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Daily Inspiration: Meet Leslie Trujillo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Trujillo.

Hi Leslie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Born in California, we moved to New Mexico when I was in 3rd grade. I played a lot of different sports growing up and played tennis at UNM. After earning my degree in Exercise Science, the first thing I wanted to do was move back to Los Angeles. I worked towards a Master in Education at LMU and a Masters in Kinesiology: Sports Management at CSULB. While working on my Master, I started my career as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at LMU. I fell in love with training athletes, there was nothing like that competitive energy.

From LMU, I went to Notre Dame and then came back to LA to be an Assistant Strength Coach at the University of Southern California in 2004. I was in charge of Women’s Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Golf and helped with all aspects of Football. During that time under the Pete Carroll Era, we won National Championships and I was blessed to work with the best of the best athletes.

After several years of Strength & Conditioning at the Division, I level, I decided I wanted to work with the younger athletes and help develop them for the next level. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked with high school and youth athletes to become Champions in all areas of their life. During that time, I also fell in love with teaching and am a Professor of Kinesiology at Los Angeles Harbor College. At LAHC, I also coordinate our CHAMPS Program to support our student-athletes on the academic level. Currently, I am serving as the Interim Assistant Athletic Director.

One of my major passions is giving back to the community and especially empowering young female athletes. Together with my younger sister, we created StrongHer FastHer and co-authored the book DEAR HER: Letters to Teenage Girls and Young Ladies about Lessons Learned through Education, Athletics, and Life.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It was never a smooth road. I struggled with belief in myself, financial stability to pursue my dreams, obstacles of being the only female amongst hundreds of guys in a masculine environment, and then finally being able to balance being a wife and mom with my professional demands.

One of the main reasons we wrote our book is to let people know that they are not alone. They are not the only one struggling. We have all faced some struggles; however, our struggles will become our strength. We must keep growing forward so we can fly high together.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I serve in different areas of work to help people reach their goals. One area is that I’m a professor of Kinesiology and Health at Los Angeles Harbor College. I aim to teach people about how powerful they are and then give them tools to live their best life. I also help our student-athletes with developing their academic skills so that they can graduate and transfer to a four-year university or college. I also specialize in Strength and Conditioning, aka Athletic Performance Development, of youth athletes. I help to develop them to be able to compete for Championships. I’m known for being a part of National Championship teams and State Championship teams.

I am most proud of all the athletes that I have worked with who committed to excellence in their lives. I love watching the discipline, the dedication, and the determination of young athletes to develop into their best selves. When training youth, it’s not just about the physical aspects of training that matter. We dive into the mental and emotional aspects of training and sport. I specialize in helping others go past their comfort zones and grow.

What matters most to you? Why?
What matters most to me is my faith and my family. When I was 28 years old, I almost lost my life and it made me really look at how I was living and if I was living my best life. I knew that I had been running from God and my faith for a while and I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted to grow closer to God and serve a bigger purpose than myself.

Once I got married and had a family, it deepened my desire to grow closer to God and live my best life as an example to my family. I love them and want them to truly live their own best lives. I can’t expect them to be dedicated to excellence in all areas of their life if I’m not doing the same in mine.

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