Welcome... I'm Michele
Thank you for visiting and taking a glimpse of my journey.
Actually... several journeys.
I hope some of my experiences will resonate with you. Maybe even motivate you to start a new journey of your own...
I was 8-years old...
...when I realized that superheroes are real...and, that perhaps, I was one of them!
You see, I had just finished jogging side-by-side with my Dad for several miles.
Amazingly, I kept pace with him the whole way.
I was "that kid" who didn't quit. Who didn't complain. Who kept her head down and just motored - despite the challenges of keeping up with a grown man.
And, in that proud moment standing next to my Dad, it hit me, "Wow! I'm fast!"
I could feel my superhero cape blowing in the breeze. Had I ripped open my shirt a blazing red “S” would surely have been revealed!
More Than Keeping Up
I didn't realize it then, but, my superhero fantasy was really a moment of self-actualization. And, a glimpse of things to come.
Kids don’t understand things like “mindset” or "character." Eight-year olds simply do what they do.
But, indeed, I did have a mindset. And, it remains with me to this day.
Here it is:
If I set my mind to accomplish something, then, come hell or high water, I am going to succeed - or die trying.
At that young age, most of what I wanted to accomplish was achieved through physical activities.
Though I didn't totally understand it, physical activity helped me cope with my topsy turvy childhood world.
Super Girl Re-appears
In elementary school, I found more unrealized strength during the "President's Test" for P.E. I smashed the record for static hanging chin-ups and the number of sit-ups in a minute.
This natural tenacity and "I won't quit" mentality seemed to propel me.
I became the fastest kid in my class. Then, in middle school I joined the track team where I not only blew away the competition but set school records, too.
Something inside me was awakening....
Like a creeping vine, this "mindset" began to weave it's way deeper into my character. For example, the school-wide Fund Raiser.
I don't even remember the fundraising cause. What I do remember is that there was a "Top Seller Challenge."
That's all it took.
I immediately donned my Super Girl cape and attacked the Top Seller Challenge with as much enthusiasm and charisma as the sparkly letter “S” on my chest would allow.
All because I thought I wanted to win the prize -- a giant, life-size Sugar Daddy caramel pop -- which, of course, I won.
In hindsight, it had nothing to do with the prize. It was about winning. Another hell or high water moment in my quest to join the Superheroes Club.
And it Continued
As you've surmised by now, I was a super competitive kid - however, mainly with myself. Not just physically, but everything.
And, as my world expanded I realized that a lot of "girly stuff" just didn't cut it. At least not for a competitive, "do-whatever-it-takes" kid like me.
When my Dad offered to buy me a new bike, I was bound and determined to ride a Huffy “boy’s” bike. I wanted the black and red one with shiny mag wheels and chrome accents.
Because it had more “uuumph” and "grit" than those soft, banana-seat “girl’s” cruiser bikes.
That Huffy bike matched how I felt on the inside - how I wanted to be. Tough. Built to win. (I should note here that Lindsey Vonn used men's skis throughout her incredible ski racing career).
It's funny how you think you know yourself... until you don't.
That happened to me during my high school years when, as a cheerleader, I made a life-altering discovery. It was a game-changer that evolved into a life long passion.
Here's what I discovered: Being a superhero is so much MORE than being a "winner."
As I cheered for our teams and revved-up our student body fans -- a new realization entered my consciousness.
It was this:
It's possible through one's own enthusiasm to bring out the spirit, motivation and highest levels of energy in OTHER PEOPLE!
It hit me like a ton of bricks: It's not about ME. It's about THEM!
A true superhero must inspire, motivate and stir-up the positive energy and emotions locked away in others.
To this day, it fills my heart with joy.
I attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina -- a Christian university -- where I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in English Education with a minor in Composite Speech.
It was NOT a "party" school.
The university maintained exceedingly high expectations of students and required attendance of all classes and most campus events.
In addition to the overwhelming class schedule, I held down a full-time job to pay for it.
My college experience was not a frivolous nor whimsey time trying to "figure myself out."
Instead, it felt more like a test of my inner resolve.
You get the picture. It was tough sledding.
