posted on December 7, 2023
With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, I took the time to reflect on this past year on my own accomplishments. I got hired full time at Union Fitness as the head personal trainer, I finished my master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology, I have lost over 20 lbs this year, and I also found my passion and love for fitness again. After appreciating my own self growth, it also made it abundantly clear how important some people have been in my life over the past few years. Without them, I can honestly say that some of my success would not have been capable. So, in saying all of this, I wanted to give a brief story of some of these awesome people and highlight the importance of mentorship.
The first person I want to bring up is Dr. Sally Sherman. If you do not know her, she is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, an academic advisor at Pitt, a mother, a wife, and an ultra-endurance athlete. She was also my professor, my academic advisor during my bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and one of the professors who spoke on my behalf to get me into the Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology program at Pitt. During my time in undergrad, I was at a point where I thought I may not graduate on time due to a lack of credits needed to graduate. As most people would understand, I immediately began to panic at the thought of not graduating with my peers. I instantly emailed Dr. Sherman to explain the situation and to see if she was available later in the week to discuss the issue at hand. Dr Sherman at the drop of a dime, emailed me back and told me to call her asap. Keep in mind that this was at 8pm after she was done with work and she was at home with her family. I called her at that instant and she helped me devise a plan to graduate on time. In that moment, I had a huge sense of relief and without her I would not have known what to do. I also realized after that phone call, that Dr Sherman was one of the kindest and best people I have ever met. She goes above and beyond in all her duties as a professor, as an academic advisor, a mother, a wife, and an ultra-endurance athlete. I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to engage and learn from her. I cannot emphasize how great of a person she is. Thank you Dr Sherman!!!!
The next person I want to talk about is Curtis Miller. Almost everyone knows who Curt is at Union Fitness. He was the previous head personal trainer at Union Fitness and I had to fill his giant shoes after he moved on to bigger and better things. He is a world class powerlifter, a great trainer, an awesome coach, extremely smart in all things fitness or car related, and a pretty cool guy as well (emphasis on pretty). All jokes aside, one of the best memories I have with him is when I was on the Pitt Powerlifting Club. As most people often experience, I was kind of nervous beginning my training in the strength lab at Union. There were a lot of extremely strong people and for some reason even though most of the people training in the back are the nicest people on the planet, I thought they would bite my head off because of how strong they were. I knew that in order for me to grow I had to be in that environment and try to learn from the strongest in Pittsburgh. The first person I asked for advice from was Curt. I asked him to take a look at my deadlift to see if there was anywhere I could improve to get stronger. One thing lead to another and he ended up spending 30+ minutes of his own time to help me. He did not get paid any extra for helping me but decided to teach me something anyway. I will never forget that and I think it truly exemplifies his character. He is willing to help anyone and everyone, he is willing to listen when you need someone to talk to, and he often puts other people before himself. He has taught me so much since I trained, interned, and worked at Union. I am extremely grateful for his guidance, knowledge, and wisdom. I can honestly say that has helped me become a better trainer, a better leader, and ultimately a better person. Thank you Curtis!!!
These are just two people over the past few years that have helped me. There are numerous others and if I left you out, then please don’t take an insult to it. These two were just the ones who stuck out most as of late.
I have always hated the term “self-made.” In my own opinion, not a single person on this planet is “self-made.” We all go through adversity or hard times and sometimes we rely on others to help us out. So, if you have time today, go thank someone who you have looked at as a mentor, find someone that can mentor you, or be a mentor to someone else. The act of each of us helping one another will make the world a better place for the next generations. You certainly will not regret mentorship when you find a good person to aid you or when you get to step in the mentorship role to help someone else. I think mentorship is pivotal to growth and success. If we are not seeking growth then what is the point?
Just some food for thought! If you read the whole blog then cheers to you!