From chronic back pain to becoming a personal trainer – Marissa’s personal growth journey

Today I am proposing a different blog post format with an interview of Marissa Haupt. 

Marissa is a personal trainer working both in person and remotely. I have known Marissa for 3 years now and while I knew her “story” I didn’t know the details of the personal growth journey that led her to who she is now. I can’t wait to share it with you so let’s dive straight in.

Marissa, tell us about your personal growth journey?

Exercising is my personal growth journey. It is what allowed me to both heal chronic back pain and to find a profession that I enjoy every single day. 

What was the trigger?

I have been suffering from chronic back pain for as long as I can remember. About 7 years ago I did an MRI and the results were disappointing. The doctor told me that there was nothing to do about it and I would continue to suffer for the rest of my life. At the time I had 2 jobs. I was working in a gym and as an oncology coordinator at a clinic. Three events happened simultaneously that pushed me in the direction that would change my life : the “MRI bad news”, the loss of my job, and a colleague trainer from the gym telling me he could help my back pain with weight training. So I jumped straight in. I had nothing to lose and free time to spare. 

What happened?

As soon as I started exercising I began to feel better and my back was bothering me less and less. This was miraculous. But beyond the effects on my back, I was feeling stronger and more confident. This started to spread to other areas of my life such as studies, relationships, etc. I also started to discover how food impacts your body and general health and started to apply this to my day to day learning. What happened next would seal the deal and put me on the path of my personal training career. Another colleague at the gym where I worked ran a personal trainer course and suggested I joined for free. Given the effects on my own body and the fact that I had no other job anyway, I accepted. Also, after having graduated in psychology with a dream of helping others, I realized it didn’t have to be psychologically, it could be physically!

How did you feel during the change process?

A mixed bag of emotions. I was devastated by the loss of one of my jobs, terrified by the idea of exercising, and especially grateful for the opportunities that were given to me. 

What was easy?

The fact that I was already working at the gym and that I knew people there. As soon as I graduated from my personal training course I was given the opportunity to substitute a class, which is not something that everyone can easily do.

What was less easy?

Starting a personal business was something hard for me. I didn’t want to have to make decisions, I wanted a steady income. Life definitively pushed me out of my comfort zone.  And in that I have been lucky enough as each decision I took brought something better in return. 

How do you feel now ?

Proud of myself. I still can’t believe that this is how my life turned out. The shy student that couldn’t speak in front of the classroom, and I am now teaching classes in front of a room full of people. Or the person that had never exercised and taken care of herself and now I exercise every day and I even graduated from a nutrition course. And last but not least, my back issues completely disappeared !

What do you love ?

The client contact. I love what I do and especially to make a difference in people’s lives. Seeing progression in their exercising or health journey is so rewarding. I often wake up at 5.30 am to give online classes. What gets me out of bed is that I am actually looking forward to speaking to my clients. 

What advice would you give yourself if you had to start all over again ?

Follow your gut, always. If this doesn’t feel right deep inside you, don’t go for it. Don’t delay things. I started the nutrition course 5 years ago and just completed it now. I felt I could have done this better. Ah and yeah, learn marketing !

What are the next steps ?

I really want people to access a better life and better version of themselves through exercising and I know personal training is not accessible to everyone so I am working at  building online programs that people can use. It’s a bit scary because I have never done that before but sure that once again, once again the result will be totally worth it. 

Thank you Marissa 😉

I am amazed and surprised on how the flow of events led her to who she is now. She both accepted the opportunities that life was presenting her and trusted her instinct. She didn’t listen to her fears but to the opportunities instead. As a result, she got rid of chronic back pain and found a career path. How can this get any better than that? 

If you want to check Marissa’s website click here :

I am curious to hear from you. Did you experience similar life changing events? What happened as a result? Feel free to share in the comments.

Happy personal growth journey 😉

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