It required me to pull - from deep down inside myself -- the discipline, resilience, and mental toughness to juggle, multi-task and keep everything on track.
And, so I did.
Note to Self
Beyond extraordinary physical strength, Superheroes must be mentally and emotionally tough, too.
Do Superheroes Have Children?
In fact, there’s a special superhero cape reserved just for this!
This cape is stitched with love (beyond what is believed capable) -- and woven together with threads of commitment, patience and selflessness.
Among superheroes the term "children" applies to pets, animals, trees, flowers and all things that deserve such attention and protection.
I proudly wore this beautiful cape through the births and rearing of my three children. I thought there was no match for my magnificent red cape.
Until I met...
With the daily flow of dishes, diapers, laundry, strollers and play dates, I grew restless and joined a small gym in my then new hometown of Niceville, Florida.
It was there I met Gloria, the gym's premier group exercise instructor.
It's one thing to teach and lead an exercise class. It's quite another to do it while battling cancer.
But, that's exactly what Gloria did.
On "bad days" when too weak to even stand, Gloria still managed to teach technical, highly choreographed double-step classes while seated in a chair. And, she did it with a beaming SMILE across her face!
Despite her debilitating condition, Gloria always managed to show love for her students, a passion for exercise and was grateful for her job.
This woman had willpower, attitude and drive beyond anything I'd ever seen.
If I had ever deemed myself Super Girl ... Gloria was the ULTIMATE BAD-ASS SUPER WOMAN!
I wanted to be as sweet and as strong as Gloria. Minus the cancer, I wanted to BE Gloria.
Superheroes can be role models for other superheroes to help them grow.
A New Journey
Thus began my official journey into the fitness industry.
Gloria agreed to mentor me. And, I began to put in the work.
Once again, I morphed back to "that kid" who didn't quit. Who didn't complain. Who kept her head down and just motored - despite the challenges of keeping up with the ultimate bad-ass super woman!
Not surprisingly, the fitness industry was a perfect place for me.
Now, 25 years later, I'm proud of the dozens of certifications I've earned as well as the numerous management and leadership positions I hold within the industry.
I've also owned a successful fitness facility and now continue with my proprietary, trademarked coaching programs.
Gloria would be proud.
It Gets Better
Beyond enhancing my own skill sets, the industry provided an opportunity to work with a wide diversity of people.
Throughout my career I've worked with clients of different ages, different backgrounds, different levels of health with different goals - from high level athletes to post-surgery rehab clients and everyone in between.
This all-encompassing journey into human physiology, including exercise, nutrition, mindset and positive lifestyle has been more than a career choice.
It has become... ME.
What's This Mean For YOU?
So how does any of this affect you? What does it mean?
Let me explain...
First off, I want you to know that if you decide to train with me or become involved in any of my programs, it will result in a "relationship."
Not only with me... but, a new relationship with yourself.
Because today's world is faster, busier and more complicated than ever. The obstacles and challenges require almost everyone to become superheroes.
That's where I come in. I have experience. After all, I've been in "superhero training" since I was 8-years old.
On Becoming YOU!
Secondly, I recognize you possess your own gifts, powers, talents, and strengths unlike anyone else. I will support your "uniqueness" -- and maybe take it up a notch!
Together, we'll work through your own "truths" and design an individual structure and plan that empowers you to achieve your physical, mental and emotional best.
And, finally, I have a closet full of superhero capes. I can't wait for you to try one on.
Here's what I know to be true. Superheroes are real.
And, there's a good chanceYOU are one of them!
- ACE (American Council on Exercise) Personal Trainer Certificate
- NHCA (National Health Club Association) Personal Trainer Certificate
- AFAA (Aerobic and Fitness Association of America) Fitness Theory and Practice
- AFAA Kickboxing
- AFAA Step Aerobics
- Healthcare Dimensions: Silver Sneakers I and II
- Nautilus Institute: Schwinn Cycling Coach
- Reebok University: Cycle Reebok
- SCW (Sara's City Workout) Mat Pilates
- KFIT USA: Kettlebell Master Trainer
- IDEA Fitness Association Member
- Certificates in CPR/AED/O2/First Aid
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