I first joined the Army in 2009. During that time, I never saw a real educated approach to fitness. It was always run, run and run some more because that’s just what we do. I started to see the flaws. There’s people who have been in the Army for 3+ years, running everyday but not getting any better. In 2012 I hung up my uniform and jump boots and headed straight into the fitness industry. I was extremely fortunate to land a job in the premier gym Sky Fitness and Wellbeing of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They allowed me to figure things out and learn by watching some of the best damn fitness professionals I’ve met, and not have sales shoved down my throat. This is where I was first introduced to medical exercise and FMS (functional movement systems) and where I found my love of learning and the drive of wanting to find out the “why” and “how” of everything.
A year and some change later I took a leap and decided to do my own thing. No more sales team pulling clients for me or giving me leads, it would all fall on me and word of mouth from my clients. And damn did I have some amazing clients. Most of my clients followed me and made the transition extremely easy. I don’t think they know how thankful I am for them.
During this time on my own I pushed to build my medical exercise program. Being able to do observation hours with medical professionals helped me grow as a fitness professional. Being around people much smarter than yourself usually ends up in making a better you. Not only did I learn a lot, I built a great relationship which turned into referrals. It also really took me out of my comfort zone. Having to approach physical therapist, chiropractors, and other medical professionals and sell myself was overwhelming at first. That went away quick once I realized our mindsets were similar. Help the patient/client. Once medically stable they can send them to myself to help improve their ADLs ( activity of daily living), and vise versa. If my client was hurting I'd send them to get checked out and continue when they are once again deemed medically stable. Bridging the gap between the medical and fitness industry.
After over 4 years in the fitness industry, I decided I wanted to bring my new-found knowledge and experience to an organization that needs it. So, there I was raising my right hand once again and reenlisting back into the United States Army. No nerves this time. I was headed straight back to the beast I left over 4 years ago, the 82nd Airborne Division. As of now I can’t say I’ve changed the way the Army approaches fitness but I don’t need to. Just helping a few people or getting more people interested in fitness and doing it correctly can create a ripple effect. The big changes I’d like to see will never happen but truly helping the people around me is worth another 3 years to Uncle Sam. Now I’m living the life as soldier and fitness professional in my “free time”. Jumping out of planes by day (or night well, usually night this just sounds better), correcting movement dysfunction by night.