Toronto, Ontario, CanadaContact This Student: Rangell Fitness
Speciality: Prenatal/Postnatal Moms
Pre-Academy Experience: New to Online Training
Goals: Do What I Love, Travel/Work From Anywhere, Better Results in Less Time
Raissa came to Canada in her early twenties, leaving behind her family and her budding career.
Originally, the process of building a life in Canada was very difficult. Raissa was working for a fast food company, 12 hours a day with no days off. “It was a very tough time,” she recalls. In response, “I was smoking and drinking, I gained 32 pounds. I was really depressed.”
But instead of giving up, she made a personal pledge.
“I promised myself that when I became Canadian I would be ‘the best Canadian’,” says Raissa. She was determined to get through that difficult period, get her permanent residency (PR) and go after the life she wanted.
“I knew I would change my life,” she says. And she did.
Once Raissa got her PR she signed up for the YMCA to improve her fitness. At first, “I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t confident yet.”
But Raissa was consistent with her training. She lost weight and gained confidence, and other gym goers took notice, including some of the staff. An experienced trainer at the Y took her aside and asked her if she’d ever considered the idea of a career in fitness.
A lightbulb went off.
“He showed me I could do more at the gym than just work out… he showed me that I was inspiring people.” Soonafter Raissa got her fitness certification, the staff gave her some classes to teach, and invited her to shadow one of the trainers. She would work as a bank teller Monday to Friday and supplement her income in the gym on weekends.
And with that, Raissa’s career as a fitness trainer was born.
She went on to develop her own base of clients and, after a while, found her niche in postpartum. She was starting to feel settled — but not for long.
While Raissa had been developing her career, her boyfriend Amir was working on his. Having just finished residency to become an orthapaedic surgeon at the University of Toronto, he decided to take a fellowship at Harvard University for a year.
The big question: would Raissa follow him?
Raissa worried about her inability to work in the US. She didn’t want to put her career and ability to make money on hold. “I’ve always been on my own. I’ve never needed anyone to pay for me, so I couldn’t handle the idea of having him pay for everything for a year.”
She was also afraid of leaving behind the business she’d worked so hard to build, and the clients she’d worked so hard to serve. “I thought I would lose my clients… And what would I be doing, not knowing anybody, being stuck in the house… I would be depressed.”
Could online training be the answer?
Raissa considered online training. After doing some research, and finding the Online Trainer Academy, she realized this might be the way to make it work.
The Academy gave Raissa a way to make the transition without giving up her independence or her growing business. Raissa realized, “with online coaching, I could go anywhere without depending or relying on somebody else. I didn’t need to give up my career as a personal trainer.”
So Raissa followed Amir. And in turn, her clients followed Raissa.
“Most of my Toronto clients are still my online clients,” says Raissa. “They’re waiting for me to come back.” Instead of abandoning her client base in Toronto, she’s been able to serve them online. Then, when she returns, she can go back to in-person or hybrid training with them if she wants.
Raissa currently coaches about 15 people online. “The number of clients I have now is more than enough. When I come back, I’ll have different goals,” she says.
For now, this gives her the perfect amount of stability, freedom, independence, and the extra cash she needs.
As if that weren’t enough: Raissa and Amir are now engaged.
Talk about a happy ending.