Of the Same Herd

The beauty of college (at least when you can start focusing on your major) is that you’re constantly surrounded by those of like mind and interests.

Tomorrow begins another new semester for me: 15 credit hours of courses focused on kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition for sports and exercise, and designing training programs.


It’s not too hard to make new friends when you’re all going into the same fields of study. You’ll have the bulked up guys who have always known they wanted to be a trainer; the women who swear by calm forms of exercise and recreation, mostly yoga and Pilates, who will hope to train the celebrities and other high-paying clients; and sprinkled in between all of them are a few regular Janes and Joes, like myself, who’ve wandered our way into the fitness industry by losing the weight ourselves. We’ve found the joy in living and having accomplished something so huge, something that has become a national and world-wide crisis, that our sympathetic and understanding nature will be appreciated. We’ve been there. We know how overwhelming our push goals can be. Looking back at being 207 pounds, I remember the sinking feeling I had, when my dreams of losing just 60 pounds seemed like climbing Everest while blindfolded.

We know the struggle it is, picking yourself back up off the couch after a 2 week hiatus/binge/period of falling back into fat behaviors. But we’ve done it. We still continue to do it everyday.

These are the people I naturally attract to. We always tend to hit it off very quickly and become inseparable friends. When I hear of someone who’s won the battle of the bulge, as I have, taking off 50 or more pounds, we instantly have this silent bond. That’s the ultimate ice-breaker for me. It’s such a relief and joy when I find others who’ve gone through the same struggles as I have. Once we find that initial connection, it’s always an endless back and forth of giving and receiving tips, sharing workout plans, chatting about the latest craze. You can see the lights glow in our eyes with excitement.

We’re all training to become part of the intricate fitness and health industry. We will leave the school, equiped with the knowlege of training program procedures, specific dietary needs, and how to workout with special populations.

I get those same butterflies, knowing I’ll be helping others climb their own personal Everest. I look out for those who seem the most hopeless, because in them, I see my old self. I will always reach out my hand, letting them know it’s not too late. I’ll keep some of my “before” pictures in my office for reminder that they, too, can do anything. I can’t think of a better job than helping others get their health and life back. What’s a better gift you could possibly give someone?


3 thoughts on “Of the Same Herd

  1. Do me a favor… as you’re going through your curriculum, see if you can develop a fitness plan for people with joint issues. I think there’s money to be made in that! And it’s one of the things that would’ve made my process a lot easier. I don’t have the foggiest idea what that looks like, but it’s worth a shot!

      1. I have severe hypermobility and my knees and elbows go every which way but south. And my spine is incredibly limber. My PT loves pointing that when my joints and muscles feel “normal” that means I’m tight… my knees hyperextend by about five inches, my elbows do as well (not five inches, but they bend the wrong way), and my spine allows me all kinds of mobility. In fact, I had back surgery at 26 for disc herniations, but it stymied the MDs for a while because I could still bend forward, backward, and side-to-side. When I do squats, my core feels no effect but my knees hurt like heck. When I do a lot of triceps/biceps exercises, my muscles never fatigue but I have elbow pain for days… And cardio is a challenge because running compresses my spine further (it’s continuing to degenerate) and causes problems with my knees… my shoulders and hips have issues as well, but I’m able to work around those more easily as the torque is different on those joints.

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