If you are in need of motivation in your life, head over to Atlanta School of Massage to get your daily dose of positivity and inspiration! The other morning, they welcomed me into their building to talk about their school, and the transformation challenge they are currently having. I knew that I was going to talk with them, and watch them, but I did not know that I would leave with so much motivation, and passion flowing through my veins. Their spirit and energy that they emit is contagious. You can tell that everyone was serious about helping others, becoming healthier, and improving their lifestyles. What amazed me the most was their support system. You can tell that each person is not there just because they have to be; they genuinely want to be there, and want to lift others up around them.
#AmbitiouzAlphaz is made up of personal trainer, Ariana & client, Mariam. Ariana has been in love with fitness since she was about six years old. She would run on the treadmill, and learn to lift weights without learning how to do it from someone else. She has always had a passion for it & loves to give others results. Getting results from others inspires her to do more. She said: “If I know I can incorporate a routine for someone else to reach their goals, I know I can do it for myself. If I can push this person, I know I can push myself to become better than what I am.” Mariam is 50 years old, and decided it was time to take better care of herself now that her youngest is going off to college. She is from New Orleans, so food is “her thing.” Mariam is trying to find healthier ways to eat her favorite meals. For example, if she were to make Shrimp Scampi, she would exchange the butter for olive oil. Throughout this process, her endurance has gone up a lot – now she can do longer workouts, like the plank. Like a lot of us, Mariam says that one of her biggest challenges has been her head. She told me: “Sometimes I think I have a head problem and think I can’t do this, or I’m not strong, and I have realized that I have to get over the mind games & I have to realize that I can do it!” I think this is such awesome determination and inspiration for all of us! When asked what advice they had for others starting on their health journey, Mariam said that it is never too late to make small changes. You have to make them gradually so they will stick more, but to never give up! Ariana said that eating clean is so important because if you are eating junk food, you will never see any changes.
Yano Anaya is the director of the program at the school. I sat down with him for a few minutes & was blown away by how much passion, and knowledge he has about health and fitness. He originally became a personal trainer in 2001 because he found himself very unhealthy. He said that his mother was his biggest influence on starting a healthier way of living for himself. His mother got her masters of nutrition in 1954, and was one of the first female scientists on a team that worked for the government to create Monosodium Glutamate. When she turned 50 years old, she decided to become a body builder and won her first competition that same year. This is one of the seeds she planted in Yano, but it did not hit him until he was already headed down hill. He told me, “Anybody at any age can make that change. You have to allow yourself to make it – the ability to step outside of your comfort zone, and own shifting your lifestyle into a more postitive way. It is adding and taking away habits.” Making the switch from personal training to educating others on how to become a personal trainer was challenging in the beginning because not only did he have to make sure the students were learning everything they needed to, but he wanted and needed to create an environment where students could let go, humble themselves & allow themselves to learn. He said, “Everyone comes in with a wall of expectations. Once people feel comfortable in the energy that you create, it creates a positive environment where people strive to want to learn.” Yano tries to instill values, and morals into the student population. I truly believe that any school would benefit tremendously from his perspective on teaching and learning. He told me that no matter where you are in your fitness journey, the number one priority should be your internal organs. “If your internal organs are healthy, you have normal cholesterol, your triglycerides are low, you don’t have any thyroid dis-function, your hormone environment is healthy, and that is the epitome of health. People look at others and judge by the cover. It comes from within from being healthy; it is not necessarily what others see. Not every guy has a six-pack. Even a person who has a lean body mass with a six-pack may have cancer. You just don’t know what’s going on internally with somebody. Judging a book by its cover is a false precedent, in my opinion.”