They all inspire me to wake up and become a better and healthier person myself every single day. I choose to live by our company motto, “TRAIN TO LIVE,” every day. I choose to lead by example for my clients. To establish credibility. To earn their trust. They put their lives in my hands every day, and that’s something I take very seriously. I pray every day that they find ultimate success on their journeys just like I did – but also pray that they find the little successes along the way too. That’s what makes it fun. That’s what motivates them. That’s what makes them keep going. That’s what changes their lives. That’s what SAVES their lives. This is what I do. This is what I love. I can’t imagine it being any other way anymore.
Client Testimony – Dr. Greg Luerding
The toughest part of training is getting started. So many people find themselves wishing they had started working out or eating healthy 6 months ago. Start now. Everyone starts this journey as a beginner. Without someone knowledgeable and experienced by your side, a coach, trainer, mentor or advisor, whether you’re a novice or professional, you will never reap the maximum benefit from your efforts. This is where Misti Weatherford and Integrity Training Systems excels.