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Meet Raul - Director of Tours - Mexico
Meet your Captain - Hello my name is Brett Forrester and this is my Personal Training story.
IFPA Trainer plans on bringing all his worlds together under one mission this time. It will be quiet the quest, but such is the life of one IFPA trainer.
We all have our starts in life. We all have our calling if you will, as to who or what we need to fulfill in the way, a destiny. At least that is how my life has unfolded and, like a diamond, had many facets and sides to its story. Unlike the finished diamond, we all are still in the rough. Refining through time.
Let’s start with being an athlete. As most high schools have sports programs, mine was no different. I played water polo, swimming, football and ran track. This is where most people, as youths, find out if sports or doing physical fitness is something we like, or love. Are good at, or, is not our thing. For me, I was all in, and I made sure that my future was going to have this new love as a part of it in every way possible.
Like so many young people in high school, the military recruiters come and showed us all the benefits of being in the armed service. This was back in the early 80’s and Russia was still the USSR as well as the space based star wars program. The cold war was alive and well. I decided, along with other good friends, to join the Navy or Army and so on. Mike drove tanks and flew helicopters and the two of us felt we had what it would take to be Navy SEAL’s. Back then as today, that was as extreme. It was at the top of the list for physical fitness and mental capability, in our book, as you could get. The story is long so, I will just say that I ended up being a pilot rescue swimmer and had experiences that have stayed with me to this day. Commitment and tenacity as well as attention to detail and a true sense of knowledge about your own capabilities, was, is and forever will be, the only way to do what it takes to be the best in any field or profession. You just have to want it bad enough. The rest will come with time. Stay focused on your goals!
After I left the military, as I was getting back into the civilian life, I went back to college, played football and worked at the New Port Beach YMCA. There, I was a swimming instructor / life guard. I helped start the new PFI program. The PFI ( Personal Fitness Instructor ) program was a new program for opening up the members to get acquainted with free weights and routines for staying both strong and fit as well as training for sports or just life in general. I owe much to the trust that the director had in me to help start and promote that program.
Time moves on and so do people. Though I stayed in shape, my work and other details (wife and baby) took their proper time in my life and through the next 10 years, I did what most of us do with our lives and stayed very busy. My training days turned into being with my family and working. Time for lifting weights and/or outside sports was behind both of those. By 1999, my life was about to change radically.
Life can throw curve balls at you sometimes. I moved from my home state of California to Colorado. In doing so, I was able to go back to that love of personal training at a local gym. Ultimate Fitness, was the name of the facility. And though it is not in existence today, those personal gyms are a great asset to our local and national health.
I needed to show that I had a personal training certificate current and I needed to pick one from an approved list. IFPA sounded like a good one. Good material, understandable and affordable. I was very happy with the course because of two things. One, it was recognized by the gym I wanted to work at. Not only that, at the gym, they showed off other trainer’s ability and awards for competition, completeness and attention to detail. Sounds perfect! I knew that is what makes a club good. Real good. If you are the only trainer on the floor, you make sure that everyone can see you and/or hear you, and can apply what you are doing to their own lifting techniques for free. Confidence for a client is number one. Self Confidence is Huge!
I look at personal training much more than just lifting weights or working out or talking to a friend. It is so much more, if that is what you want to do or be a part of. It is not easy. Umm, let me rephrase that, it is easy to give up and stop when things get tough, and oh boy, they get tough. The point is to be prepared. That is what injury prevention, strength training and range of motion are all about.
Back to the story. I started doing some training, but it was over shadowed by the one on one training with the Mr. Colorado NPC Champion. That started a whole new experience and applied to my new work with the Dive Rescue Teams and Construction Projects . These became some of the foundations that I used later on in training elsewhere.
I was involved at the time with the Mesa County Dive Rescue Team as well as Delta County Dive Recovery and Underwater Investigations. Swift Water Rescue is another hard core physical activity.
These programs were all volunteer so the day or work schedules really depended greatly on being physically fit for any time/conditions kind of response. The temperature extremes were the hardest to deal with. The equipment you are handling is both heavy and usually a metal of some sort, so it gets cold fast. Freezing was always an issue in the winter months.
Back to the Personal training. As a training officer, I would suggest and perform trainings in late hours and poor conditions. These were as real world as possible. Safety is still the number one rule of the day. Controlling your environment rarely happens, so when it does, you take full advantage of it.
With the cold comes cramps, leg cramps to be exact. The reason for this comes in a couple of packages. One is the normal dehydration that is associated with working super hard and adrenaline pumping. The other is a super shock of cold water or air to a warm – working muscle. The bodies reaction to this last scenario is not pretty. The cramps are so painful and so severe they are completely debilitating. With immersion in warm blankets and/or warm water with warm hydration and potassium, after a couple of hours, you get back in working order. However, as rescue operators, we did not have that luxury. That is why being in shape counts in all circumstances.
I feel it necessary to state that I obviously love the water. Some signs in the heavens attach themselves to those of us and you just are not happy unless you have that in you days somehow. That is my weakness or strength, depending on how you look at it. I incorporated my pool water work with the teachings and skill movements that I learned in IFPA , specifically the stretching and recovery parts. Nutrition is once again such an important part of your workout and done at the right time. That too is a great program put forward by IFPA.
As I moved through out the different stages of my life, my Son was getting through High School, playing football and Base ball as well as weightlifting. I took particular notice on the strength conditioning part of his training, because it happens to be a profession that I have applied to many aspects of my working world.
I was shocked to see and hear about the poor conditions and uncontrolled workout sessions. That was not going to happen. I decided to talk with the coach. That turned out to be not the best of ideas. He just took offence to anyone showing him a better way. Oh well. I had been needing an excuse to open my own gym anyway, so I did.
Welcome to Resortstyle Fitness, The Beach. What a club. I tried to buy the land years before, but could not get anyone to see my vision. This was an old swim club up on a hill surrounded by a 18 hole championship golf course. Anyway, it finally happened and I was able to turn it from a run down closed facility into a state of the art complete workout facility. We had a complete weight room, cardio room, pool, tennis courts, sand volleyball, restaurant, massage therapy, Chiropractor, hot and cold pack treatments, manicures and pedicures on Sundays poolside with coffee or tea, pastry’s and live music. For the weekends there was always Live Music and that is why it was called Resortstyle.
People that could come in at 5:30am and workout before work, would also come by after work for a swim or food and meet up with family. That was the key. I gave them every reason to stay and not go. They could hang out in the same place they work out at. Works for me, and it worked for them. Families could work out together and that was key too. Support comes from all angles. Being active as a family can be fun. Learning about good food can be fun too. Supporting others being healthy was and is a good thing. That club lasted until Sept. 2007 and I had received another calling. There was some other trouble about the club not having anything to do with the business. I did not own the land, and it was in trouble. My choices were few and shutting down the club was the only alternative. My Son was graduating High School and I needed a big direction change. The elections were upon us and I had a bad feeling about the political/business futures, so I decided to push out and gamble on me. My decision was radical but calculated. Baja Mexico would be the direction. I have been fond of Baja for many reasons. As a kid, I spent a couple of summers on the pacific side, and really had a great time. Also, I love the freedoms in Mexico. Sure, they have there problems, but what country doesn’t. We all must learn to live with and among the differences in order to help promote and understand those very differences for better or worse. This too would prove to be a part of that special choice I made some 8 years earlier and in becoming a personal trainer with IFPA.
Upon going into one of the local hotels in San Felipe, Baja, the owner, who struck up a conversation with me, started talking about working out and how he had lived in the states. He then mentioned that he was studying to become a personal trainer, but never finished his training. The next letters, IFPA came out of his mouth. I thought to myself, this is not a coincidence, this must be a sign.
I took it as such, and that, along with a host of other great signs and evidence, has led me to work and live here in the Baja full time. I have been working on the water with my boats and doing a special kind of tourism and outings. The outings and tourism is special because it is tailored to physical fitness. We have our Ultimate Workout Series on the islands as well as the local beaches. Water Warriors is one of our groups. It is a great story of Strength, Power and Ultimate Health. Another great asset to your health is BootCamp Loreto.
This program is highly motivational and dynamic training that promotes the top new products that work for Ultimate Health. Combine this with Nutrition and it fills a critical piece of that physical fitness puzzle.
As I’m writing this, I will be starting a new chapter in this continuing challenge. That is to bring as many people into the community of knowledgeable professionals and for them to carry what they learn forward. Personally, I know it is not easy. It is not simple. But with programs like IFPA and their supporting staff, your chances of success increase dynamically.