How the Trainer In Your Back Pocket fitness program was born, and how it can help Military Spouses find an ounce of stability in our ever changing world.
If you're uncomfortable with loneliness or change, then you're going to have to do a lot of soul searching in this military life. I had no clue what I was getting into when I said "I Do" on November 12, 2011. But as I sit here alone, during the 3rd deployment THIS YEAR, I can only imagine how many other military spouses feel the same way that I do. Whether you're active duty, or a spouse (which gets the title of "dependent," a word which literally strips us of our "in(dependence)"), you're away from the ones you love for long periods of time. You're alone. How do we get through it? We just do. Or we don't. We are resiliant. Or we are not. It's a constant battle.
We move every few years, so when we finally get comfortable in our new home, our new surroundings, our new friends, guess what? They move. Or we move. It's exhausting to say the least. Add into that, trying to re-start a business in every new location, new city rules, new permits, new clientele, etc. and you've got a recipe for exhaustion, and eventual burnout no matter how strong you are.
I remember going to a business workshop with a panel of business leaders, a few years ago when I was part of the Chamber of Commerce in Columbus, MS. I will NEVER forget asking my question, searching for advice from these "successful" business leaders about being a military business owner, and starting/moving every few years. How does one do it and continue to make a living? The answer I got from each and every panel member was to the effect of "that sucks" and "you're in a shitty situation, but good luck!" I was floored. Was that really all they could say to me? Was there really no hope for me? Should I just give up? I mean, they really could have made something up about "be passionate" or some bull like that, but nope. They were like, you're S.O.L. I never knew how much it affected me till now, when I realized that I began to believe them. (And some days, I do still believe them, and feel like giving up, because... why bother? By the time I start making any money, it'll be time to pick up, move, and get slashed back down to zilch again.)
I grew up learning the importance of being independent. That meant having a job where I could support myself. So in essence, if I wasn't making money doing my "job," then I was just useless and worthless. This is a constant struggle for me as a military spouse.
Starting Live For It All was one of the best things I've ever done, but also the hardest. It's a struggle daily to grow a business, not knowing where I'll be living a few years from now. But, one of the best things that came out of being my own business owner, was my program, the Trainer In Your Back Pocket. (TBP for short). If I hadn't have moved with the military, there would have been no need for me to create an online fitness program for the clients that I was leaving behind to participate in. Even though I was going to be on the other side of the country, they could still work out with me! How cool would that be! While nothing replaces being face to face with a client for a workout or bootcamp class, the TBP was the next best answer I could provide. Of course, my goal with all of my clients is for them to be self-reliant with their workouts. They shouldn't HAVE to have an appointment with a trainer to value and do their exercise. The goal was that I would still create their workouts, their nutrition challenges, etc, and that they would be self-reliant enough to actually get to the gym (or do the @home versions) on their own.
Now that I am 5 years into the TBP program, I am so thrilled that it's a business program that I can not only take with me everywhere I move, but also, it's a program that other military spouses, and active duty members can take with them wherever THEY go! I've adapted and altered the TBP to accommodate my situation, and also millions of others military spouses who want some stability in their fitness plans in our chaotic world. In essence: Go to the gym. Take your TBP workout plan. Get in a great workout. It takes all of the thinking out of your workouts, since that's what the TBP does for you! You get the plan, do the plan, reap the benefits! We've got too much else to worry about. Don't worry about your fitness workouts! Let me do that. You just have to do them!
This question goes out to my military spouses: How frustrating is it, EVERY MOVE, to have to find a new: hair salon, nail place, doctor, grocery, butcher, farm, gym, trainer, dog sitter, mechanic, accountant, cable company, internet providers, repairmen, etc? The list is way longer than that, but sometimes people don't realize all of the other changes that go along with moving... all the time!
The TBP is your constant (and mine too). When you move, you still have your TBP workouts. You still have your trainer. You still have your @home workouts to do until you find a gym to do the @gym versions at. You still have ME and our TBP Tribe. We stick together no matter where we live, as we are all connected in the TBP. It may seem small and silly, but sometimes, you just need something to remain constant in your life when you are in the military. I hope that my Trainer In Your Back Pocket program can help ease the burden for many of you out there who need that connection, and that tribe, when you are constantly moving, relocating, or simply when you are home alone during deployments.
Join me in the TBP, and take your workouts with you wherever you go. Never feel alone in your fitness ever again, because you'll always have me... in your back pocket.
Abby Malmstrom M.S. is an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, wellness coach, and "real food" nutritionist. Her life as an active duty military spouse takes her all over the world, allowing her to influence, teach, and connect with folks in communities she never even dreamed of reaching. Life's an adventure, so stay tuned for the ride! It's time to "Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well, Be Well."