Nick and I met 10 years ago (at a bar – yes, very romantic). We later learned that we were attending the same college, and things went forward from there. Our relationship was far from perfect, but we worked at it for years. We had many differences. The one thing we had in common, even at the ripe age of 19, was the goal to build a strong relationship and someday (in the very distant future) a loving family. I had absolutely no idea how to do that, and made many, many mistakes along the way. But I knew it was what I wanted more than anything, and Nick did too. A big difference between Nick and I at that age, was that he was wise beyond his years. Unfortuantely I cannot say the same for myself. Nick was not the man he is today, but he was already working on it. A few years after we finished college we bought our first home together. A small condo in downtown. A few years after that we bought our current home in a sprawling metropolis that is home to about 4000 people. In August 2010 Nick proposed (FINALLY!). I came home to a white aisle runner leading me through the house, roses and candles everywhere, and “our song” playing loudly. There were footprints made of sand leading me to him. We had always discussed getting married on a beach. My prince charming was standing at the top of the stairs in the loft, dressed all in white. A photo slide show he made was playing, he said the most amazing things anyone has every said. Then he asked me. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I could go into more detail about our engagement and later our wedding in April 2011. But I’ll save that for another post. The point of the story is that we grew up together, and I credit a lot of who I am today to Nick. Yes, that is a strong statement, but it’s true. If you met him, you’d understand exactly why I say that. Nick built his life from the time he was a kid. Of course there were bumps in the road, but ultimately he knew what he wanted and wasn’t going to quit until he got it. He is by far the most inspirational, motivational man I’ve ever known. I really mean it when I say I am lucky that I am his wife. Now, how did a self-professed childhood fat girl end up with a bodybuilder? Well, first of all he didn’t look like that when we met! Yes, he was fit and active, but by no stretch did I think he would pursue his fitness to the extent that he has. I am pretty sure he didn’t know it either! After years of him hitting the gym and maintaining what I consider an incredible body, he wanted more of a challenge. So my little 19 year old boyfriend turned into this machine in his 20′s, who would go on to enter two natural bodybuilding competitions in 2011, and win them both! For those of you wondering, since people often ask or assume, yes, he is ALL NATURAL and proudly he always has been! In fact, when he was selected to be tested for steroids at his first bodybuilding contest, he was flattered and more than happy to comply. So, back to the earlier question, why me? Well lucky for me Nick is not just your stereotypical bodubuilder. He loves and supports me unconditionally, as he always has. You’d think that being in peak shape like he is, and building his life and career around fitness, that he would be judgemental or disgusted even, as I sit here in my worst body ever. Stretched, widened, forever changed. Struggling like every other woman. And as a new mom, my struggles amplified. But it is the exact opposite, and it brings tears to my eyes when I think about the man he is, and the support and love he provides me. Yes, he is a trainer – the best one out there (just ask any of his clients). That is who he is down to his core. He lives and breathes healthy living, and that is why he is so successful. But first and foremost, to me, he is my husband. So when people ask me how it feels to be the wife of a personal trainer, my answer is easy. In our world he is my husband first, and a trainer second. They are two very different, seperate relationships. Lucky for me my husband also happens to know exactly what I need to do to get my body back, and is there beside me helping me make it happen.
So as Nick’s personal training business continues to explode, as it has since he started it 7 years ago, I don’t for a second wonder why. People are shocked to find out that he is 100% referral based, and has never advertised. But if you meet him, you will understand why. He lives what he teaches and he loves what he does with all that he is, and it’s obvious. He has built this life for himself with dedication and passion, and those traits spill out of him. He has changed so many lives and made more of an impact on the lives around him than I think he even knows. At Christmas I wanted to do something thoughtful for Nick so I reached out to some of his clients to help me produce what I call a “Gratitude board”. The responses were overwhelming. His clients did not hesitate to share stories, thoughts, and most importantly their thanks and gratitude to Nick for all he has done for them. I’ve shared just a few of the comments below.
So, what does all of this have to do with me? Well, I am so proud and lucky to be the trainer’s wife, and so lucky to have him by my side for this chapter (and every chapter) of my journey. As it is my most challenging one yet, and I couldn’t do it without him!
“When I first started working out with you, I thought it would be a couple of months of training before trying to get into my wedding dress…more than 3 years later I feel like I’ve got not just a trainer, but a friend. It has been your motivation in times when I doubted myself that I’ve been able to prove to me what I am capable of! Thank you for being you…an inspiration, a motivator, and a person who doesn’t just care because you’re my trainer, but because that is just the kind of guy you are.”
“Nick came into my life at what I would say was a pivotal time. I’ve worked with a few different personal trainers – but he is more than just a personal trainer to me. Nick is the little voice in the back of my head that tells me that I’m worth it. He’s the person that convinces me that I’m strong enough to pick myself up off the floor and do one more. He’s the person that, despite the number of clients in his life, makes me feel like I’m always his top priority. For one hour, twice a week, it’s all about me. There isn’t enough money in the world to compensate him for how that makes me (a busy mom, wife and career woman) feel. Nick has given me some amazing gifts. He’s helped to regain some confidence I’d lost in my appearance after having Stella. He’s helped me develop a closer relationship with my sister. He’s helped me understand what I value, from both a physical and mental perspective. But one of the biggest gifts he’s given me has been the ability to, from a very early age, make fitness and health a key part of my daughter’s life. I’m a better Mom and wife because of the time that I spend with Nick. Nick is one of the best, most authentic people I know. With Nick, what you see is what you get. He doesn’t make excuses, and as a result, he doesn’t accept excuses – he just helps you succeed so you don’t NEED excuses. I’m grateful that Nick is my personal coach – but more so, I’m thankful to call him a friend.”
“Drill Sargent with Heart! Nick is one of those rare people that can express their passion through work that actually helps others. In recovering from a serious illness, Nick helped me regain strength and endurance. His humour and persistence helped me keep going in the early difficult days.”
“Nick was instrumental in helping me make a positive change with my fitness. I look back now almost 5 years later and can confidently say it was Nick who gave me the necessary tools to make it possible to change and make fitness a part of my life. Nick’s commitment, knowledge and most importantly support during our time together was unwavering. And for that, I am truly grateful.”
“Nick: Thanks for always showing up, always loving what you do, for pushing me past the limits I have set for myself, and for consistently believing that anything is possible when you just ‘be your best”. Thanks for caring about the heart and mind that live within the body that you’re helping to re-shape. By caring about the heart and the mind; you’re helping to transform them as well. There is no better gift you could give anyone, than the gifts of confidence, health and vitality. The nice buns aren’t so bad either!”