Today we’d like to introduce you to Dee Clement.
Hi Dee, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I have been very active and involved in competitive sports my entire life, so becoming a fitness trainer was not far-fetched for me. I didn’t begin my health/fitness journey until my early 30’s. Now, I’m about to turn 37, and I can honestly say I’m stronger, healthier, and more mentally in tune with my body than I have ever been before. It all started when I managed a body-positive, and queer-friendly gym in Cypress Park called EVERYBODY for almost 5 years. When I started there, I rarely worked out, and I was very nervous and intimidated by all the equipment. I was never a gym person and never felt safe or seen in those types of environments. I wasn’t even comfortable in my own skin, I realized. It wasn’t until the Pandemic hit in the spring of 2020 that all my body image and mental health struggles took center stage, and I had to face it head-on. At the time of lock down the gym was my only solace and safe haven I could escape to. The gym had to close down for 6 months, but I was able to use the facility on my own with no one to judge or stare at me. My feelings of self-consciousness melted away and it felt really freeing and liberating. The more I learned about health/fitness the more confident and comfortable I felt working out. The gym became my home away from home at a time when I really needed comfort and community. Early this year, I decided to do the 7-month online course with NASM, which was not easy for me because I prefer hands-on learning. It was really challenging for me, but I’m so glad I completed it, and I know I made the right decision to take the leap and start my own business in health/fitness. I learned so much about myself in this entire journey. I still train out of the EVERYBODY gym I started at, and working there has changed my life forever.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been both a smooth and bumpy road. My family and friends all supported my journey and since I worked at the gym for so long, people in the community already knew me, so it gave me a jumpstart. Studying for me was really difficult because I really wished It could’ve in person in a classroom. I also had to juggle a full-time job, my social life, and my marriage while studying every free moment I had. It was hard for me to sacrifice my free time and social life for studying, but I knew in the long run it was the smartest decision. On top of all that, I had a great deal of self-doubt and imposter syndrome, I had to work through with my amazing therapist Lucy and my wife Jess. I’m so grateful for their support and for encouraging me to follow this path. Everyone around me believed I could do it, but I had to truly believe in myself. The biggest lesson I learned out of this journey is that exercise is non-negotiable for me, not just because of the physical aspect but because of how it helps my mental health and anxiety and to also follow my gut, be myself, and believe that I am capable enough. I may not be the right trainer for everyone, and that’s ok. My people will find me.
As you know, we’re big fans of Golden Flow Fitness. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
My specialty is working with people new to gyms and helping them build their own confidence around their bodies and workout equipment in a gym setting. I love to show foundational movements and exercises that are simple and effective. Working out doesn’t have to be so rigid, serious or something you truly dread, it can be fun and a good way to release stress and tension stored in your body. I love working with people new to fitness and trying to get them out of their shell. I’m trying to be the trainer I wish I had growing up. Encouraging and motivating while telling you to tune in and listen to your body every step of the way. Knowing when to focus and be present and when to rest and recover. Something we’re not taught in school and especially in sports. What sets me apart is that I am a queer woman of color, and I don’t take myself too seriously. I love talking about music and other interests with my clients and really trying to get to know them. It makes the sessions go by faster, and it builds more of a natural connection between trainer and client. Unlike a lot of trainers, I am very spiritual. I’m always searching for balance in my life, and I notice when a chakra is out of alignment in myself. That’s why I chose the name Golden Flow Fitness. I chose golden because it represented the solar plexus chakra, which is your “Core”, your self-esteem, and confidence. That’s where your power comes from. I chose Flow which means movement and fluidity. Intuitive eating and movement is really important to me and how I see health. Another important thing that sets me apart from most trainers is that I will never push diet culture or societal expectations on any of my clients. There is no before and after photos, and there is no scale. None of that matters. What matters is if you feel stronger and better in your body than when you first walked in. People should be able to feel happy and healthy at any size.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I love to dance! I can be a little shy at first, but once the flood gates open, I can really tear up a rug lol. I prefer to dance to 90’s/2000’s pop and r&b, 70’s Motown/funk, or Latin music. I’m an elder millennial, so I don’t know how to do all the new dance crazes that keep popping up on social media.