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Rising Stars: Meet Chad Austin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chad Austin.

Hi Chad, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a personal trainer and the owner of Priority Fitness in Overland Park, KS. I named Priority Fitness after my best-selling book, “Make Fitness A Priority: How to Win the Fight Against Your Excuses”. On the road to becoming a personal trainer, I spent time as an athlete, a coach, and a teacher. All these positions taught me skills that I use everyday at Priority Fitness. I am a regularly called upon fitness and wellness guest expert for local and national media. I am the former host of the talk radio show “Be Fit…For Life” and have been a featured guest on over 20 podcasts.

Outside of Priority Fitness, I am a huge sports fan, an avid obstacle course racer, and enjoy staying active. I believe the best things in life are always done outside of your comfort zone, and I’m always looking for my next challenge. For every obstacle I take on, I always have the best pit crew in my corner: my beautiful fiance, Jess, and our dog, Walter (Priority Fitness’s Mascot).

In a world that is flooded with promises of instant gratification, shortcuts, quick fixes, and easy buttons, I help my clients stop constantly starting over so they can improve their quality of life with long-term fitness success.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My journey, just like everyone else’s, has been full of challenges and lessons for me to grow from. As it should be. I believe all great things in life only come to us after we face some adversity. Struggle breeds growth.

Two of the biggest lessons I have learned as a fitness professional are the following:

1. Fitness is not one size fits all. No matter what your goals are (weight loss, muscle gain, increasing mobility…etc.) In order to reach your goals, you have to figure out what plan works best for you. Just because something worked for someone else doesn’t guarantee it will work for you, and just because something worked for you in the past doesn’t mean it will work for you in the present. You have to figure out what best works for you now.

2. Making fitness a priority is not about being perfect. We are human and we will make mistakes from time to time. There is no need to shame yourself or beat yourself up for it when it happens. Failing is part of the fitness journey, but it doesn’t end your story. Reaching your fitness goals has nothing to do with being perfect. Failing from time to time is inevitable and is actually what helps us grow. Our mistakes do not define us. What defines us is how we respond after we make mistakes.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I help busy professionals get out of their own way, and improve their quality of life, by building their consistency muscle and making fitness a priority.

When I was beginning to write my first book, “Make Fitness A Priority: How to win the fight against your excuses”, I started by creating an online poll. My question was, “What are your top priorities in life?” I had as many people take this poll as I possibly could and the results blew me away. The top answers were Family and Career, which was not surprising. What was surprising was that hardly anyone answered health and fitness. I understand now that the reason most people don’t even think about answering fitness is because in our minds fitness is always what we plan to get to later. We plan to get to it later because we think we are too busy now.

We all have obstacles we face everyday that can easily become excuses to put fitness off until later. Obstacles like I’m too busy…I work long hours…I have a stressful job that leaves me with no energy…I travel a lot for work which makes consistency impossible…I have kids at home I need to be there for…my kids have activities going on all the time and I need to be there to watch….etc. There are soo many more excuses where those came from. We use these obstacles as validation to ourselves that it is just not possible to make time for fitness right now. We will just have to get to it later. You know…when we will have more time. The problem with that way of thinking is that that magical day we are waiting on when we imagine we will have a lot more time doesn’t exist. There will never be a shortage of excuses we can use to justify skipping our workout or going through the drive through.

I realized that the problem is not that people don’t see the value in exercise and nutrition. Everybody understands that exercising more and eating healthier would be good for them. With that in mind, my goal when I speak to an audience is not to preach the importance of those things. Instead my goal is to help people realize that even though they are busy, they can still make fitness a priority now, and if they choose to do that, their life will be better.

My first book quickly became a book series and now a motivating and welcoming fitness community.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I believe I am blessed because of the awesome people I have been able to work with and surround myself with.

As far as bad luck goes, perception is everything. I think part of winning and reaching your goals is a result of having a strong mind and a healthy perception on things. When we face adversity or have curveballs thrown at us, we can choose to look at it as bad luck if we want. That doesn’t help us or change the outcome though. What helps us win is embracing the struggle as another chance to grow. I think is every situation, even bad ones there is a chance for growth. When I get thrown a curveball, I always finish the sentence, “This is good because…” One thing I always tell my clients is that when we face obstacles we have two choices. We can either overcome the obstacle, or the obstacle can overcome us. Find a way not an excuse.

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