I am so excited to be a part of the Fuerte Fitness team as a trainer! Here is a glimpse into who I am and my philosophy on health and fitness.
As someone who was an athlete in high school, earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, works as a personal trainer, and coaches high school and middle school volleyball, it would be an understatement to say that I have acquired a lot of fitness and health information. Being an athlete in high school I learned about hard work, teamwork, and how to make changes to my skill execution. As an exercise science major I learned the names of nearly every muscle, bone, nerve, and blood vessel in the human body, as well as skills like how to biomechanically analyze a motion and determine what muscles are at work. Working as a personal trainer I learned (and continue to learn!) about modifying exercises for each individual and pushing someone past the limits they set for themselves while not pushing too far. As a volleyball coach I have been learning ways to teach young athletes never to give up or take short-cuts in their training. I have an abundance of both classroom and hands-on knowledge. If, however, I could share only one thing with you as a fitness professional, it would not be proper squat form or the perfectly balanced nutrition plan or the best exercises to stay in shape. It would be cultivating a powerful mindset, motivation, and will.
Proper exercise form, nutrition plan, and the right exercise plan to reach a fitness goal all have an important place in your fitness education. Without the motivation and the will to stick through a nutrition plan or to perform exercises correctly then that knowledge is meaningless. Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers, puts it best:
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” - Vince Lombardi
It is the mentality and will that I desire most (as a coach, a trainer, and a friend) to see in everyone regarding their fitness. Not having the right motivation or the will to succeed is the biggest obstacle I see in clients and players. I have trained with people weekly working towards their fitness goal together, but they seem like they don’t want to be there or they tell me they failed to workout at all since I last saw them. I have trained with people for months that know what they need to be doing and how to do it, but appear to be in the same place as the first day I met them, solely due to a lack of will.
I have seen athletes on the volleyball court run half-heartedly toward a volleyball and let it fall just to say they “made an effort”; once a punishment is put in place though, they are magically able to chase down and make great plays off a ball 20 feet away from them. However, we cannot always rely on a punishment for adequate motivation, so finding that intrinsic motivation is essential, which is why it is my main focus (and biggest struggle) as a coach. Having a plan and a purpose in mind is essential when working towards a short or long-term fitness goal, but without the right mindset and motivation behind it to make you stick to it then the plan alone will not be enough to get you there. This is a lesson I learned early in life from my personal experience as an athlete:
As a freshman in high school walking into the gym for volleyball try-outs I was fairly confident in my ability to make the JV or at least the C team. I looked around the gym at my competition and knew I had the same amount of experience if not more as other freshman. Thinking back on those try-outs now, though, the only thing I remember is how devastated I was to be cut from the program. After I got over my shame and embarrassment a few days later, I realized I had two choices: to drop volleyball and pick a new sport or focus all my efforts on making the team next year. I chose the latter and, in my opinion, the tougher choice. I played volleyball every chance I got during that year: attending every camp my parents could get me to, playing on a club team, and passing balls in the backyard with my dad and sister after school. I walked into the gym as a sophomore for try-outs the following year not just wanting to make a team, but wanting to leave an impression. And I did just that. By the end of try-out week I was the sole sophomore on the varsity team. All of my hard work, my time, and my effort committed to volleyball over that past year paid off. It wasn’t just the hard work and the physical effort, it was my mindset, the motivation, and the will that truly pushed me to that place.
The best lessons from fitness and health revolve around the mindset and the will to succeed, to push past your limits, failures, and what you think is possible. With the right mindset, motivation, and will you can do it (whatever it is for you)!