Our Story

Welcome to another episode of Reach the Unreachable. See below for a live video on today’s topic. Check out our YouTube channel or Instagram page for other fitness videos! Go ahead and follow us, hit that subscribe button, and click that notification bell so you never miss a video. I am here today to tell you our story. It’s the story of how GFI came to be and how we are transforming the lives of people young, old, and in between. So, sit back, relax, grab some popcorn or your favorite snack, and let’s explore all that GFI is, was, and will be.

As I mentioned, today I want to tell you our story. It’s the story of how GFI came to be and how we are transforming the lives of people who are young, old, and in between. So, sit back, relax, grab some popcorn or your favorite snack, and let’s explore all that GFI is, was, and will be. Recently, Magic Mind was added to our story, and I will tell you in a bit about the impact they have had on our journey. For now, let’s dig into the story of Glorified Fitness Incorporated (GFI).

We all have work to do, right? When we are teaching our children, we give them little chores to do at a young age. As they get older, we give them more responsibilities as we try and prepare them for adulthood. As adults, we work to survive or to have a better life than what our parents had.

But what does it take to do work? I am glad you asked! Whatever age you are, the ability to work requires some level of physical fitness, some level of mental fitness, and some level of spiritual fitness. Let me explain.

Physical fitness deals with the ability to physically move your body. Whether you are sitting at a desk all day or working in a warehouse setting, you need to be able to move some part of your body. That is why I say you need to have some level of physical fitness to do work.

Mental fitness deals with the ability to use your mind. Whatever kind of work you do, you need to have some level of mental capacity to understand your assignment. You need to be able to think and process your instructions. Many companies require you to use critical thinking, even in a warehouse environment, so that you can help improve processes and procedures in your work area. That is why I say you need to have some level of mental fitness to do work

Spiritual fitness deals with the ability to motivate our spirit to move. It does not matter what kind of work you are doing, if you are not motivated to just get out of bed in the morning, you will not be able to do the work. If you are not motivated to care about the work you are doing, you will probably not do a good job and if it is a paid gig, you will probably get fired. We all have a spirit within us that needs to be motivated, encouraged, and inspired. Most of the time we have to be able to encourage ourselves because there may not be anyone else around to do it. If we are being honest, we as humans love it when someone else motivates us, encourages us, and inspires us. Wherever it comes from though, it is needed to do work. That is why I say you need to have some level of spiritual fitness.

By now, you are probably asking what all of this has to do with the story of GFI. Well, GFI offers holistic fitness for the body, mind, and spirit because it is needed to do work. In 2011, God gave me a vision to build a fitness center for His people, meaning His creation. We were all created by God, so this relates to us all. Some of us have been commissioned to do work in God’s kingdom. Some of us are doing work in Corporate America. Some of us are doing work as an entrepreneur or a philanthropist. Whatever our assignment is, we all have a need for physical, mental, and spiritual fitness. That is why GFI was created. It is a holistic approach to fitness that ensures we have all that we need to do work.

Let me take a step back to the beginning. After receiving the vision, I was very excited about God choosing me for this assignment. However, at the time, I did not realize the magnitude and what it really meant. The name came to me rather quickly, so I would have to say it was inspired by God. Beyond that, I knew I needed to get a federal tax ID and I quickly learned that I also needed to get a DUNS number, so those were the first things I did. I also knew that I needed a business plan, so I researched, found a template, and went to work. However, my initial thoughts were just around physical fitness. I was thinking that God wanted me to build a gym that plays Gospel music. How many of you know that when you continuously seek the face of God, He will, in His time, reveal His plans to you?

As time went on, God revealed to me what a fitness center should be. When I think “center” I think “core,” which means there is more than one aspect. Similar to how the core of your body is the center of your balance. You build your core muscles to stabilize your spine, giving balance to the rest of your body. With this new revelation, I recognized that fitness can never be just physical. It cannot be one-sided.

I was reminded about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost being One, and how our body, soul, and spirit are One. Our physical body is the temple that holds our soul and spirit. This is where our vision is to improve the physical health of our clients and staff members. Our soul is what makes us who we are. This is where our mission is to transform your mind and change the way you think about yourself because whatever you THINK you can do will be your limitation. Our spirit is what animates us and causes us to move. This is where our mission is to encourage and inspire you to Reach the Unreachable in your fitness goals. I came to realize that physical fitness is not the core. Spiritual fitness is actually at the core. It is the center of your balance. Without it, we will never be able to be physically fit. We will never be able to reach mental fitness. Without spiritual fitness, we will not be motivated to move. We will not be inspired to think beyond our current circumstances. In 1 Samuel 30:6, we see that David was concerned about the people stoning him to death, but in response, David encouraged himself in the Lord. Is that something you can do? When your world is crumbling around you, when people are out to destroy you, can you encourage yourself? You can if you are spiritually fit. How do you become spiritually fit? You become spiritually fit by connecting your spirit with the Spirit of God. If you are not filled with the Holy Ghost, I want to encourage you today to let that be the very next thing you do in life. It is necessary for living this life, and more importantly, you cannot make it to heaven without it. I’m not going any further with that for now. If you want to know more about it, PLEASE reach out to me. I have done other podcasts about it, but I would be more than happy to explain it to you. Another reason why spiritual fitness is at the core of GFI’s approach to fitness is because I am a born-again Christian who believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I understand that following Jesus and serving God are the most important thing I can do in this life. That is why I operate my business based on the verse 1 Corinthians 10:31, which reminds me that whatever I do, it should be for the glory of God.

Now that we know the core of fitness, let’s talk just a little about the physical aspects of fitness. It may be obvious to you what physical fitness is, but I still want to break it down a little. We have our physical body. We know that we need a strong body and one that can endure, so we have gyms all over the place for people to exercise. There are boutique gyms like the ones that specialize in a particular fitness program, or those that are considered an amenity at an apartment complex, franchise gyms like Planet Fitness, Snap Fitness, or Gold’s Gym, luxury gyms like LifeTime Fitness or Equinox Luxury Fitness Club, and even home gyms where we have just the equipment we want or need for ourselves. Gyms are literally everywhere for people to get into shape. However, there is something missing. I have said it before, and I will say it again: Nutrition goes hand in hand with exercise!

For proper physical fitness, you need to incorporate exercise AND nutrition plans. You can exercise all day every day and still not be in shape if you are not receiving proper nutrition. The foods we consume, and the substances we ingest all play a part in our physical fitness. When I say substances, I mean prescribed medications, Over the Counter (OTC) medications, street drugs, and alcohol. I’m not going to talk a lot about substances because I am hoping that the only ones my listeners are ingesting are the ones prescribed by their doctor.

However, I do want to spend a little time on the foods that we eat. Quality is just as important as quantity. In terms of quantity, eating too little is just as bad as eating too much.  While you should speak to a nutritionist for a full plan, I will give you some nutrition tips. Tip #1- Don’t just cut out your favorite foods. Make substitutions that are healthier than your favorite foods. For example, replace your favorite ice cream with a flavored frozen Greek yogurt. Instead of scrambling whole eggs, scramble egg whites, and maybe add in some spinach if you can. The reason why we need to make a substitution is because not doing so will leave a void and if we have not planned on how to fill that void, we will either go back to the unhealthy choice or we will replace it with something worse. Tip #2 – Plan your food. When you plan your meals and snacks, you are less likely to make an unhealthy choice when you suddenly find yourself out of time and wanting to order fast food. Keep a healthy snack handy for times like this. Tip #3 – Eat something every 2-3 hours. This should include a well-balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with healthy snacks in between. Include protein in every meal. Increase your protein if you are weight training. When eating beef, choose the leanest cuts. When eating poultry, choose white meat over dark meat. When eating pork, choose the lower sodium option. When choosing healthy meat, of course processed meat is the unhealthiest, like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage. Lean lamb is better, and lean beef is even better than lamb. While pork is better than beef, bison is better than pork. Of course, poultry is better than grazing animals, with turkey being healthier than chicken. The healthiest meat you can eat is fish, seafood, and shellfish. That’s a lot of meat choices, so pick wisely, and keep in mind that meat is not the only source of protein. There is also plant-based protein, like nuts, seeds, grains, beans, and peas, to name a few. Tip #4 – Drink more water. If you are used to drinking water, I want to encourage you to keep track of how much you are drinking, just to make sure you are drinking enough. Your doctor or nutritionist can tell you just how much you need. For example, my doctor told me to drink between 8 and 10 cups of water every day. Some people try to drink a whole gallon of water per day, but that is too much for me since a gallon is 16 cups. I cannot stress this enough! Talk to your doctor and nutritionist about your food plan. I would also say that if you are used to drinking sodas and sugary drinks, begin to replace that with cups of water. For example, if you drink a can of soda at every meal, start by replacing one soda at one meal with a glass of water instead. If you must have some sort of flavor in your water, use cucumber slices, lemon wedges, or some other fresh fruit. You can also use crystal light or something similar that has flavor without added sugar. Over time, my hope is that you will replace all of your sugary drinks with the healthier choice of water.

I feel like I have gotten off the beaten path a little. That’s easy to do when you have a passion for teaching. Knowledge is power, so I want to empower people with knowledge. That speaks to the mission of our nonprofit GFI Learning Center. So, if you think about it, I didn’t actually get off topic with our story; I actually just went a little deeper into what we do.

Ok, I have talked about the core of holistic fitness, which is spiritual fitness, and I talked about the components of physical fitness, which is nutrition and exercise. Now I want to talk about mental fitness and why it is a part of our story. I have seen other fitness organizations say they have holistic fitness, but it only includes physical and mental fitness, and the mental fitness is geared more towards mindfulness and relaxation techniques. That is all well and good, but I have learned that mental fitness needs to go beyond relaxing the mind and trying to relieve stress. For the mind to be truly fit, it needs to be exercised intellectually. The mind needs to be stimulated with learning. Just like with the other muscles in your body, your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised by using it because if you don’t use it, you will lose it! As we get older, we should continue learning new things. We should practice memory games speed matching games to keep our minds sharp.  We should read a good book often to ward off Alzheimer’s and dementia as long as we can. Reading is not just fundamental, but reading can also help us reduce stress and sleep better. That is why we have a library of books for every reading level.

Another aspect of mental fitness comes with focus. How much do you need to focus on the task at hand so that you can complete your assignment? Do you struggle with getting and staying focused. This is where my friends at Magic Mind can help. Magic Mind is the first ever productivity elixir that is designed to help you do more and stress less. I was introduced to Magic Mind a few weeks ago and let me tell you! They are true to their promises. With the very first dose, I felt a calmness in my thought process, and I was able to focus on my work and get a lot done. It did not take long for me to feel my everyday stress start to melt away and be replaced by peace and laser focus. With day 2, I was wide awake and did not need a nap! Typically, I get tired in the middle of the day, but I was alert all day, and my energy levels were elevated. By day 3, I experienced a decrease in inflammation surrounding my arthritic knee, in addition to the mental focus and productivity. I don’t drink coffee or consume caffeine. My morning routine consists of decaffeinated green tea with my breakfast. Adding Magic Mind to that routine was a game changer! It has ingredients like matcha green tea, which is basically nature’s extended-release version of caffeine. It also has 2 different types of mushrooms, which contributed to my decreased inflammation.

After my trial run, I decided Magic Mind was something I wanted to continue using. If YOU are having trouble concentrating or getting things going in the morning, I recommend that you add Magic Mind to your morning routine as well! You can check it out at www.magicmind.co/reach. Use Promo Code REACH20 during checkout for a 20% discount on your one-time purchase, or for a 40% discount on your first subscription order! The 40% discount only lasts for the next 10 days, so hurry! Place your order today so you too can do more and stress less!

Now that you know more about how we view holistic fitness, I can get deeper into our journey. I mentioned that I got a vision in 2011. However, I did not mention that it took me until 2017 to actually dive into being an entrepreneur. It took me that long because I was trying to continue my IT career while starting a business. It was not until I left corporate America that I was able to actually become a business owner. Armed with a passion to help people, I sought out resources to help me realize my dream. I took classes at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Columbus State Community College, and they helped me refine my business plan and identify my target market. They gave me tools to conduct market research and develop a customer persona. They connected me with funding resources like Kiva loans and state grants. I actually attended an event today where I was able to reconnect with the first person who helped me at SBDC. Shout out to Jerome Jones, who is now working with the Small Business Administration (SBA). He was very helpful on my journey, so I am very thankful for him.

After a year of research and planning, I finally accepted my first tutoring client at my home, and that client referred me to other clients, who referred me to other clients. As you can imagine, most of our tutoring clients came from referrals. We were also scheduling group fitness sessions at remote locations, like churches. The funny part is that we have kind of come full circle. We started out with remote services and working out of my home, opened a storefront after 2 years, then closed it after a year and switched to virtual and remote services. Now we are working on creating a virtual fitness platform that has pre-recorded videos, as well as an education platform with pre-recorded workshops. We will continue to offer live virtual and remote services while we look for a new smaller location. Our first storefront was over 6,000 square feet, and housed GFI and the GFI Learning Center. It was a way for us to serve whole families. While parents came in for physical fitness, their children were able to get quality tutoring at the same time, while everyone experienced the sights and sounds of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement. We also had space for our Weekend Workshops, which were added in January 2022. We started them because we wanted to take our concept of educating communities to a whole new level. This is where we explored the quote, “Knowledge is Power,” as we ventured to empower people with knowledge. Not just any knowledge, but life-changing knowledge, the kind of knowledge that can enhance the lives of individuals, families, and whole communities.

Let me back up just a little bit and tell you where GFI Learning Center came from. We opened our storefront in April 2021 and created the nonprofit GFI Learning Center in June 2021. We went that route because we wanted to focus on affordable educational activities. While it is the mental fitness piece of GFI’s holistic approach to fitness, it can also stand alone as a separate entity. We wanted it to be nonprofit to ensure that our learning center clients can continue to receive quality services by giving a small donation. We also wanted to seize the opportunity to get the community involved in our services by bringing them in during our fundraising campaigns. Our main goal with the GFI Learning Center is to help students excel, but we also want to help anyone improve their quality of life by educating them on how to live a better life. With our workshops, we teach teens and adults about financial literacy and job readiness. We help them balance a checkbook and create a resume. We help families learn and grow together by teaching them how to meal prep and exercise together. This is just some of the things we are trying to accomplish at the GFI Learning Center. Workshops are tailored to the needs of the community. Tutoring is meant to help students of all ages, backgrounds, and learning levels. This is why we are here. I am not only a servant leader at my church, but I strive to be a servant leader in my business. I hope you are excited about learning, about getting healthy, and about reaching the unreachable in your fitness goals.

Just a little something to think about. I hope today’s message was helpful to you. Remember that you can always reach the unreachable in your fitness goals with GFI. I want to encourage you to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and turn on notifications so you never miss a video. Contact us on our website or social media pages any time with questions.

Don’t forget to check out Magic Mind and get your 20% discount for a single order, or a 40% discount on your first subscription order. Until next time, blessings to you on your fitness journey, and to God be the Glory!

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