So, tomorrow marks Thanksgiving Day. My twenty-sixth one, to be exact. Now, I love using the Holiday Season as a time to kick back and reflect on what I did and didn’t do so far in my life. If you’ve been reading my Comeback Kid Series, you can also see that Brock Patrick does this as well, and he’s typically a little distraught and angered over his lack of success. Just as I once was, and to an extent, I still am. So, I want to give you all a rundown on the good and bad stuff from 2016. While you read this, please note that we do have one more month left in the year and let’s remember to make the most of it.
- Graduate College Magna Cum Laude– This is something I thought I’d never do. Graduating from an undergraduate program in something I’ve always shown an interest in since I was a freshman in high school back in 2005 speaks volumes. But to do it Magna Cum Laude while working full time as a Personal Trainer just speaks wonders. Am I boasting? You better bet I am. I worked hard for this and if I have haters trying to justify my success, let me be the first to tell you how many hours of work and study time I had to put in just to attain this.
- Nutritional Discipline- This is the first year in a long time that I’ve actually stuck to a strict nutrition plan in the cooler months. Will I cheat tomorrow? In a manner of speaking, yes. But I like to cycle my carb intake in low, medium, and high days. In other words it’s a three day cycle. Today, the day before Thanksgiving was supposed to be my high day and Thanksgiving was supposed to be the low day. But I simply switched my high and low carb days around, making tomorrow high and today low. I also undercut my last high carb day, which was Sunday, and my last moderate carb day, which was yesterday. This will allow more calorie allotment for tomorrow. I’ll also lower my protein intake from 160 to about 100 grams, allowing more carbohydrate. This allows me to eat this amount: 500 grams of carbs as a general rule for high carb day. Add in 60 extra grams of carbs that I’ll be sacrificing in terms of protein. Add in another 100 grams of carbs that I sacrificed during my last high carb day on Sunday and an additional 100 grams of carbs I sacrificed yesterday. This gives me a total of 760 grams of carbohydrate to work with. This is the first year I have actually gone this in depth.
- Finally Finding My Niche- A trainer is only as good as their niche. You can know everything about exercise, fitness, wellness, and the works, but if you lack a niche then you’re out of luck. What is a niche? It’s identifying a target population you work well with. Mine happens to be among the males and females out there that are under forty years of age (for the most part) and look to seek a lifestyle overhaul. I’ve found that I succeed with this group more than anyone else. It doesn’t mean I won’t train other demographics, but I prefer the under forty crowd. If there is one absolute quality my target market possesses, it’s that they want a lifestyle change. I love building a rapport with people who not only want to become committed to living a healthy lifestyle, but look to me to hold them accountable in order to ensure they continue to do so. One can hit the gym five days a week for a year, but if they suddenly stop, it won’t do them any good. After the lifestyle has been established, it must be maintained, and that is a long, long process. Working with a trainer is a luxury. Just ask any professional athlete. If they work with trainers, then we all need trainers. No one can do this on their own, including myself.
- Finding My Next Move- Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina are on my hot list. My mother would love to see me move to Fort Myers, Florida because that’s where I have relatives. A couple of awesome relatives too. But Pittsburgh looks like it’s booming into a young urban professional tech town. Not to mention it has the best skyline of any city in the United States. Culture is up there. And it just has a homely feel to it. My only gripe about the place is that I despise their sports teams, especially the Steelers. Anyway, I now know where I want to go and who I want to train. But beyond a relatively younger crowd who looks to achieve a lifestyle makeover, I want one more thing, and that is economically active individuals. People who realize the more the dollar is traded, the stronger the economy, because I believe these people to be the best referral systems out there. People who see value in things and are willing to spend for that value, because they can see the benefits in working with me. That’s what I want.
- No Shows? No Shoots? I totally took a year off of competition and any possible fitness shoots that may have come from that. Why? Not because I wanted to let myself go. Far from it. It was that I really wanted to make 2016 a rebuilding year because I only had a little bit of school left and I want to transition into living in a more prosperous area as soon as possible. I had to give something up, and it was the shows and the shoots. 2016 is the ‘re’ and 2017 is going to be the ‘building.’ Maybe I’ll get back at it in 2018. Or maybe I’ll have so much fun opening these new boxes I’ll have something else to look forward to.
- Still in the Ohio Valley- This is the one thing that really annoys me. I’m still stuck in what I call the Valley of the Damned. No, I don’t hate it like I used to but I certainly don’t like it. There is no opportunity for growth around here. Not in fitness anyway. However, the obvious upside is that I had a place to work full time doing a job that I love and going to school for something that I love and making the most of it. In other words, it provided me a solid foundation on which to build upon, and that can’t be beaten. Couple this with the fact that demands for fitness are relatively low in this area and I’ve managed to make full time hours working as a trainer means that I’ll have no problem doing this job anywhere. And that’s a good feeling.
- Sidelines- This one coincides with number two. I still feel like I’m standing on the sidelines watching others pursue and live their dreams. That sucks, but then again, my dream has always been to work as a personal trainer and make a living off of it. I’m doing that, but I want more and there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. I want to live in a larger area and maybe one day doing something like training celebrities. That is something I would fall in love with doing.
Okay, so there you have it. My ‘Goods’ and my ‘Bads.’ Stay tuned, I’ll be releasing more of Comeback Kid within the next week. Probably three to four chapters of it!