Voices in Balance // The unlikely path to personal training

I didn’t consciously choose every aspect of my life; some chose me. Truth be told, had I had my way my life trajectory would have best suited for the tabloids: Win my first Academy Award by 21, top the Fortune 500 by 25, land a presidential cabinet appointment by 30 and die a tragic but memorable death by 33. When I awoke one day to find myself the co-owner of a small fitness studio in South Minneapolis, serving as a regular ol’ personal trainer, I was somewhat disappointed. After all, personal training was supposed to be a temporary job until my big break. No, I did not choose this path … but upon reflection I’m glad it chose me.

As it turns out, being a part of the health and wellness industry is enormously gratifying. Improving the health of my clients as well as my own, I make the world a better place by practicing and teaching honest, heart-centered living. In the process, I weave together a community of healing professionals, athletes, soccer moms, weekend warriors, NFL stars, average joes and everything in between. This role suits me.

Today, I’m not the starry-eyed kid who accidently entered this profession. I’ve matured and settled in. I find joy in being in service to wellness — others and mine. I am changed and I see the world differently. While I used to place value in status, stuff, fame and fortune, I now know that my happiness is intricately bound to the state of the world around me. Relationships have replaced materials as paramount. Importantly, I know that I cannot be well in a sick world nor can I advance at the expense of others. In short, though I did not grow up believing it, 13 years of working in wellness as a personal trainer has shown me that everything is connected — me to you, humanity to the planet, mind to body — and that everything must be whole to be well.

A large part of my job is teaching and demonstrating this connection between collective and individual health and the importance of community in fostering both. In fact, in 2002 when my business partner, Craig Helmer, and I opened our fitness studio, I hastily jotted our mission on a scrap of paper: Balance Fitness Studio is dedicated to building a fitness and wellness community. It sounded good. To this day, I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing. I only know that any chance I encounter to bring people together in health and healing is in alignment with the mysterious path set in motion long ago.

This new column — “Voices in Balance” — is an extension of that vision. My dedication to the Southwest Journal and its readers is to provide stories, information, perspective and professional advice from a variety of voices in the wellness industry. This is not a platform for me to espouse my personal beliefs in the name of health, rather a vehicle for the amazing network of healing, healthcare, fitness and wellness professionals I’ve amassed over the years to share their insights with their community. From acupuncturist to cardiologist, shamaness to neuroscientist each contributor will have a unique approach to health and healing. Our singular bond is our overriding commitment to wellness and community.

Perhaps my gift to the world is not movie stardom or corporate mergers or the political prowess that my 14-year-old self dreamt of actualizing. However, my gift as a community builder and advocate for wellness is even better. Through “Voices in Balance,” I hope my community will agree.

Morgan Luzier is the co-founder of Balance Fitness Studio in Uptown. When she isn’t training clients, you’ll find her riding her bike, running the trails, swimming the lakes and cooking great food to keep her going.

Editor’s note

Voices in Balance is a new health and wellness column for the Southwest Journal. If you have questions or topic ideas for the column, e-mail Morgan Luzier at Morgan Luzier [email protected] or tweet the Southwest Journal @swjournal.