We had the good fortune of connecting with Chad Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chad, how do you define success?
Success is a tricky thing. Success, though it sounds simple at face-value, can mean many different things to many different people. There are those who would define success as having their business make its first million dollars. Others would say they are successful if they show up each and every day despite what obstacles may arise. The concept of success is subjective, and to me, is defined as seeing continuous positive change in those who come to me asking for help. My first requirement for success is using my knowledge and experience to help clients develop lifelong, healthy habits which impact them daily. I would argue that this first key is pretty universal amongst most trainers in the industry. However, I do have a second, personal element for feeling successful.
In addition to improving exercise and nutrition decisions with my clients I work with them to improve mindset as well. While I train anyone who needs my help, I specialize in training women who have fallen by the wayside with caring for themselves. It’s unbelievably common for women in our society to be placed last with their wants, needs, and desires. Their goals are often modified to target societal norms and not what resonates internally. Their needs are placed last as they become a vessel for their assignments, whether that is through a specific occupation or motherhood. Worst of all, this trend of being unseen and unheard takes away their power. It was noticing that loss of power which really sparked my drive to help women transform their weight, develop healthy habits that boost longevity, and reclaim their power.
In summary, if I can guide my clients to a healthy lifestyle, get them to feel powerful, and know they deserve to achieve their goals, then I am successful.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I grew up as an overweight child who struggled with confidence issues and feeling like I didn’t belong. It wasn’t until late into high school that I finally decided to make a change and lose weight. It took lots of studying, trial and error, and jogging about a mile each way to my local gym in the 115 degree Arizona summer to finally make a difference. Training myself became a necessity before I graduated high school, but training others wasn’t even on my radar. At this point in my life I had decided to seek a career in law enforcement as a way to help others. That’s what I thought I could do to make the biggest difference in the lives around me.
I graduated from high school, received a bachelor’s degree from a major university, and became a police officer. I did that for almost three years before I realized that strapping on a gun and badge wasn’t what I wanted to do every day for the rest of my youth. I began to realize there were other ways I could help my community. Another method, besides arresting people, that I could use to change a life. By this point I had started casually training some friends, family, and colleagues who were looking to get in shape. I helped those who took a chance on me take something back by guiding their fitness journeys in a way that instilled lifelong habits and got results. It was their successes that revealed to me how happy I was coaching in fitness. I started to realize that their successes were integral to feeling like I was seeing success too.
From here I began to shift my focus from growing a career in my department’s Special Investigation Bureau to learning how I could save a life through fitness and nutrition instead. Once I reorganized my life I took a leap and attained my certification in personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and another certification as a fitness nutrition specialist with the American Council on Exercise. Despite experiencing many ups and downs with starting my business I was able to combine my passion for all things health and fitness with my mission of helping those who experienced powerlessnesses reclaim their strength. These two pillars led to the creation of Ember Athletics as it stands today. I firmly believe that everyone deserves to feel powerful. Everyone deserves help getting their health on track. I’m here to change lives and prove you are capable of far more than you thought possible.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The City of Tempe is a fun, crazy place to live! A week long trip may or may not be enough to really get the full experience that our city has to offer. Despite being a Fitness Coach I’m actually a big foodie, and love so many of the local restaurants and experiences. I’m a big believer in expanding your mind, and your stomach every now and again.
I’d recommend taking a trip over to the main Tempe campus of Arizona State University to see the Secret Garden and all of the improvements the University consistently makes. We would also need to run over to Papago Park for some light hiking, sight-seeing, and hopefully catch a glimpse of the rams we have. Tempe Marketplace is also a blast if you’re looking for several things to check out and a nice place to mill around and socialize, as long as it’s not summertime. I’m not a big party-guy, but anyone who likes to get a little crazy would probably enjoy an evening trip to Mill Ave. Enough said.
Finally, as for solid local cuisine, Los Reyes De La Torta has amazing Mexican food that will probably ruin anywhere else you’ve tried that isn’t authentic. In n Out is certainly a necessary stop to make if you aren’t from California, Arizona, or Nevada. You haven’t had a real fast food burger until you’ve gotten the In n Out Double Double. Lastly, Red Devil Pizza is a great place to stop, although it looks like a bit of a hole in the wall, to grub on something cheesy and greasy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be able to help others in this meaningful way without the support I’ve received from my wife and family. While there are many people who have helped get me where I am today, and where I will continue to go, I really need to thank my wife, Dominique.
Dominique has been incredibly supportive and uplifting from the very beginning. She has kept me motivated and falling forward even in times where I didn’t think that was possible. I truly don’t think I would be in the position I am today if it wasn’t for her continued support, patience, and unconditional love. Thank you so much Dominique. I wouldn’t be able to do this without you!