Get Comfortable by being Uncomfortable!
Coach Len is the owner and general manager at Adventure Sports Complex, which has just graduated to a ten thousand square foot facility where they are putting in an indoor soccer arena, and he can coach ninja warrior, cross-functional fitness, cardio kickboxing, and anything else fitness-related. He loves being a personal trainer. “I love what I do,” he says. “I absolutely love the amazing opportunity to help people.”
03:20 – Getting Started
Coach Len used to be a landscaper working for a hospital. “I used to come home and complain to my wife that I didn’t like my job,” he says. “After three years, I wanted to get out.” He hung on for two more years before his wife couldn’t take his complaining anymore. When he came home complaining again, she told him to either do something about it or shut up. Coach Len and his wife had a newborn son at home, had just bought their first home, and had just bought their first car. The next day, he quit his job.
His wife supported him and had his back, not only as his best friend but also as the person he needed her to be, allowing him to do whatever he needed to in order to support their family and their community. He began a landscaping business for himself, which lasted over twenty-five years. “And then it became a business, it was no longer a passion, it was no longer fun,” says Coach Len. “I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do.”
He began pursuing his passion, which had always been soccer. He’d always wanted to watch his four sons play soccer and coach them. He became a massage therapist, then a personal trainer with specialties including sports nutrition, women’s training, youth development, speed, and conditioning. Now he’s managing and bringing up young trainers.
11:17 – Fear
Coach Len believes that fear can motivate people. “Being afraid, being backed up, being scared is the drive that you need,” he says. However, people shouldn’t be afraid of failure. “I’ve never been afraid to fail,” he says. “I’ve only been afraid to let my wife down.” If he had to go back to picking grapes to not let her down, he would. “It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it, and do it for the right reason,” he says.
13:15 – Better Education Options
Coach Len contends that perhaps if more people were willing to do whatever they had to, even picking grapes, the unemployment rate wouldn’t be so high. However, the skills that allow young people to take on such jobs aren’t being taught in school anymore. High schools used to have typing, woodshop, auto shop, and metal shop classes. “Those aren’t offered anymore, and I don’t understand why,” says Coach Len. Instead, college has become a societal expectation. “Why not start directly into your major, and get some great experience, get some internships, and graduate early?” Coach Len recommends.
The Fresno Class Program has asked Coach Len to come up with a curriculum to help people become personal trainers. He wants to train them, lead them to the right paths, and introduce them to the right people. “It’s so rewarding when you can help somebody achieve a goal,” he says, “and sometimes the goal is just showing up.”
18:24 – Coach Len’s Routine
“I think anybody who’s achieved anything in their life has a set routine, a set discipline,” says Coach Len. “For me, it’s being grateful.”
The first thing he does each morning is tell his wife that he loves her. Then as he’s getting up, he thanks his personal God for the gifts he’s been given. As he heads to the kitchen, he says the Serenity Prayer. He remembers that he is fluid, and no matter what his day is like, he’ll be fluid and flexible like water. Then he does personal development, such as reading, journaling, or watching the news. He gives thanks to his mother, who is his spiritual guide. Although she’s not on earth anymore, she’s helping him now more than ever.
He’s genuine and grateful. “You can’t fake passion,” he says. “You can’t fake that love. I wear what I am on my sleeve.”
25:05 – A Book That Made a Difference
One book that made a difference for Coach Len was Napoleon Hill’s The Law of Success, of which the abridged version called Think and Grow Rich is also available. “I read every single word in that book,” he says. It took him about six and a half months. “Then after finishing it, I read it again. I started applying those lessons to my life. That book kept me on a straight and narrow path that I’d never been on before.”