15 years of personal training

The Blair Family

Well, it’s official.

Exactly 15 years ago yesterday, I went down to the secretary of state’s office to file the paperwork to make Core Fitness and Nutrition a legal entity practicing business in Colorado.

What a ride it’s been.

How It All Started

When I was in high school, my chosen career path was to be a sports journalist. So I attended the University of Colorado in Boulder (yes, that’s right, I am a Buff in Ram Town and have the license plates to prove it) since they had the best journalism school in the state at the time. Three and a half years later, I fell out of love with journalism and decided to get a degree in economics. I got that economics degree a year later.

I didn’t know what to do with myself after I graduated from college. I was at a loss. So I helped my dad with his masonry business for about a year and a half. Knowing that I was not going to continue the family business (I didn’t get the “I’m good at building things” gene), I had to do something. That is when I started looking into law school. I figured I could be good at that. I liked to argue. 🙂

The Law Years

I decided to do the paralegal thing first to get my feet wet and see what the atmosphere was like working in the law. For the first couple of years, it was fine. It was brand new, and I was learning a lot about the law.

But that didn’t last very long.

I left the firm I was at and tried out another firm in Downtown Denver.

That was even worse.

I lasted at that job for exactly 11 months and went to the firm across the hall (they offered to pay me more!). It was at this time I started thinking I needed to do something else. I was convinced that law school was not going to happen because I did not like working with attorneys. I also did not like the mundane work that came with working in the law.

(Believe me, the stuff you see on TV about trials and lawyers…it’s all crap. It’s not exciting at all. There are no surprises at trials because both sides already know what the other side is going to present beforehand. You also go through the same legal process for every case. IT’S BORING!)

And everything you hear about attorneys?

It’s all true.

I was at a crossroads. I needed a career that I enjoyed. I had been involved with fitness since starting high school. I worked out all the time, and I read a lot about nutrition. I was so focused on bettering myself that while I was at work, I would focus on what workouts I would do later that day.

Figuring It Out

It was then that I started thinking about being a personal trainer. I could help people change their lives. And knowing my propensity to not be a team player when it came to dealing with authority (I have always fancied myself as being a leader and not a follower), I knew I had to start my own business.

So in 2002, I started the process of getting certified as a personal trainer. It took me a little over a year to complete the coursework and get certified.

On that fateful day 15 years ago when I went to the secretary of state’s office, I started the journey that would come to define my working career.

During the first few years, I had only a handful of clients while still working at that law firm. I needed to figure out how to build my business. I interviewed at a few gyms, but it never seemed like a good fit.

I started growing tired of living in Denver. I grew up in Thornton, went to school in Boulder, and moved to Arvada after getting married. So I had essentially lived in the Denver metro area my entire life. My wife went to CSU (gasp! she married a Buff!), so we knew Fort Collins well. In 2005, I asked her if she would be interested in moving to Fort Collins.

Moving to Fort Collins

We set the wheels in motion, and by February 2006, we were in Fort Collins. I took another legal job just to pay the bills. I had to start my business all over again since I didn’t know anyone in Fort Collins. I lasted at that legal job for a grand total of six months.

I landed a job as a trainer at a local gym so I could work on establishing my business on the side. After two years at that gym, I was ready to go. It helped that when I left that position, the majority of my clients at the gym wanted to come with me. I had some regular clients through my own business as well.

I was on my way!

Since 2009, I have been 100% on my own. There have been some major highs and there have been some major lows. There has been a lot of learning on the job to get me where I am now—both as a trainer and with building the business. I have had some absolutely fabulous clients, and I have had some clients that were difficult to work with.

But each morning that I get up, I know that I am doing what I am meant to do. I am helping people become healthy, and I am helping people change their lives. If I could do this pro bono, I absolutely would. Maybe in a few years when money is no longer a concern, I might just do that.

Success Stories

When I look at the success stories, I still get goosebumps from my clients’ accomplishments. Their words and the way that they embraced what I taught them validates my decision to do this. I know you have heard that if you choose a career that is your hobby, then you won’t “work” another day in your life.

That is exactly what is happening with me.

I want to thank all of my current and former clients for putting their trust in me. It has truly been humbling.

I want to thank the readers of my blog and newsletters. I appreciate your patronage. I hope at some point that we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

What does the future hold? I don’t know.

Northern Colorado is changing so much. New residents, new options for being healthy…I guess it’s just a matter of adapting. But I am ready for the challenge. This is my passion and purpose in life.

Thank you for reading. Onward!

Dennis Blair