How A Military Move Transformed My Fitness Business
Mississippi… I am moving to Mississippi?! A million thoughts raced through my brain in 2011 when I got this news. Every stereotype of the south came up. What was I going to do with my business? Do I really want to leave California? Am I really in love with this guy? How am I going to stay healthy in the land of fried chicken and barbeque?
I am sure most military spouses can relate to this situation. Your first military move. What the heck was I getting myself into? (Little did I know at the time!)
Here I was, three years into building my own fitness business in Sacramento, CA. It was the place I CHOSE as home, and now, I had to give it all up to move into the unknown? Heck, I was even planning to open my own personal training studio in Sacramento, a lifelong dream of mine (at the time).
My clients “forbid” me from moving. They said, “What are we going to do without you?” At the time, I didn’t really have an answer for them. All I knew was that I was moving, and would somehow figure it out. My heart knew I had to continue helping them, even if I wasn’t there in person. But how?
Back in 2011, I got creative. At the time, there were no other online personal training systems that came anywhere close to the quality of a program I would recommend. I wanted to continue training my clients. So, in all of my non-tech-savvy-ness, I decided to create my own program and call it the “Trainer In Your Back Pocket®”
I wanted to create something that could travel, not only with me as I moved across the country, but with my clients as well. I wanted to create a plan they could do anywhere, anytime, and most importantly, be efficient and effective. I wanted to create an online fitness training program that closely resembled my own fitness training goals. What would I want in my own fitness plan?
- 30-45 minute workouts
- A plan I could do at home OR at a gym
- A balanced set of workouts each month that I could progress with
- Videos that could easily be followed along with
- A community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts with the initiative to get and stay healthy.
What I didn’t know at the time, was how many other women there were in the same boat as me. How many other women wanted the same type of workouts. How many other women moved around due to their jobs or their spouses’ jobs. What I created became a plan that could go anywhere, even overseas, and get the job done. I created a training program and community that travels with you, no matter where you are.
Now, let me backtrack and tell you a little about my fitness goals and why the Trainer In Your Back Pocket® program came about as it is. See, growing up, I was a chunkster. I was heavy my entire life, all the way through college. I always played sports, and I always went to the gym. I was fit. I just was also fat. I thought that exercise would help me lose weight. Boy was I wrong. Exercise got me fit! It also kept me fat. How could a marathon runner be overweight? Well, I proved that point when I ran 3 marathons at my heaviest weight. (Did you know that running marathons can actually increase your body fat % if you don’t include strength workouts in your training plan?) I got hooked on going to the gym because I thought it would help me lose weight. Well, good thing it got me hooked, because it helped me realize that I needed to help others on their fitness journey. I had to teach others about how exercise was NOT just about losing weight, but about all of the amazing benefits movement has to the body overall. While exercise is a huge part of staying healthy, there are so many other components to take into account for our overall wellness.
It’s what I call the “wellness puzzle.” A puzzle won’t be complete unless you put all of the pieces in place, at the same time. Not only do you have to get that exercise piece in place, but you also have to get your eating piece in check, your mindset on point, your sleep schedule managed, and, of course, your stress under control. We all have different puzzle pieces, and for some, their exercise piece is missing. Maybe the dog ate it or it got swept under the rug?
The program I wanted to create for my clients had to include not only the exercise puzzle piece, but the other pieces as well. This way, each client could work on the puzzle piece that was missing for her. And as we all know, some months we are missing one piece, and then other months we are missing other pieces.
The biggest lesson I learned as I was building my own wellness puzzle, was simply that it was a never ending puzzle. There would always be a piece missing. The sizes of each piece would change. And that I just had to do my best to strive to put my pieces in place every day.
Now, I have the privilege of helping women all over the world fit their puzzle pieces together, all because of that scary decision to move to Mississippi in 2011. Now, instead of just helping women directly in the town I live in, I could help women all over the world. I could help other military spouses who move every couple years. I could help moms who have to get their workouts in at home while their children nap. I could help teachers decompress after a long day of teaching. And I could help friends gather at the gym, with an efficient workout plan they could easily follow together without needing to hire a personal trainer.
I’ve learned a ton along the way. And they say hindsight is 20-20. I never would have imagined that taking the leap to “give up” my business and change directions toward creating the Trainer In Your Back Pocket® online program would be the best thing that ever happened to me.
The program that started as a way for me to simply keep my Sacramento clients in shape, even after I moved, grew and continues to help women all over the globe find their strength through fitness, mindset, community, and building their own fitness puzzles.
Now, when we get that scary phone call telling us where we’ll be stationed next, instead of fearing it, I embrace the opportunity, knowing only good things will come of it. Plus, at least I’ll have my own workout plans to take with me!
Abby Malmstrom, M.S.
Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Consultant
Here are some videos to see what Abby from Trainer In Your Back Pocket®: