Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Kwok.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Christine. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Working in the health and fitness industry has been a series of my following through on opportune moments, from starting out as a teenage assistant swim coach to being a young health and fitness specialist for a corporate fitness facility for Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, to run coaching amputees, and being referred to what some people call “difficult cases” in personal training people who have auto-immune disorders or other physical ailments.
I have always followed my heart with my work, and it hasn’t led me astray. I love what I do, working with people work toward functioning with greater ease and continue to do so.
Earlier in my career, I worked for a major corporate wellness company, while teaching group exercise and personal training on the side. On the weekends, I traveled around the United States teaching continuing education courses for the International Sports Conditioning Association. Taking those years of experience, I decided to take the leap of faith and start my own company, offering my fitness and wellness consulting services to small to medium-sized companies, while still working with one-on-one clients in the hours, breaking dawn.
After more than a decade of pushing my body physically on a daily basis and carrying and birthing two active little boys later, my business and my clientele have evolved with me. Personally and professionally, I work on people build their bodies, using various techniques that restore our bodies’ ability to heal itself. It makes us stronger, more resilient, reduces (and eliminates) chronic pain, and helps us feel and function better.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My road has been mostly smooth. Bumps along the way just nudged me on other paths, which I have not regretted.
I have two periods of time that were especially challenging. They felt emotionally draining and never-ending and I worried about whether I would recover.
The first was in 2009. It was notable for many business owners. The downturn in the economy, following the writers strike resulted in me losing 100% of my corporate clientele and 75% of my personal training and small groups over the course of 10 months. Working on business strategy, a failed investment, and “working against the flow” for over a year, left me completely drained and demoralized.
When a triathlon shop was set to open, a block away from my home, I decided that working in that retail space would be a nice change and break. In the early mornings, I’d see my personal training clients, and by late morning, I was a community outreach and ambassador and sales associate for a triathlon shop. I revived my hobby, participating in triathlons and got into half Ironman distances (known by enthusiasts, as “70.3s). The training and the work occupied my days, so I could take a break from my own business’ strategy.
While I was there, I attracted more weekend athletes, few other corporate workshops, and other local marketing consulting jobs. I left the retail space after my own business picked up, I had my first baby, and we moved nine miles east, to a larger home to accommodate my growing family.
That led to my next and last (most recent) “struggle”, in 2013. I was a year postpartum. The year prior was a flurry of busyness (I coached my runners right up until I went into labor), between work and handling the purchase of our new home. By the time we settled into our new home, the postpartum depression, also known as “baby blues” finally hit me. I didn’t know how to shift my business; I didn’t know how to muster the energy; I didn’t know how to navigate the change of my location and work without any childcare assistance. The physical, mental and emotional stress took its toll. I had physical and emotional pain.
Having been a person who was constantly researching and in love with learning more about the human body, physiology and neuroscience, I was led to getting trained in the Melt Method, a self-care technique that uses softballs and rollers to mimic soft touch therapy to help people get out of pain. This helped my physical body, brought me greater wisdom, and having gotten trained to teach it, it led me to the latest reinvention of myself and my business. I incorporate that in my practice, along with reiki energy healing, and my study of kinesiology to take the truly comprehensive and wholistic approach to healing and strengthening bodies.
Balanced Strength – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My company is called Balanced Strength. I offer fitness and wellness training and workshops to individuals and small groups. I am also commissioned for workshops for small to medium-sized companies.
I am known for taking the “whole picture” look and approach to helping people reach their fitness goals, which is feeling and functioning better in their bodies. I help people eliminate chronic pain, through the non-medicated treatment and prevention of.
Three years ago, I partnered with a good friend who is also a spiritual healer and counselor. I am so proud to be able to offer mini retreats with Henri Hebert of Inspiring You. We co-created Renew You Retreats, where we offer 90 minute to days long experiential formats, teaching people how to unlock their ability to heal themselves, using physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approaches.
I have to say that I’m most proud of having a nearly 100% referral-based business. I have been fortunate enough to always attracted people I love working with. I try to “go with the flow” and when I do, it leads me to the most rewarding experiences.
That being said, I feel I must add that I’m also proud and grateful for having found and built a community of trusted friends, for whom I can lean on, as I have to do what I do as a working mom, without familial childcare assistance.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is defined as being able to function and contribute comfortably and gracefully, in business and personally. It means meeting and exceeding goals without sacrificing integrity and being able to move passed failures.
Everybody’s markers for success can be different. I found that when I used to mark my success against my paycheck, I couldn’t find satisfaction, as I was constantly chasing something bigger and better. For me, I have found success measured against how many people I can positively affect with my presence, whether I sleep well at night, continue to work at what I enjoy, work and play with honesty and conviction, and that my family, friends, colleagues and clients welcome me when I show up.
- One-on-one and small group Zoom sessions available, $50-120 per session
- Website: www.balancedstrength.life
- Phone: 310-210-0890
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @chriskfit
- Facebook: @balancedstrength
- Twitter: @christinekwok
Yannick Belamine (headshots); Amy Weber (workshops)