My journey to become a Personal Trainer is likely not a typical one and starts with the concept of wanting to make the most out of life. I realized that as I was about to enter my 40s, my body was really going to pick up the pace in the deterioration department. I wasn’t per se out of shape, but I was definitely underweight; frail if you will. I didn’t eat right and did nothing physical to keep my body from going into atrophy. If I continued to do nothing, this natural deterioration would continue indefinitely. This did not sit well with me.
I was still young at heart and had WAY too much left to do in life that my body was going to be a necessary part of. I needed my body in good shape to do all the things I still had and have left to do in life. This fear of what was to come if I didn’t do something about being in shape and taking care of my body was growing inside of me. But I didn’t know what to do about it. I knew nothing about exercise or good nutrition; so I did nothing. I mistakenly thought that exercise was just for overweight people so I definitely avoided exercise.
So I began reading about fitness and running. Running lead to better nutrition and gym time. And even though I may not have been doing all the right things, it wasn’t long before I starting seeing actual changes both physically and emotionally. It was working. This early success spurred me on! I began reading and eating and exercising smarter. Soon exercise and nutrition became my passion.
A few years later, I was looking and feeling better, great actually.
I was, hands down, in the best shape of my life… and I was 46 years old!
What a powerful realization! Enter the next big life change. For 25 years, I had had a successful career as a Mechanical Engineer in the oilfield. I loved my job and the company that I was part owner of, but it was time for a change. So, I retired. I was fortunate enough to be able to sell out and actually retire from a life of having to work for money. Instead, I was now in a position where I was able to work for the intangibles and follow my passions. I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands and I’m definitely not one to sit around and watch The Price is Right everyday. Almost immediately after retiring from engineering, I began work on my Personal Trainer Certification. I loved the material that I was learning and I could actually apply it to not only my own fitness program but also I could help my friends! It didn’t take changing too many of my friends lives for the better to be hooked on helping people. I was excited to get to make a positive impact on people’s health and see noticeable changes in their appearance and overall well being. I knew this was my course in life. Once I got my certification, I started actively looking for ways to market my services; I wanted to help people; make a difference in their lives.
Then I stumbled onto Kanthaka and Kanthaka’s founder, Sylvia. What a game changer this company was! Not only does it make it easy for trainers to find clients, it brings fitness to people that would have in no way pursued it otherwise. This company is changing the way we think of fitness as a population; the way Uber has changed the way people think of ride sharing! Incredible! I had to be a part of it! And what a way to spend my retirement; growing a company and changing lives. Fast forward a year and a half and Sylvia and her team (I like to think I’m a major part of that team) have grown the company from just having a few trainers in Houston, TX to having hundreds of trainers across four states…. and still growing! All along, not only do I get to be a part of this team, but I get to train clients as well. How rewarding! Exactly what I wanted for my retirement! I guess maybe I’m not really retired?? But I’m living a dream, spawned from fitness and taking care of myself. It really shows the true power of fitness. It’s not just about doing 20 jumping jack and checking the box that you exercised that day, it’s about making huge positive changes to your entire life! THIS is the power of fitness.
You’re probably asking, “So what, great story Chip. But not everybody has depression and not everybody can retire early.” And, you’re right. Not everybody’s situation is like mine. I’ll go out on a limb here and say nobody’s situation is like mine. Instead, everybody’s situation and motivation is different. You’ll have your own story to tell, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to hear that story!
So how do you get started with your own story?
Here’s some facts first: Chronic diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity are widespread and rising in the US. Largely preventable factors such as poor lifestyle choices, lack of access to fitness knowledge, and lack of proper preventative care have lead to 70% of deaths in the US accountable to these chronic diseases. So, in short, if you do not take preventative action, there is a 70% chance that you will die early. Not only that, your life before your early death will be of much lower quality as you suffer through these diseases. If this isn’t scary, I don’t know what is!
“But Chip, I don’t know what to do about it.” Here’s what you do: seek the help of a personal trainer. A personal trainer can cater to your specific needs, wants and situation. They can tailor a fitness program to suit you, that will work for you. This fitness program will include both exercise and nutrition, they are there to guide you through out the complete journey.
“Chip, that sounds expensive and complicated”. Well, the Kanthaka app makes it easy to get a personal trainer, right in your own home! Super convenient and very affordable considering the cost of having diabetes or paying for rehabilitation from an injury that your body was too weak to prevent.
Side story: My grandmother broke her hip when she stepped off of a curb awkwardly. This broken hip was caused by osteoporosis, which had made her bones frail, and from lack of muscle strength to prevent the injury. All preventable had she not lived a sedentary lifestyle and gotten some exercise.
Osteoporosis can actually be reversed with a good exercise program and proper nutrition. In getting a personal trainer, not only are your getting sound direction on exercise and nutrition, but you are also buying accountability. When you pay for a trainer, even though it’s reasonable on the Kanthaka app, you are obligating yourself to meet that trainer and not waste the money. So if motivation is your problem, the shear act of hiring a personal trainer provides you with that needed motivation.
“Chip, how do I know I’m getting a good personal trainer? My sister had a bad experience with a trainer that didn’t know what he was doing”. The trainers on the Kanthaka app all go through a strenuous vetting process. First and foremost, they must be certified through a nationally recognized certifying agency such as NACE, ACE, ISSA or Yoga Alliance. These training programs teach all of the proper modern exercise techniques, the science behind them and how to prevent injury. They all cover basic nutrition as well, the single biggest contributor the outcome of a good exercise program. We verify each and every trainers’ certification. Second, all of our trainers carry personal liability insurance, something that keeps Kanthaka trainers accountable for their actions. And lastly, I personally interview each and every one of them! Only about 1 in 10 trainers make it on the app. Kanthaka prides itself on the exceptionally high quality of trainers that we keep on the app.
I love telling my story because my hope is that it inspires someone to change their outlook on fitness and encourages them to pursue a higher quality of life.