We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Buckhanon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“When motivation dies, discipline must take its place.” Obviously this applies perfectly with my profession as a personal trainer, but it can really be applied in all aspects of life. I use it in my daily life in regards to my job, work, being a mom, personal goals, getting things done that I don’t want to do, etc.
What should our readers know about your business?
So I own a personal training gym in Mesa, Az. I train kind of unorthodox from the norm- I train 1 on 1 training in a group atmosphere. This basically means, I create all the workouts for my clients based on their body type, fitness goals, and fitness levels and they are all personalized. But there will be multiple people at once training at the same time, all doing their own, personalized workouts. This makes it so I can keep the cost affordable but still offer the individualized workouts instead of a group workout that isn’t truly made specifically for you. I also just started a fitness clothing line with my best friend, Symone Deloney. We launch December 10th, 2021! It’s a new business venture that I’m really excited about.
I think I’m most proud of the fact that I had nobody to show me how to do what I’m doing. It was all trial and error. I’ve learned a lot of lessons about business and training the hard way- but 10 years in the industry, I have created a unique training style that gets results, keeps people motivated and excited and wanting to come back. I am also proud of helping my clients become more confident and loving themselves. that’s what I named my gym “Body Image Fitness”. I wanted to create a positive body image for each of my clients in their minds and the physical change will come with that. It’s obviously amazing to see the physical transformations, but what’s even more amazing is to see the mental and emotional transformations that comes with doing something positive for yourself and seeing results!
I never thought my business would grow like it has, that was never my plan. But I am so glad it has, and I hope it continues to grow more and more. It’s definitely not easy. Nobody sees the work that’s put in behind the scenes. I think a job like mine sounds cool, but most people wouldn’t want to have to put the work I put in, day in and day out to keep it running and to give the best quality of training and services I can. It’s a 24/7 job. If I’m not at the gym actually training, I’m at home writing workout plans, meal plans, answering emails, texts from clients, social media content, taking courses to keep up with the latest fitness trends/skills, educating myself constantly, and this is all around being a full time mom. My husband is currently in Optometry school (4 year program), which is extremely time consuming and a good 12-14 hour days. So I don’t have much help at home. this means I’m running and cleaning the household, cooking the meals, taking care of my kids and making sure they get the attention and love they need, while running them to all their activities all while running a full time business. But it is SO rewarding.
I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons and I’m sure, there’s a lot more I’ll learn in the future. One is- put everything in writing. Have a contract for everything and put everything in the contract. And if a client somehow screws me over with payment, etc….it’s on me for not thinking of that before hand and nobody’s fault but mine. But I’ll never make the same mistake twice. I’ve also learned to not apologize for things that aren’t my fault. I think women, especially apologize too much. We are always starting with, “I’m sorry…” and then an explanation. Sometimes all that is needed is a yes or no and no explanation necessary. With that being said, I’ve learned that not everyone is going to like you and some might think you’re a jerk for your policies or whatever. And you can’t let that get to you. Stick to your guns because for me, this is how I feed my family. You can be the juicest peach in the world, and there still will be people who don’t like peaches.
Another lesson- I never know enough. There is always something left to be learned and always be humble in that aspect. Especially in the fitness industry, it is EVER evolving. So I need to continuously be evolving as well and always trying to make myself a better trainer, owner, mom, etc.
I want the world to know that fitness can be fun and exciting, you just have to find your type of fitness. Women, weights won’t make you bulky, they’ll make you toned and sexy. Lift heavy. And if something hurts, not burn, but physically HURTS, you aren’t doing it right or you shouldn’t be doing that exercise. There’s a million different exercises for the same muscle groups- get you a trainer that can work around the things that hurt you.
I am a working mom of 3 and have dedicated more than a decade of my life to health and fitness. I do not have great genetics, and things do not come easy for me. But if you put in the work, educate yourself, and are CONSISTENT, you can do anything you want to do. That’s what I live by.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m kind of a homebody, so I’d probably bring them home to catch up and talk. haha But if we had to go out, I’d take them to hike Camelback Mountain, get some food and the best protein shake at D’Lite, and dinner at Charlestons. During the week – we’d workout at my gym, Body Image Fitness, maybe hit Chandler Mall, and Zupas for another lunch. Then take a bike ride around Tempe Town Lake. That’s the only ideas I got. I’m kind of a boring person to visit, I guess!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I worked as a front desk employee at 24 hour fitness in 2009. My manger, Danny Donovan was someone who really helped my passion grow about health and fitness. He was very passionate himself and gave me a lot of praise. From there, I became a sales manager and then a certified personal trainer. Another huge person who helped me get where I am today, is a coach/trainer: Don Abram. He was my first trainer when I was in high school. After I got certified, he took me under his wing and let me train in his gym. I also learned a lot by just watching him train and how he operates. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am if he hadn’t allowed me to work in his facility and grow there.
There are a lot more- but the biggest support has been my husband, Trent. He has been on board for me to take all the risks needed to grow what I have today. He’s never doubted me once and always been my biggest supporter, in every way possible.
Instagram: bodyimagefitness and bodyimagebasics
Emalie Shirrod Symone Deloney