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What I Love Wednesday: Fitness Trainer Fess Up

Linda Marie
Image Credit: Linda Marie

Most people on social media know me as a pop culture junkie and an art aficionado that is slightly ‘comic_con_crazy‘. It is with great pleasure that Fan Fest News allows me to share my cool adventures with its readers. What lots of people may not know is that I have another passion, fitness. In fact, I have been a certified fitness professional for the past 10 years. It certainly was not a future I ever imagined for myself.

When I think back to the person I was 15-20 yrs ago, I am reminded of a girl that had no direction in life; an insecure young woman on a path of self-destruction. I was an obese smoker and a junk food addict with my head buried in the sand. While I was always book smart, I had utter disregard for my physical self. One would think being ridiculed and bullied while growing up would be a reason to change. No, it is not. To all those that think they are ‘helping’ their friends with their judgemental comments, I assure you, it only makes things worse. I think everyone has their own catalyst for making positive changes and one thing is for sure, it must be for yourself. For me, it was a roller coaster of emotions, literally.

No matter what my size, I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie and theme parks provided a great place to catch some great thrills and chills. The faster and higher, the better! Problem is, these rides are engineered to keep people safely locked in place which means a very tight squeeze in some circumstances, especially for those carrying extra weight. I’ll never forget the time a harness barely fit over me. I couldn’t help but think how embarrassing being removed from the ride would have been, it was a huge wake-up call. I guess never wanting to be in photos, having to shop in ‘special’ stores, always being friend-zoned by guys that said I was really cool but thought of me as a sister (ugh) had not been enough. I had finally hit my breaking point.

So began my journey down a very bumpy road. I quickly realized that fad diets were not the answer and provided only temporary results, a lifestyle change was in order. That change included what I dreaded most, breaking a sweat. I cleaned up my eating habits and started walking on the treadmill. Yup, just walking. Most of my clients think I’ve worked out my entire life, that I don’t understand their struggle, that exercise is easy for me. They are quite surprised to hear that prior to running my first half marathon, the only thing I used to run after was a doughnut.

2017 Rutgers Unite 8K. Linda Marie
Image Credit: Marathon Photos

Yet, it was not until I discovered the joy of lifting weights that things really began to fall into place. I took some classes and began educating myself on the benefits of weight training, that is when I really began to see changes. Not only did it aid me physically but it gave me a sense of empowerment and built up my confidence. It takes both muscle strength and mental fortitude to move those daunting weights. Let me tell you something ladies, I am not talking about pretty bicep curls using 5 lb dumbbells here, I am talking about loading a barbell upwards of 200 lbs and locking your ass in place for a perfect deadlift. THAT is power! That is how to change your body. ‘Toning’ is for printers. 😉 (note: do not perform heavy lifting on your own, it takes practice and working with a professional)

Fitness, Linda Marie
At ‘home’. Image Credit: Linda Marie

After doing some research and communicating with top-notch fitness professionals, becoming a personal trainer seemed to be the next logical step. I wanted to work in a field where I could help others feel good about themselves, to feel accomplished and guide them through their own personal fitness goals. I had been working in the field of engineering when I discovered my passion for fitness and I often get asked if I feel that knowledge was wasted. Knowledge is never wasted! In fact, much of what I learned from mechanical engineering can be applied to body mechanics which has been quite helpful in developing workout plans specific to the needs of each client; showing them that exercise does not have to be boring!

Every person is unique and it matters not how much you can lift, only that you give 100%. From athletes and beauty contestants to career moms and cancer survivors, I have trained a wide array of incredible people that continually inspire me. Listen, there are still days when even I don’t have the motivation to push through, but then I remember there are individuals in this world that are unable to even get out of bed. I figure if I am blessed with the ability to get up and move then I am blessed enough. I am gonna ‘go after it’!

Linda Marie, Phoenix Fitness
Fun with my fellow trainers! Image Credit: Linda Marie

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