I remember growing up in the 80’s during the peak of the’ AIDs crisis. Every Sunday and every Wednesday my parents would take me to church where I remember being told that AIDs was God’s way of punishing the sinners of the world. This was the time I was hitting puberty and was figuring out who I really was, and I remember very vividly the power of shame. I had to hide my feelings that in no way I could control. I truly believed I was going to hell all the while being “punished” for my sins.
I moved out at 16 and never moved back in nor did I borrow as single cent from my family. I hid behind my over achievements and never felt good enough for my family. By the age of 30 I had made my first million and then lost it all including that of which I built for my family. So, I truly was a rag to riches back to rags story. The shame and guilt once again set in like there was no tomorrow – and at one point if I had gotten my way and the bravery necessary – there would not have been a tomorrow!
After starting all over again – I started eVOLV. This time was different. I used the pain of shame this time to power my way through the hardships that inevitably every entrepreneur goes through. Yes, I did close down our first location and yes, I was on the cover of all the major news outlets being portrayed as a horrible businessperson. Yes, I did feel shame but this time it was different.
I wasn’t perfect by any means in handling this situation and unfortunately, I did lean back into some of my old habits of coping, but I was able to recognize this, and I battled my way through it. Seven years later here we are surviving a pandemic where no other industry other then restaurants has been hit harder than ours yet – we are still here, and I believe stronger then ever as a community.
Shame has been the pain I had to overcome in order for me to understand my purpose. I help those who feel shame feel proud again and welcome again when they feel alone and given up on. This is the power of eVOLV and our community. This is the inspirational process of the Phoenix Method – Movement, Nutrition, Accountability, Healthy Habit and Community! We provide a process by which individuals improve themselves, a stage to showcase their results and now a mic to tell their stories.
I would never have been able to get to where I am at today without having to go through those struggles of shame and had to have figured out how to overcome them. Who else better to coach someone out of a hole then someone who has been in the hole themselves right?
No matter what struggles you are going through I life, it is happening for a reason. It is your choice though on how you view the issue and ultimately how you react to it. You only control YOU! How will you use the power of whatever pain you have?
I say use it wisely and let it empower and embolden you to take the necessary action to improve and strengthen yourself to better handle it the next it will happen – because it will happen again.
I suggest taking the next step or coming back to the supportive community called eVOLV where we all understand your story because we all are living it. Allow the trainers to take you under our wings and help coach you to strengthen your vessel and sharpen your mind to handle this thing called life. I am biased when I say – we are the best at what we do because we care!
I congratulate those who have taken and continue to take the next steps. To those in the 28-day virtual challenge – congrats on your participation and resolve in making yourself stronger and caring for your bodies and minds. I also thank you for allowing eVOLV to be part of your life and trusting our team with your health and wellness.
It’s your time – don’t allow anything or anyone else to tell you otherwise. If you are just starting, need a reboot or need an acceleration, we are ready for you. Take advantage of a FREE eVOLV trainer consultation to get you back on track, start your journey or to take you to the next level. E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you scheduled today!
Until the next time – Start Strong, Stay Strong & Always Be eVOLV Strong!
Your Trainers – C.J. & Team eVOLV
WHY I LOVE EVOLV FITNESS
Every once in a while, in the midst of a class at Evolve, I get this surge of love that rushes through my body. From my head to my toes, just adrenaline pumping and a complete sense of oneness with myself in this world.
I am home. And I am loved.
I wasn’t looking for a family when I joined this gym four years ago. I was only looking for something to challenge me, change me, motivate me to push through the un-wellness I was experiencing in my life at the time.
I had no clue what this place was like, other than I’d met a woman at Planet Fitness who encouraged me to get involved with Rise of the Pheonix. A three month body building competition that would change my life forever.
My best friend and I both were in spiraling down situation and we knew we had to do something. “Lets do Rise of the Pheonix!” Something totally out of our comfort zone, I mean really?
I’m 55, out of shape, and you won’t me to do what?! Put on a bikini and prance my butt around the stage in hooker heals! You’ve gotta be out of your ever loving mind!!
But it scared us just enough to know that’s EXACTLY what we needed to do.
Fast forward four years later.
I’ve done three ROP competitions, won medals and trophies all three years and pushed myself beyond levels of comprehension. I’ve become an athlete. I’ve become a healthy individual. And HAPPY.
Back track 15 years.
I was just entering the world again after 6 years of incarceration. 3 years in prisons and jails, and 3 years at the Delancey Foundation for drug rehabilitation. Actually, half of my life was spent in detoxes, rehabs and addiction. The other half was pursuing my career as an Actor. A career choice I’d made at the age of 7. Received my BFA at 20 and MFA at 23. Worked at a few of the most prestigious Theaters in the Country, and had a somewhat successful career, when I could stand up.
So my life was a double edged sword. I had had my Ups, and my downs.
For the last 15 years, I’ve remained clean and sober, rebuilding a life. My LIFE. The foundation of which is so heavily planted in this community called Evolv Fitness. Some people go to AA, I go to the gym. I have nothing against any programs that help people stay clean, I’ve just had my fill of PROGRAMS. I’m tired of talking about it. I’d rather just DO SOMETHING!
I have found a community that suits me here. People doing healthy things for their body, mind, and soul. Cause that’s what this is about. It’s not just a gym where you stare at yourself in the mirror and flex your muscles, or try to be the baddest dude in the joint.
It’s about jumping into the arena with other people that all have the same intentions. To keep GOING!! Keep standing up straight, keep moving, keep staying fit, keep being able to pull up their pants, keep breathing! Motivating and pushing each other to be better, be stronger, be braver.
Sure at first when you walk in it’s intimidating. Everyone knows one another, there’s a bond, but it’s not exclusive. We see a newcomer and we run towards them, invite them into the fold, welcome them, encourage them. Within a matter of a few times coming you are now one of the pack. If you want to be.
We are a community and the closest thing I’ve ever had to a family.
One of the hardest things about Evolv is trying to figure out which trainer I want to take classes with. Because they’re ALL so special! Each one of them brings such a unique style to his or her class. It’s really hard to choose, cause you also want to support them, and there aren't enough hours in a day to do that. So you narrow it down to the hours you can commit to the gym and go from there, but man is it hard. Cause you WANT to take them ALL!
I have no hidden agenda with writing this Blog. Other than a sense of sheer gratitude! If somebody happens to read it or find encouragement in it, Great! If you decide to give Evolv a chance and want to change your life for the BETTER, come grab me and I’ll help ya find your footing. Show you around introduce you to the gang. You are WELCOME here!
CJ Chaves, the master at the helm of this ship, has found the most important ingredient of all in his business plan. He has surrounded himself with the best group of “ PEOPLE “, trainers and teachers, nutritionists, and physical therapists, athletes and body builders. He gives so much to his team, and in return they give back to us.
It’s simply magic here. Just something magnificent about all these components coming together. I’m telling you, it’s like no other gym I’ve ever been to. It's the foundation of my life now. I lost a lot of time and I can’t afford to lose another minute!! I want to live to be 101 and I seriously have a chance, unless of course I get hit by a truck.
Evolv Fittness, I love you💋