Do you motivate yourself? Do you motivate others?

Part 1

Raquel Sanchez – Trainer, Monkey Bar Gym Madison

Trainers and regular gym go-ers know the key to a successful workout, training session, and beyond hinges on one crucial component: being motivated.

Much like a vehicle, your body is a machine.  Like a vehicle, your body is capable of taking you to amazing and beautiful places. But without fuel in the tank you go nowhere fast. Motivation is the fuel that ignites the engine so you can go where you want to be. The question is: how do you get yourself and others to “fuel up” when the tank is empty? How do you get people excited about changing their lives? Here is the first step:

  • Lead by example – What is your story?

The first step always starts with the self. Jon Hinds, my mentor and founder of the Monkey Bar Gym, states: “I before we, we before all.” You must find that excitement within yourself before you can inspire others to change. As a personal trainer, and a person who trains, I’ve realized that this is critical and you must continue to feed this passion.
Your past, your trials and your tribulations are your story. Your story is a powerful tool that you use to inspire and motivate others. Your story shows that lofty goals are within reach. Your story showcases what you’ve accomplished and overcome. I reflect on my life’s story when I’m needing motivation for my  workouts. I remember the barriers I’ve broken. I repeat the mantras “I am strong” and “I can do anything” to push through challenges.  Most of all, I think about the people who started their journey due to my story. These things work.

My personal story is filled with major struggles: obesity, unhealthy lifestyle choices, depression, self-hatred, self-mutilation, and drug use. I was on strong anti-psychotic medication during these times and the side effects seemed worse than the symptoms they were trying to alleviate. It’s hard for a person looking at me now to see me as someone who has overcome these battles. I am a physically “fit” and happy person – how could I possibly understand where a struggling, unhealthy person is coming from and relate to what they may be going through? When I share my story, I see recognition and understanding in my student’s eyes when they realize that what they want is truly possible. My story is living proof. 





Raquel finishes Jons Hinds birthday workout

Raquel After Jon Hinds Birthday Workout


You must share your own story. Sharing builds credibility and creates connection. Inspiration leads to motivation. Motivation leads to success.

As your students define and conquers their own stories, it will excite you.  I am the most encouraged to achieve more by people who were first motivated by my story. A newer rockstar gym member sent me this email. This is inspiring!


“My whole life is changing. I had been walking around like a dead person ever since my little brother died in 2000. I gave up teaching and training in my martial arts. I gave up what was then 14 years of sobriety. I ate crap and didn’t care if I lived. Raquel, I am alive again. Sober again. And eating better than I have in my whole life. I am IN my body instead of hating and hiding it. YOU are helping me do this. I want you to know how important you are in my new life. I want to be alive again. It’s a true gift. ESPECIALLY YOU and Sarah and Olivia and Jon and Sean and ALL the people who train hard along side of me. You all inspire me.” 

I get pumped up and motivated when I read this! I want to keep helping people and doing my very best to help spread the love and joy of health and happiness! 

What is your story? What does it have the potential to become? What gets you excited about changing your own life? Start there, and you will see how inspiration and motivation will spread to those around you!