My story – How did all of this come to be?
I was that kid. The nerdy one with glasses, braces, bowl hair cut and completely out of place. I was the one picked last for the team…no wait, I wouldn’t even say picked, more like “delegated” to the team. When I trudged over to my assigned group, I’d hear groans of “awwwww, not Nicole…” or “whyyyy?!”
Gym class was the bane of my existence; I was the last one out of the change room and the first one off the gym floor. I would awkwardly jog half a block and want to puke up a lung, curl up and die.
I HATED Physical Education.
I hated feeling completely inept and hated the kids that made fun of me (which felt like almost everyone). But deep down inside, I wanted to run like the wind, climb like a monkey and just play with the rest of them. Ahh, childhood memories!
I thought people were mean.
I dreamt of becoming a paleontologist (because bones don’t make fun of you), and eventually settled in general biology. I envisioned myself living in a small humble shack in the forest, taking no more than what I needed from the Earth, alone and happy with a crow and fox as my best friends; taking samples and doing my research in pure bliss without people teasing me and without any more social awkwardness. I was happy. I was going to be a biologist!
Concurrently, I had an ongoing love affair with comic books, anime and art. I spent my spare time drawing, sketching, creating, reading and being a classic introvert. When I lamented at how the women in comics looked and it was unfair that they were so strong – my boyfriend at the time said, “why don’t you go lift some weights then?”
Lift weights, you say? Get strong? Hmmmm….
In university and I ended up getting a gym-job as a receptionist to pay the bills and secretly hoping to play around on the equipment. It was at that point that my calling found me. All these amazing people would say to us “THANK YOU – coming here has changed my life!” People that I had come to care about told me how they gained more confidence, made new friends and turned their lives around. They were so happy! It was the spark in their eyes, the authenticity of their words and actions that made me realize, “Wow, these people are so nice, they’re not mean and awful at all! Humans are good! By providing a place to get fit and be supported, we’ve made an impact on their world for the better. And now they’re paying it forward to the people around them – holy smokes! THIS IS AWESOME!”
So I made the switch from biology to kinesiology, with the intention of helping people reclaim their lives through healthy living, and empowering them to be able to make a difference in the world, by making a difference in their own.
I eventually found my own groove and discovered that I was just a late bloomer in the arena of “athletics.” And it’s not that I have amazing skills, but rather that I have let go of any (self) judgment on my performance ability. I don’t care if I look like Kermit the frog while jogging, or that I have a goofy look on my face while pole dancing. Today, I enjoy trying all sorts of activities like motorcycle riding, snowboarding, martial arts, pole dancing, hockey (I’m really quite terrible at it) and I LOVE weight training. Thank you, comic books!
I started Le Physique Personal Training because I am incredibly passionate about helping people find their groove. I would love for you to discover how amazing it feels to love your body and what it can do; it’s your vehicle to seeing, doing and being everything you’ve ever wanted. When you are able to take really great care of yourself (physically, mentally and spiritually), it’s then that you are able to fully care for others and together, we will change the world for the better.
As a single personal trainer, I realized that I could only help one person at time. I understood the value of synergy and that two or three people could help MORE than the total of their sums combined. I saw how competitive the personal training industry was and how that competition could easily diminish the value a trainer could bring to their client by trying to be everything to them. Nutritionist, trainer, coach, motivator, sports specialist, psychologist, rehabilitation specialist….it is incredibly difficult for one person to be an expert in all areas. My initial partner and I loved the concept of a team approach. By attracting a team of amazing individuals that share the same values, passion and desire as myself, but with varied backgrounds, training specialties and hobbies, we could provide a greater platform of expertise for our clients. By working together, for the benefit of our clients, we would ensure that they got the best expertise and service we could provide. Because to me, personal training isn’t about us, it’s about you.
As for why the name is Le Physique Personal Training, you got me on that one. I just like it. Feels kinda sassy. Because who doesn’t love a French sounding training company, operated by a Chinese gal with a Japanese last name.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I would love to hear yours, and help you turn your story into a legacy…because it’s going to be amazing, I know it.
Nicole Yamanaka – B.Sc. Kinesiology, but just a big kid at heart that wants to see you thrive and have an amazing life.