What happens when life throws you a curveball? For Christa Mortimore, a personal trainer, and April Staubs, a member at 24 Hour Fitness Apple Valley Super-Sport Gym in Apple Valley, California, the choice is simple: Pick yourself back up and try something different.
“When I was 11 years old, I was diagnosed with epilepsy, specifically petit mal seizures,” Mortimore says. “From then until I was 19, I was given medication after medication to help prevent the episodes from occurring.” But, according to Mortimore, her medications didn’t minimize or lessen her episodes, and ultimately, she felt they did more harm than good.
“All I remember is feeling terrible and gaining weight from [the medication],” the trainer recalls. “As a teen, it was a struggle to deal with the disorder [and] feeling ‘fat’ from something I couldn’t control. I got tired of it.”
So after doing some of her own research, Mortimore made the personal choice to take herself off her meds and put herself on the path to a healthy lifestyle, consisting of a well-balanced diet and exercise. Mortimore reports her seizures lessened, she lost weight and she discovered a true passion for fitness.
Inspired by the results of her own experience, Mortimore dove headfirst into the health and wellness industry and created her own boot camp for women struggling to achieve their health and fitness goals, before joining 24 Hour Fitness as a personal trainer. That’s where she met Staubs.
Staubs suffered a miscarriage, followed immediately after by her husband’s call to military duty in another state—for more than a year. Struggling to make sense of her new reality and coping with the emotional toll of her recent loss, Staub made the choice to train with Mortimore, persevering despite her situation.
“I was left alone in a new place where I didn’t know many people. I very easily could have fallen into depression, but doing the personal training and having Christa there helped me pull out of it,” she says. “Training gave me something to look forward to, and it gave me knowledge about myself I never knew before.”
Since facing her challenges head-on, Staub’s hit her physical goals and her husband returned home, where they recently welcomed their first son. Attributing much of her success to training with Mortimore, Staubs says, “I am forever grateful for my personal trainer and the guidance and support she provides every time I go to the gym.”
Despite the discomfort and strain a challenge may cause, it forces us to rise to the occasion, to dig in and make a choice for something better. “I can testify to challenges and why it’s important to begin a fitness journey with a professional,” Mortimore says. “Fitness changes lives, and it did my own. Now I get to help others with changing theirs.”