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  • Writer's pictureAngela Johnson

Why I Think My Job is the Best on the Planet

Updated: Aug 7, 2018

Hint, it's all about my clients!

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

My clients are amazing—each and every one of them.

They are all different shapes and sizes, come from different backgrounds, and have different points of view, goals, ambitions and ways of life. Some are men. Some are women. Some are young. Some are older. Some are more goal-oriented. Some are more results-oriented. Some are more competitive. Some are more focused on what muscle is working and why we want to strengthen it.

But they all share a desire to improve the quality of their life through exercise.

With all the diversity among my clients, I’m thinking there is so much we can learn from each other, regardless of our backgrounds, fitness levels or exercise preferences. Everyone faces challenges, and everyone has a success story to share. So I thought we would take a peek into their lives to see what makes them tick and what encouragement they may have for us.

Angela Johnson (left) and Heidi Chupp (right) after Heidi's workout on her 1st year "fitness anniversary".

So, I introduce to you my first Fit4Life Client of the Month, Heidi Chupp.

Heidi has been training with me since March 23, 2017—well over a year. During this time she has soaked up every bit of fitness knowledge she could find. The transformation I have witnessed over the past 16 months has been a thrill to watch. I could write a book about her continuing success.

Heidi's primary goal is consistency—just showing up. How simple is that? So far she’s shown up 115 times in 5 months since setting this goal.

Her secondary goal is to improve on bodyweight exercises,specifically burpees, squats, sit-ups and push-ups. So we created a benchmark workout for her to complete once a month, using the number of reps she is able to complete during a single workout with those movements to track her progress. Here are her stats that show where she started in March compared to where she is now: In March she could do 56 squats and in July she was able to do 182. Her burpee count went from 14 to 95, pushups from 17 to 93 and sit-ups from 12 to 95. How is that for progress?

This is Heidi doing a workout on her one-year "fitness anniversary".
This is Heidi doing a workout on her one-year "fitness anniversary".

One of the bullet points on Heidi's goal sheet (which she created completely on her own) is:

“My birthday gift to myself is whatever improvement I experience at the end of 6 months—inside and out.”

Talk about the gift of fitness!!

I love it!

Here’s what Heidi had to say to a few questions:

Please share a little bit about yourself, for example, family (including the furry ones), job and/or how you like to spend your time outside of the gym. Include anything personal that you want to share.

I am married to my husband of 32 years and we have two grown children, a daughter and a son, who are both married. I am a writer and have loved words since I can remember, and it’s my dream to write biographies and memoirs. I love puttering around in the garden and watching things grow and bloom!

Is there a favorite book you’ve read recently/or movie you’ve seen lately? Why is it a favorite for you?

Oh my goodness, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of “The Greatest Showman”! I think most, if not all, of us on the planet have insecurities about ourselves and have a difficult time believing that we are amazing, beautiful creations, that we each have something beautiful to offer the world. This movie reminded me of this truth—that every human being has value and worth. And the music! I could go on and on.

What led you to invest in your fitness?

A few years ago, my husband and I went through a difficult transition leaving a non-profit where we had worked for years. It had become an unhealthy environment, and this experience took a lot out of me on so many levels. I’d had a consistent workout routine years before, but it had gone by the wayside. I knew that physical exercise is a huge component in overall wellness, and that it would help a lot toward my recovery, fight depression, and give me a positive outlook. It has! Meeting with Angela and working out with her has helped me grow in fitness AND given me tools to navigate the hard parts of life.

How long have you been working out consistently, and what were your initial goals when you started? Are they different now? If so, how?

I began working out in March 2017, and my goal was to exercise 2 to 3 times per week, with the long-range goal of developing consistency. Sometime in February of this year (2018), I increased my frequency to 5 to 6 times per week. And still my goal is to regularly show up. I also set a 6-month goal to work on improving some specific exercises.

What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered throughout your fitness journey so far, and how did you deal with them?

I will share three challenges. 1) One of the biggest obstacles in my fitness journey has been fear of setbacks—whether due to travel, injury, moving, etc. I was so afraid that once I got off track (and it’s inevitable), I’d lose momentum and never regain it. But I’m learning that it’s just a matter of taking the next step. And then the next. And so on.

2) Getting distracted by other goals, or other people’s goals. Right now I don’t have any specific weight-loss, weightlifting goals, measurement goals, etc. Maybe someday, but that’s not where I am right now. But I see what others are doing and I start focusing on that, and the next thing I know, I’m getting discouraged, when there is absolutely no reason to be.

3) This past winter, I was overwhelmed by other stressors in my life and my motivation for working out was so low. Some weeks I showed up only once. I was terrified that I was once again failing and didn’t know how to stop it. But I removed those other stressors and gradually, with Angela’s help, I began to realize that I can do fitness in a way that fits me and works for me. For example, I've learned that I can modify a difficult exercise to make it doable, to rest when I need to, and that I really do get stronger with consistency. I've learned how important it is to keep showing up, and that it takes a choice every day.

What is something you have accomplished during your fitness journey that you are proud of?

I think the fact that I am learning to keep showing up is so huge for me. Also, my burpees and pushups look way better than when I started. 😊

How would you encourage someone who is considering starting a new fitness program?

I would say, be kind to your unique self. Don’t compare yourself or your shape or your progress with someone else. Fitness takes time, so remember to be patient. Every step forward is a reason to celebrate. Every experience, whether you succeed or bomb, is an opportunity to learn about yourself.

What are a couple of your favorite exercises? Why?

Bench presses force me to focus on correct form, and help me be mindful and appreciative of how my body is made and what it can do! The same for deadlifts. And I love doing the pigeon stretch—I can literally experience the difference of what a few more seconds can do to help my muscles stretch further. This stretch has relieved a lot of lower back and hip pain and tightness.

Are you serious, silly or somewhere in between? If you like, share a joke or funny story that makes you laugh out loud.

I’m silly, but introverted—so I’m not very public in my silliness. Our family likes to make up goofy songs, or to change the words in songs to make them goofy. For example, our version of Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” goes something like this: “I would step on a grape for ya, I would get a bad grade for ya, I would eat a whole cake for ya …” 😊

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