Once upon a time there was a recovering chunky-butt named Kirsten who decided she wanted to work in a gym-o-awesomeness and surround herself with healthy, fit-minded peeps. As part of her indoctrination into the land of IFAST-dom, she was awarded an assessment that verified her strengths and weaknesses as a dormant athlete. She quickly proved herself to have the dexterity of a Weeble-Wobble. They sent their noble and optimistic warrior, Sir Jae, to feverishly train Kirsten in the art of Anti-Humpty-Dump-tery. This is her story…
The first time I ever heard of IFAST, I was reading the want ads on Craigslist.
I was a 42 year-old woman who had worn many different hats throughout my professional career: middle school teacher, charter school principal, yearbook consultant, temp agency manager, stay-at- home-mom, freelance writer, car salesman, admin, blogger, account manager, and education consultant. No matter what I was doing though, my highest priority was always to make others feel special and celebrated. What irony considering my inability to see how important it was for me to celebrate and prioritize my own health and happiness.
When I saw the ad for a receptionist at IFAST, I had already lost nearly 50 pounds. I knew I was completely overqualified for the job, but I also knew that working at a gym would help reinforce my goals to get fit and healthy. The week I met with IFAST owner Mike Robertson, I had 3 job interviews. I ended up being offered all three jobs. My heart, body, and soul wanted one; the part of my brain that manages the checking account wanted the other two. Thank goodness I have always had the love and support of my husband Larry so that I could join the IFAST family.
The night before my first day, I had a
complete meltdown mild anxiety attack. I remember crying in my bedroom closet and explaining to Larry that I was worried potential clients would come in to IFAST, see a 250-lb woman sitting behind the desk and think, “These are the kind of results that this gym offers? Yikes!”
I didn’t want my weight to negatively impact IFAST as a business. Larry held me tight and said, “Let me ask you something. When you met with Mike last week, were you fat?” His bluntness was shocking, but I nodded.
“So, Mike knows you’re fat?”
“So obviously he thinks you have something to bring to the table besides your weight?”
I nodded again.
“Trust that Mike sees the same gifts in you that everyone who meets you sees. They’re lucky to have you and if someone comes into IFAST and can’t see that? It sounds like Mike is smart enough to know that he doesn’t need them as a client.”
Larry was exactly right. One of the things about IFAST that I cherish most is that there is no “typical” client. Our clients are all ages. All sizes. All abilities. At IFAST, I could be training next to a retired doctor, a professional soccer player, a college professor, a stay-at-home-mom, or a 12-year old pursing his athletic dreams. A complete hodge-podge of awesomeness.
One of the things Mike said in my interview was that he loved helping people reach their potential as athletes. Two years ago, thinking of myself as an athlete just made me giggle. Not only have I grown in my role within IFAST as an employee, I’ve grown within IFAST as an athlete. I’ve gotten leaner, gotten stronger, and even competed in my first powerlifting meet rocking a Wonder Woman tutu. Honestly I’ve never been happier or healthier.
Embracing my inner-athlete has made me a better mom. A better wife. A better employee. A better me. Leigh Hunt said, “The groundwork for all happiness is health.”
If you’re in Indy and ready to break new ground with your own happiness, give me a call. I’d love to help you celebrate your own anniversary a year from now!