Sometimes it’s tough working in the world of wellness. Those of us who are fitness instructors, registered dieticians, personal trainers, wellness coordinators, health coaches, massage therapists – the list goes on – we are PASSIONATE about what we do. We work hard at getting others to work hard. We so desperately want our clients and the world around us to realize the importance and value of eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels. And then we want everyone to take the actions that will lead to long term behavior change. It’s our jobs to make health and wellness more manageable and accessible for the people we work with.

Fitness Portfolio

But not everyone is ready, not everyone wants health to be a huge part of their lives, and not everyone is going to be where we as wellness professionals want them to be.

It’s tough sometimes when we KNOW our clients/staff/loved ones have the drive in them. When we have faith in them, but maybe they just don’t have the faith in themselves. It’s tough to plan wellness events and programming, only to get minimal participation. It’s tough when we pour our hearts into our work — our passion — only to feel discouraged when it seems like we really aren’t making that much of a difference.

Anyone else ever just take a step back from the daily grind only to throw your hands up and ask, WHY?!

I recently did. But then in the same week, two people came forward in different ways. And their simple, yet genuine words served as a reminder to me. A reminder to keep on keeping on. A reminder that even if your message and intentions only hit one or two people at any given time, it’s worth it.

Today I am going to share their messages with you.

The first is from a girl who recently moved away and had to stop taking my group exercise classes. She was a regular in my class since 2012, and on her last day, she gave me the nicest handwritten good-bye/thank you card.

Katie and Me

“Athena, I wanted to take the chance to thank you! Back in 2012, all I ever did was cardio, but I rarely saw results. When I joined the Y back in October 2013, my fitness life completely changed. Within months of your strength classes, I was in the BEST shape of my life. Thank you for teaching me how important strength training is. More importantly, thank you for making 6am workouts so FUN! I always looked forward to your class and was excited to find out what crazy workout you had in store for us. Your passion for fitness is contagious and I’m so grateful I was part of it. It will be impossible to find an instructor as motivating, fun, and sometimes awkward (as we all are) as you. I’m so sad to be leaving your class, but I will still be a dedicated F&F reader. Thank you for all your 5am wakeups, even when you almost lose an eye like that time with your car door. Best of luck with everything!”

The second is from someone at work who follows this blog. She recently reached out to me to tell me about a tough conversation she had with her daughter.

“Just had a long conversation with my daughter about healthy, mindful eating. And focusing on strong, not skinny. It was a great talk, and it made me think of you and how you inspire people. The conversation started by her off-hand comment that she sometimes felt fat and didn’t like her body. Then we ended on such a good note, and the whole thing empowered me to continue my renewed efforts to set a good example. Just wanted you to know.”

You guys. Amazing. Even though these two women reached out to me about how I inspired them in a certain way, they honestly helped me feel re-charged that week. After reading their words, I didn’t feel as discouraged.

Because inspiring people is what it’s all about.

And I never want to stop doing it.

–Let’s chat–
What helps you feel inspired? How do you inspire others? What keeps you going when the daily grind gets tough? What’s your own motivation, or your WHY?

Before I go, I just want to announce the winner of my BosFIT giveaway. The winner is LINDSEY! Congrats! Email me today at to claim your registration code. Have so much fun at the event. I’ll be thinking of you!