Raised by a single mother, I suppose I was destined to be an independent woman from birth. My mom had me at only 18 years old, which meant that many opportunities that she may have encountered in life were forfeited to make sure that I had a future. Such a profound thought and yet I understood it at a very young age. Seeing my mother struggle, work tirelessly and persevere through it all to make a wonderful life for her and for me. I can remember understanding the gravity of what she had accomplished.
As early as grade school I knew I had to be more and do more to make her proud and make all her sacrifice well worth it. I always had a feeling that I had to live a life grander than most because I was living it for myself and for my mother. I wanted to do all the things she never had a chance to do, experience life in a way that she did not.
This drive has been both my strength and my weakness. In building the life I lead today there were a lot of emotional, relationship based casualties. Where as my mom sacrificed success in the business world for the love of a child, I often found myself sacrificing love for success. The only thing that has kept me going through all the lonely times is the mission statement I held in my heart all this time and will carry with me to my grave. My mission statement is simple; Make other people's lives better. Serve others who can't serve themselves.
With this mission statement in the forefront I went to college to become a psychiatrist. I knew I wanted to help people and therapy seemed like a great way to reach others. Little did I know what this would lead to.
After I finished my AA I decided I needed a more flexible job to get me through my Bachelors and Masters programs and one that would also help pay tuition. My step-dad was a tri-athlete and a bodybuilder and he encouraged me to jump into personal training since I had grown up an athlete, lifting, eating clean and learning from him.
I scored my first job as a personal trainer and I was hooked. I quickly learned that through training I was also counseling. People could unload their problems on me, I would make them sweat and in the end it was therapeutic. They were cleansed for the day and they felt good about themselves through the use of their own endorphins.
It wasn't much later that college went on the back burner and I started studying fitness full time. I landed a job with a dream gym and felt like this was it! Unfortunately, as it would turn out, the people I worked for turned out to be terrible people. They preached a message about caring for the clients and giving back to the community but it was all a front to get clients and to land in news articles for free publicity.
As I parted ways from the gym I couldn't help but feel that I was being called into more. This calling scared me to death because I knew it meant I would have to take a lot of risks. It would require me to believe in myself, and if I failed, I would have no one to blame but myself. I sat up thinking all night, "What if there was a gym that really cared about the clients, who gave back to the community in a deep way?"
I believed that this could exist and that I could not look around for a gym like this, I was going to make it happen. I prayed and prayed for God to close the doors if this plan was Taryn talking and not him. I told him if this is the way, "Open the doors Lord!" And open them he did. I didn't have much money or credit, and I was young. Somehow I got approved for a lease, I got my equipment, and clients followed me.
I don't want to make this seem like a fairy tale but this part was pretty amazing. What came next was the tireless hard work, long hours, and little pay. Living paycheck to paycheck. Having to skip bills that needing paying, and more relationships suffered.
In this time I turned to the Lord every day. I kept caring and investing in my client’s lives, hosting charity events when I myself didn't even have enough money to pay my bills. A year went by and my gym grew. My clients were loyal. Before I knew it I needed a bigger gym. Had God answered my prayers and been faithful to his calling after a year and a half of struggle? Yes!
When I sit and think about where I came from, what was in my heart, when I could have given up and given in, I feel proud and accomplished. When people are blinded to the adversity I faced as a woman I feel inspired to keep going and do more!
Realistically, I am at the beginning of a journey. I am 4 years in business this November and growing. It's not just my gym that is growing it's my mission statement. I have been a member of Kiwanis Huntington Beach for 2 years now. I am able to give back to the children in our community who need a voice, love, clothes and food. I am able to share in charity work with my clients. I have surrounded myself with trainers and clients who understand my mission statement and have joined in with me to donate their efforts. This is what motivates me to get up every day at 4am.
Anyone can go into a gym and get a workout but at CRAVE I see my clients cheering each other on during a hard workout, staying after to take an interest in one another's lives and step up to the plate when charity is involved. This is why I must extend my reach even further. My goal is to have more gyms and eventually fund a charity organization with the combined efforts of my gyms.
I look at all of this and I think back to the day I felt called to more. If I had known what God had in store for me I would have dropped to my knees and worshipped him right there where I stood. I'm blessed to have a family built into my career but of course I would like the independence to allow for a partner and children but I don't feel the pressure to rush into those things.
I think as an empowered woman you know in your heart what you want and what you don't want. I want to tell other women like myself not to feel pressured by society to do certain things by certain times in your life. Sometimes the people closest to us can try to hold us back or tell us that we cannot do something, but they do not know our hearts and our drive. If you are career driven, be that way; if the motivation behind your work is pure. Family will come when it is time, not when others say it should. I am so influenced by the word of God and I know that he made me how I am and that he has a plan for me.
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Sending love, luck & calm vibes.