I’ve always believed that if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will. If I don’t think out of the box – I will always be in a box.
Your attitude equals your altitude. I’ve been a personal trainer for over 30 years, and I’ve trained both women and men. I love doing it, because fitness is always a positive – and not negative – experience. I especially love training women because they possess an amazing attitude towards fitness and wellness. Women choose to train in order to enhance their confidence, self-esteem, wellness and, of course, body and mind. For women, fitness goes beyond the physical aspect of working out and looking good. It goes beyond losing weight. Instead, women regard fitness as a lifestyle choice, a road to self-empowerment. It’s all about an ‘I can do it’ attitude that makes women so special, so strong, so beautiful.
I got into the business of fitness by accident, literally (many accidents!). I was hit by a school bus 3 or 4 weeks before the Mr. America competitions – and turned it into becoming America’s Personal Trainer. I was hit by a lobster truck in Miami – and then shot my first exercise video. I was run off the road on Halloween (and hit a tree) – and turned it into over a billion dollar-plus Gazelle Glider success story. These are among my adversities to victories – all because of attitude.
Example: After the tree accident I got over 200 stitches in my face and I was supposed to shoot my first Gazelle infomercial. But the president of the company I was working for called me and said they had to replace me because of my face. Did I quit? Of course not. Instead, I flew to Ohio, met with the president of the company and said ‘this is a great opportunity for us!’ He looked at me in disbelief. I told him that my face was actually ‘a positive’ because people always look for hope – and the accident gave me a totally unique and real way to show people that, due to my commitment to fitness, I never quit. That fitness makes me strong, mentally and physically. So I walked out on that stage with all the people around me and declared ‘it’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s how we respond to what happens to us.’
The rest is history.
There will always be challenges in our lives, but every challenge is a goal: To feel better… look better…get that job…have a strong family…become a child’s role model – and, most of all, to chase that dream – whatever it is – and win it.
Life is short and when you change your mindset, you change your life. Fitness is a prime motivator to your change.
First, obviously we are talking about the goals which women want to reach. Most women are not looking for muscle size or great strength. They are looking for muscle tone and shape, contour and overall wellness. I am not a big believer in heavy weight training for most women’s wants and needs! So I would say body shaping and body sculpting hit the mark in resistance exercise/ I’ve always said it, Exercise technique , whether you’re a man or woman, is the most important. Women need to do perfect form with medium to light weights, 10 to 15 repetitions concentrating on form not weight.
"And do your hard work on the most important thing you own ( Your Body and Your Mind). Take care of it and it will take care of you."
Women are looking at weight loss, sure, but also they are looking at mostly different body part issues than a man. I have found most women are concerned with legs and buttocks (glutes), most men hate training legs.
Women are looking for toned and shapely arms and shoulders, most men want big shoulders and big arms! Women want a firm but shapely chest area with a lift. Most men want a Big Chest with Big Muscular Pectoral….(yes chest muscle).
Women in my opinion want more self-confidence, self-improvement, great body shape, energy and more fitness and overall health and well being, as well as being a role model for their partners and family. Men think of themselves as protective of the family (which I do too) and look for a strong body and mind and the strength to protect my family.
Everybody wants to feel better, look better and be more confident about who they are, but that being said- you have to find the right trainer to guide you to your personal goals. Interviewing a trainer is the same as interviewing an employee for your particular companies. Don’t ever be afraid to ask the trainer questions, you are looking for the right answers for your specific goals and purpose.
In my opinion, I do think a trainer with plenty of experience and proof of results should never be talking in overly technical terms and should be extremely motivational, funny and make your workouts fun. If the trainer has no personality ,it’s hard to enjoy the experience get motivated, and the likelihood of your continuing into the fitness lifestyle might be limited as well as your results.
The following is a list of just some of the clearly credible organizations a trainer might come from: N.A.S.M, A.C.S.M, A.F.A.A, IDEA, ACE, The Cooper Institute, CSCS, NCSA-CPT and NFPT.
Attitude equals altitude. You can do it!
The Quick 10
1. What app do you most use?
I use the camera app most. I am compulsive with taking photos and it’s great for business.
2. Briefly describe your morning routine.
I'm up by 4 to 4:30 AM, then I have coffee, half a chocolate donut, and lots of vitamins. My first workout is at 6:30 AM. I do business until 3 PM, when I do a second workout because I am getting older.
3. Name a business mogul you admire.
Warren Buffett and his son Howard Buffett.
4. What product do you wish you had invented?
Post It Notes, because I am always taking notes so I don’t forget.
5. What is your spirit animal?
Cheetah is my favorite because of its speed and beauty, but they eat Gazelles which have helped by business.
6. What is your life motto?
“You Can Do It. I mean, what is the alternative? You Can’t Do It? No way! I own that trademark in 7 categories.
7. Name your favorite work day snack.
8. Every entrepreneur must be what to be successful?
"Believe in themselves" because not many people will believe in them in the beginning.
9. What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to?
10. Desert Island. Three things, go.
1. Find a clean water source.
2. Decide which animals are edible.
3. Depending on where you are, find a boat to get off the island.
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.