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Julia Johnson exudes energy with every word and action. She loves working out so much that she can be seen doing bicep curls with the packages she handles at her full-time job in an Amazon Warehouse. Julia, known as JuJu after her grandmother, took that passion and became a certified personal trainer, which is giving her even more energy – and changing her life.
But JuJu has not always been this motivated. “I used to be a procrastinator,” she says. “I joined a weightlifting team during my senior year in high school but after I graduated, I wasn’t consistent. I got into a rut.”
And then, she got into a motorcycle accident.
“I broke and dislocated my elbow and the doctors wanted me to have surgery and said I’d likely never have full movement in my elbow and arm again,” she said. “I wanted to prove that doctor wrong, so I got back into the gym. One year later I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and have full movement in my arm.”
JuJu’s co-workers and friends started to notice her physical changes. “I have always been small and skinny, and suddenly friends started asking where my muscles were coming from,” she said. “And then I started to get asked if I’d train others.”
JuJu says the idea of helping others make positive changes was appealing. “It’s addicting for me to see changes happening in my body,” says JuJu. “It’s an energy rush and is proof that you can do anything you want if you are consistent and determined. I wanted to share that with others.”
She talked to a friend who recommended she get certified through ISSA. She had already been doing some research on her own. “I had inquired with ISSA and they called me back,” she says. “The person on that call motivated me to do it and worked with me to set up a payment plan that worked for me.”
JuJu says she then headed straight to the store to get a notebook and pens and get herself situated to learn. “I didn’t have a computer so I actually used my phone and a tablet to complete the whole course,” she said.
When asked about the experience of getting certified, JuJu says she was scared at first. “It seemed like a lot of information to me and I was nervous I would not be able to do it,” she says. “I actually did take a month off, but ISSA was there for me and the people were really encouraging. They offered support and advice and it gave me the energy to keep pushing.”
JuJu received her certification in September and has not looked back. She says she expected to train perhaps a handful of people on the side in addition to her full-time job, but things have not gone as expected.
She said, “People at work started to ask me to train them. My nephew made the baseball team and wants to train. Other people started hitting me up. Social media has blown up and I have people as far away as California and New York who want me to train them online. It shocks me.”
So now, she’s looking to make it a full-time job.
“I want to wake up and do something that I love every day, no ifs ands or buts,” she said. “Right now, I’m happy like a kid. I can’t stop smiling.”
When asked what her favorite thing is in training others, she says, “I love their reaction. I love it when someone can accomplish something they could not before. Like I said, that’s the energy I get when I workout and it’s energizing to be able to give that to others.”
“I want to be certified in everything it takes,” she says. “There are so many parts and pieces. I want to know it all.”
If this article has inspired you to consider taking the leap and making a change like JuJu has, chat with an ISSA Enrollment Advisor to get started today.