We had the good fortune of connecting with Coach KT and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Coach, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business? I suppose it stems from being injured as an athlete and realizing that most people are not as passionate and knowledgeable about their careers as you might think or have the same desire you have of attaining your goals. I guess I was made different, you attaining your goals becomes my goal! As a D1 athlete, I sustained chronic injuries that sidelined my true potential! I was never healed by the therapy or the strength training, I saw that it was all just a system. No one really cared, they just ran you through drills and exercises that they read about and never questioned the root cause of an injury. I realized that I had to fix and train myself if I wanted to fully recover for a healthy fully functional life after sports. I didn’t think of being a strength coach, I just wanted to feel whole again. After reevaluating everything I thought I knew and analyzing every movement from the eyes of a figurative artist, I then realized there were many holes in how people are taught to train the body. I realized that everyone has unique challenges and finding them and correcting them was the key. I realized that we are not as connected as we think we are to our bodies and that our breath, alignment, control and mental attitude held far more importance to our health than we knew. I realized that you have to kind of have this “perfectionist” mentality and pay very close attention to detail – that is my training in its simplest form. With this and many more realizations, I began training myself obsessively and developed what I later called “the WAY method”. I began training college athlete friends who saw the change in my physique and more importantly, my movements and their successes led me on a journey in becoming a strength coach. Starting my own business was the inevitable result of seeing the lack of experiential knowledge and care for others that existed in the gyms and fitness industry. For too many years I watched as those without practical experience fumbled through teaching skills that they themselves could not properly demonstrate. I watched 70-year-old women being told to do lunges with weights in their hands on their first day of training, I watched as these women hit their fragile knees on the floor with every step, while the trainer did nothing to correct glaring alignment problems. There was no teaching in how to do a thing, there was only a quick demonstration and then counting off sets and reps on a chart. This ran counter to how I believed training should be. Attention to the individuals weaknesses and how the exercise should be done is what you get paid for, not counting! Once I saw the way in which things were being done, I realized I had to have my own facility. I did not want to be associated with “personal trainers”. I wanted my years of experience rehabbing my many injuries and learning the true fundamentals of movement to be shared with those who were seeking better health as a primary, as well as better performance. I realized that what we consider to be fundamentals is in fact far from it. Unfortunately because the fitness industry is only about gaining maximum profits, they will never see or tell the citizen what is needed. What I teach people takes time, effort and focus! It’s not the flashy stuff, it’s the essentials that lead to HEALTHIER LONGEVITY, You’ll get to the flashy stuff eventually, but it’s a process! I take what I do very serious, so correcting scoliosis by 10 degrees in a client who had it most of her life was a joy! Sending kids to division 1 universities on full scholarships, making pro athletes perform better and thus obtain bigger contracts.. That is the reason for what I do! I don’t want others to go through the pain and injuries I had to live through and I especially want the kids to have an opportunity to reach their full potential on the road to their athletic dreams.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My Art, well, its funny that that is the question. Because I am a figurative/realistic artist, it is only natural that this thing that is called “training” bears remarkable resemblance to what an artist does. Like a blacksmith, the best practitioners have an artists eye for detail, symmetry, flow, lines, form and performance. These things i believe are what sets me apart from others. It is about the feel of a thing as much as it is about the equipment or the regimen that is used to develop a clients body. You must recognize the uniqueness in the medium and know what to work with and what to leave alone. It’s not about following the protocols to the letter, the art is in the details and knowing what is needed for each client to present their optimal performance. I am most excited about seeing the lights go on when someone realizes the potential they posses, when they understand the need for the process and why it is done the way it is. I got to this point by believing in myself and that bringing health and not just fitness was the way to help people, even though they may not know what it was that was missing. It was never easy! Life isn’t easy! Life is challenge! If you don’t accept that that’s what you were born into, then it will be difficult to even exist in this world. Training to be a professional athlete wasn’t easy, all the injuries weren’t easy, all the recoveries were not easy! I have never experienced the “easy” life, I was born in the ghettos of Jamaica under tin roofs and dirt yards. This lifestyle builds resilience, character, and strength. Conversely, “easy” doesn’t build strength, nor resilience. Challenges reveals who you are, not who you think you are! When times are rough, it peels back the veil of strength and what you really want is revealed. My college coach John Cook would say this daily… “It’s never easy” referring to the training, now I know what he meant. I’ve learned that you cannot chase happiness and happiness means different things to different people. Don’t get me wrong, I get tired, I get aggravated! But I take a breath, reevaluate my state of being, and I remember those who have had it worse throughout the ages. I also remember that this “too shall pass” so suck it up, learn from it, give it your all and keep moving with appreciation for the hard times. Those are the times that you remember and laugh at before this all ends and you go back home. What I would like the world to know about my brand is that I provide the most comprehensive information and training that is out there today. I know that’s a tall statement but if you stop by and try it for yourself, you will see that it’s true.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow, that’s difficult! I am really an introvert so eating out and going places is limited. I would probably eat some PHO in Scottsdale and take them on a tour of Old Town Scottsdale and North Scottsdale areas, then go through Arcadia and Downtown Phoenix just to see the layout of the city. I would take them to Tempe town lake and ASU to see some diversity in how Arizona looks and finally i would go to Flagstaff for some trees and a hike. As for dining and drinking, I don’t drink so that’s that, Coffee shops are my main hangout spots so I would probably take them there. My friends understand me so it would be fine because intellectual conversations are what I enjoy most.
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?
In my opinion there are always individuals that help you through this life, I give shoutouts to Susan E, Herb A, Ed H, Lisa B, Dwayne M and many more who may not know how impactful they were in my life.