Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Pinkham. Below you’ll find edited excerpts of our interview with Holly.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I first became a trainer shortly out of college. I wanted to work in Marketing or PR, but couldn’t find a job, but another part of me always thought it would be fun to be a personal trainer. I was working at a gym at the front desk, and got certified so I could become a trainer. The corporate structure eventually wore me out, and though I loved the actual training, I didn’t want to train under a big name gym anymore. I eventually did switch into Marketing, and stayed in that field for years, which really helped hone my skills to market myself and own business.
I have always had a passion for writing, and so part of what I love to do is write blogs and social media posts to help educate people about fitness and health. Though I’ve always remained passionate about fitness, a few years ago I began training differently, inspired by IFBB pros, and through using heavy weights and new training methods, I saw my body transform quite drastically. My weight had been up and down ever since college, and always been something I was insecure about. Suddenly new muscles were forming, my weight dropped lower than I’d ever been able to get it consistently, and people began making comments about good and strong I looked. The best part was that I wasn’t focused on getting skinny, I just wanted to work harder in the gym and push myself and find strength that I didn’t think I had. I was having fun in the gym, and naturally I wanted to improve my eating even more to help me to do better in my workouts. When I stopped focusing on being skinny and instead on being strong, I achieved with my body what I didn’t think was possible.
Along the way, going through various personal struggles, I found that I learned so much in the gym that transferred to the rest of my life. I began blogging about the ways I was inspired, and lessons from life that I used to push myself in the gym, and lessons in the gym that helped me cope outside. This became the foundation for my personal training business. When a great job I had ended unexpectedly, I was forced to figure out a new solution. I’d been thinking about getting back into personal training, and at this point that was my only option. This time, although it’s much harder to get started, I wanted to build something with my style of training and get to really know my clients, their struggles, and deal with the deep issues that I’d discovered truly hinder our progress with weight and body image. It’s not about food or the coolest new workouts. It’s about finding those areas of weakness and unbelief and facing them and being bold enough to work hard, address our issues, and find our true strength. This is what I wanted to instill through workouts, while also simply helping people look and feel better and maintain health and weight loss.
Has it been a smooth road?
I would say for most personal trainers on their own, it’s never a smooth road! Building your own client base and business is hard work, and things always fall through and you always have to find new clients. Getting started was terrifying and vulnerable for me, and “putting myself out there” online took a lot of courage and took a long time to get used to. Sometimes a client would sign up just before I thought I wouldn’t pay rent. I went through a lot of rigorous business coaching to figure out what really made me tick, and therefore my business. That applied to the blogs I write, the posts I put up, emails I sent. My coach made me go through some gut-wrenching soul-searching and being really honest about weaknesses and fears. Most of the time I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing! But it’s always a learning process, and the challenge makes me better and keeps things interesting. I thought about giving up many times, but this is truly what I feel like I’m supposed to be doing right now, whether it’s one client or 20. But approaching fitness from a different angle that’s not just showing skin and the coolest new workout of the day takes hard work and integrity and pushes me to do better every day.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are simply to continue growing my business to a more consistent place and being able to help more people. I really enjoy the challenge of each new client because every person has unique needs and questions that force me to adapt and communicate and train them in a way that will work for them. I want to see more people reach their fitness goals, which truly makes people feel better about themselves and more confident about other goals in their life. Maybe I’ll even have my own gym one day where I can work with more people on a more consistent basis and build a community of people chasing after their fitness (and life) goals together!
Let’s dig a little deeper into your story. What was the hardest time you’ve had?
One of the hardest parts of my career (and life) was that time when I unexpectedly lost my job. The deeper background story to that is I had recently gone through an incredibly tough break-up. I had left my job for him, which I felt was my calling in a non-profit organization that worked with individuals experiencing homelessness, drug addiction, and prostitution in Hollywood. Our organization worked to help get them off of the streets and find hope for a better life. During our relationship I struggled to figure out what was next since helping people was what I’d wanted to do for so long. Once we broke up, I felt even more confused, because leaving that job no longer had purpose, yet I didn’t feel that I was supposed to go back. I felt rather hopeless and unsure about the future, and lost a lot of drive, which is scary for someone like me that is very driven and self-motivated. I had two part-time jobs that were paying the bills and helping keep me challenged, but I started to dream about how great it would be to train people again, particularly as an online coach. I envisioned myself sitting at home by the pool, writing workouts and sending motivational emails to clients and listening to their struggles. It seemed like a great side job for the weekends. The more I thought about it, the less I thought about my break-up and pain. Imagining going back into fitness gave me a lot of hope, excitement, and a renewed sense of strength and purpose. Hence, a big reason why I called my company Renewal Fitness Coaching. Fitness has always been a place where I found a sense of strength, purpose, forward movement, and confidence. I wanted other women to experience that feeling…and the rest is history.
Do you ever just stop and think WOW – I’ve made it?
Now, when I train someone and hear that they lost a few pounds, or they feel so much better, or get an email with a client’s progress photos that show change in just a few weeks, I get so excited. Whether I’m training someone in my neighborhood or sitting on my computer at home emailing a client or writing a blog for my website, I think, “wow, it’s really going the way I dreamt of. This is actually happening!” This is the work that doesn’t feel like work to me. And as a fun side note, it was through one of my YouTube fitness videos that an ex-boyfriend and I were reconnected because he is also a personal trainer, and that relationship has brought me so much healing. So all of the pain and confusion were turned around and I am now in a position in life that I absolutely love! 🙂
- Session pricing and packages vary depending on the needs of the client, but packages start at around $270
- Phone: 323-379-4345,
- Website: http://www.renewalfitcoach.com,
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Facebook: renewalfitcoach,
- Twitter: @holpink,
- Instagram: Holpinkfit,
- Youtube: HollyPinkhamLA
Check out her work below: