Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Laspas.
Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Unlike most personal trainers, I grew up avoiding team sports, hating the gym, and no stranger to boxed and canned meals. It wasn’t until college when I started exercising with any regularity, but only in an attempt to cancel out all the keg beer and street pizza from the night before. Not so surprisingly, I couldn’t outrun (or out-bike or out-stairclimb) my less-than-ideal diet, and I still managed to pack on an impressive 30 pounds over the course of those four years.
Then, 2006 happened – I started working with my first trainer and met a professional fitness competitor who became my mentor. I traded in the cardio room for the weight room; working out became fun, not punishment; and not only did I slim down and tone up, but I also started to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. Because of that, I went on to do things like go skydiving, play in rec sports leagues, and run three marathons and 200-mile relay races.
It was actually while training for my second marathon when I had an inkling I should pursue something in the health and wellness industry — I had started showing fellow runners how to complement running with strength workouts and loved it. But, naturally, it took me another five years to leave desk life behind, get certified as a personal trainer, and officially open the doors to my business.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not really (*haha*). I spent over a decade in the legal field and got stuck in the mindset that I should stay in the “professional” job and work my way up, as one does. But, over time, just the thought of spending the next 30+ years in a sea of trials and deadlines and sad stories had me ugly crying and eating my feelings at night. So, with my husband’s support and encouragement, I decided to walk away… but not without going on a few other misguided detours in the name of not “wasting” my work experience — such as dropping 20K+ on a Master’s degree I’ve never used and opening (and closing) a writing business.
Then, in 2016, a chronic illness put me out of commission for nearly eight months. After that, I couldn’t imagine going back and doing anything besides personal training, especially since fitness played such a powerful role in the rebuilding of my own physical, mental, and emotional strength. For me, getting sick is what put things in perspective and gave me a swift kick in the ass in the right direction.
I’m not going to say running a business is “easy” when you’re doing work you believe in. But I love the ways in which being a business owner challenges me (at least most of the time), and I’ve never felt more fulfilled, personally or professionally. So, I can honestly say I’ve never looked back.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Muscles and Moxie story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m now an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, Original Strength Coach, and Self-Defense Instructor-in-Training. And I created Muscles and Moxie to help women give “lifting phobia” the finger and get fit and grit because of it.
Having had clients say things like “Both my physical and mental lifestyles have changed dramatically” and go on to do things like trek to Everest Basecamp, I’m all about you escaping your comfort zone, both inside and outside of the gym, and having a great f*cking time every step of the way.
I hold sessions out of TruFit Personal Training Studios in Evanston, and as for what sets me apart, I don’t believe in going it hard at the expense of doing it right; sadly, many group fitness studios give off that vibe. What I do believe in is retraining your body to move the way it was designed to, challenging you the right way, and teaching you how to keep it up on your own. Because, then, you’ll not only tighten and tone but also get stronger and stand taller. And that’s the key to staying active and adventurous for longer … no boredom, bulk, or gym-bro’ing required.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really believe in luck. All I know is that once I started trusting my gut, saying “yes” to things that scare me, and being unapologetically myself, my life and business began to thrive.
- For 3 months of twice-per-week training, I charge $1,680. This includes 24 personalized sessions as well as fitness guidance and accountability outside of sessions.
- Address: Training Location (by appointment only): TruFit Personal Training Studios, 610 Davis St., Evanston, IL
Instagram: @sarahlaspas and @muscles.and.moxie
Andrea Harney Marketing & Photography