ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
Owner / Personal Trainer
Hard Body Fitness RI
“I am so grateful and thankful to MTTI for taking the chance on me—for not judging me on my past mistakes, but instead giving me the opportunity to prove myself. I want to help people lose weight and have healthy lives. I will make sure that wherever I go, I represent MTTI proudly.”
Personal Training is my passion.
I have the will to get up every day and go out to meet people. I’m actually shy, but I’ve found that by just being real and authentic, I attract people who really want to change their lives. I’m offering personal training services because I want to help each person have a better quality of life.
My son chose my business name. The name suggests I train athletes, but I prefer helping non-athletes lose weight and improve their health.
A lot of people get overwhelmed when they go to a gym. I love working with people who have never been to a gym—or went there but felt self-conscious and out of place. I make them comfortable. They can confide in me about their health and weight concerns. I treat people with dignity and respect—let them know, ‘you are welcome here’.
I aim to help them to achieve not only physical fitness, but in all aspects of their lives—to be strong enough to hold whatever the world has put on their shoulders. The motto of Hard Body is: Believe. Never Quit. Achieve. It’s not just a brand for my business–I’m the brand. Everything I ask my clients to do, I have done and continue to do, myself.
I wasn’t always a positive role model for a healthy lifestyle.
I grew up in Lowell, MA with eight siblings. My dad wasn’t around. There wasn’t much structure or discipline. I got into trouble a lot. At some point my life spiraled out of control and I did things that I regret. I didn’t finish High School; I did eventually get my GED.
At 13-14 I got into boxing at the West End Gym. I liked the physicality. Then at 15, I had my first kid—a son—followed by a daughter. I now have four children; two grown and two young ones. Raising kids taught me a lot. As a trainer, I want to motivate young people, who are into videos more than fitness. I try to make them aware without talking down to them—I let them know I’m here for them.
Later, when I moved to RI I started to go to a gym. I ‘caught the bug’—working out and feeling good afterwards. I knew this was something I wanted to do.
Up until the time I started school at MTTI, I earned my living doing landscaping, asbestos work and brick-laying, but I wasn’t passionate about any of it. Before coming to school, I would talk to trainers in gyms. I first saw MTTI advertised in a bus shelter. I worked with Rehabilitation Counselors, who helped me get funding for school.
When I finally applied to MTTI’s Personal Fitness Trainer program, I was not immediately accepted.
I had made some mistakes in life that could affect employers’ willingness to hire me. The school didn’t want to take my money if they didn’t think they could help me find work as a Personal Trainer.
I wrote a heartfelt letter to the school’s owners, Sharon and Ward, about my mistakes and how I learned from them. I told them that if they gave me the opportunity, I wouldn’t let them down.
Everyone at MTTI was helpful and pleasant. I always felt the owners and staff were genuine people who really cared. When owners treat their employees well, the employees, in turn, pass that down to the students.
There aren’t words to say how good my instructor, Jen is. Her patience with the different personalities in the classroom is amazing. As a person and a teacher, she’s just awesome.
At the start of my Personal Fitness Training program, I had no clue about business.
The business building skills taught in the program were very helpful. You learn to be organized and plan how you want to go about your business. I want my own business to be able to choose the clients I work with. What I learned in school helped me talk to the right people about getting permits and to lawyers, to set up my business.
I also learned how to perform an intake and, if a client has certain health conditions, get clearance from doctors.
Learning to set boundaries is so important. So is scope of practice—knowing where I can make suggestions to a client about healthy diet, while letting them know that it’s not in my training to give them meal plans.
I know what it takes to work on being fit while living with a health condition.
I have an autoimmune kidney disease. When my kidney function goes below 15%, I will need a transplant. Some days, I feel crappy, but this makes me want to take better care of myself and my health. Staying positive is key. It has taught me to be patient and tolerant in working with people. I also think about my kids; I want to be a good example to them. So I stay focused, look forward and persevere. I will never quit.
There have been many challenges in setting up to train on my own. I’ve come too far in trying to build a business—and in working to be a better person. I’ve learned from my past mistakes. I learn a lot from my current clients. Now I carry myself with respect and dignity, and have ethics—I treat others the same way. I haven’t yet officially opened, but this week alone I signed four people. It takes dedication and focus to start a business. You need to be sure you know what you want to do before investing.
When I get to work, I leave my personal stuff at home. I put my phone away (except to call clients). I tell my clients, ‘This is your time. You are paying for it.’ I give them my whole attention.
I am so grateful and thankful to MTTI for taking the chance on me—for not judging, but instead giving me the opportunity to prove myself.
My dream is coming to fruition. Starting this business is the reward of my hard work. I will make sure that wherever I go, I represent MTTI proudly.