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Christie Schull: Master Trainer and Exercise Therapist

Christie Schull: Master Trainer and Exercise Therapist

Reading Time: 2 minutes 45 seconds

BY: ISSA

DATE: 2024-07-01


In the quiet town of Mooreland, Indiana, Christie Schull has built a fitness sanctuary that stands as a demonstration of her passion and commitment to helping others achieve their health goals. Her journey, which began in a small home gym in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, has transformed her into a Master Trainer and Certified Exercise Therapist through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

Christie's story is one of transformation and determination. "It took my daughter believing in me to even get started," she recalls. Initially, Christie trained with her daughter in a tiny home gym, but as her confidence grew, so did her ambitions. Encouraged by her daughter and fueled by her own drive, Christie decided to become a Master Trainer. She worked at another gym for a while but soon realized she had the capability to create her own space. "This is ridiculous. I can do this myself," she decided. And so, Free Spirit Gym was born.

The Launch of Free Spirit Gym

Today, Free Spirit Gym is a thriving hub of fitness and wellness activities. Christie offers a variety of classes, including yoga, group training, and specialized programs like Silver Sneakers and Silver & Fit. She is also preparing to add indoor cycling to her roster. "I am so grateful to ISSA because it would not have been possible for me to achieve what I have without support from ISSA," she says, acknowledging the role of her certifications in her success.

One of Christie's most impactful certifications is in Exercise Therapy. This specialization has allowed her to make significant differences in the lives of her clients, many of whom have faced severe physical challenges. At a young 58 years old, Christie herself understands the importance of this certification on a personal level. "I've had knee surgery and rotator cuff surgery on both of my shoulders," she shares. "If I hadn't had the exercise and fitness on my side, it would have taken me a lot longer to recover."

Transforming Lives Through Exercise Therapy

The real magic happens when Christie applies her knowledge to help her clients. "I've met people who couldn't put their arm above their head when I first met them. Now, they can push a 25-pound dumbbell above their head," she says with pride. This progress is not just physical; it’s deeply emotional. Christie tailors her approach to each individual, understanding their unique needs and movement patterns. "You have to study their movement, what their body does. You can't lump everybody together.”

Christie's dedication is evident in her clientele, which ranges from their 50s to their late 70s. She focuses on helping them maintain mobility and avoid nursing homes. "I want to keep these people out of a nursing home," she asserts. Her exercise therapy sessions are designed to be inclusive and effective, even incorporating chair exercises for those with limited mobility. "It's amazing what you can do. There are endless exercises," she says.

Beyond her technical expertise, Christie believes in the power of mindset. Her gym's motto, "Mindset is everything," is a guiding principle for her and her clients. "Slow and steady always wins the race," she tells them, emphasizing the importance of patience and perseverance in achieving fitness goals.

Christie's path from a small home gym to a thriving fitness business is nothing short of inspirational. She embodies the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, having shed significant weight (more than 120 pounds) and reduced her reliance on medications. Her story is a powerful example of how passion, knowledge, and the right certifications can transform not just one’s own life but the lives of many others.

Looking to the future, Christie dreams of expanding her gym further, continuing to help her community embrace the power of healthy living. "I just have this drive," she says. Her vision aligns perfectly with ISSA's mission to connect 100 million people to the power of healthy living by 2030.

For those considering a career in fitness, Christie’s advice is clear and emphatic: "Absolutely. Hands down I would recommend ISSA to everyone." Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of fitness and the profound impact of the ISSA's comprehensive training programs.

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