Developing Mental Fortitude with Semaj Baldwin

I wanted to write today about an old soul and a young man – Semaj Baldwin.  Semaj came into my life right about the time Ryan and Mana were giving their notice to leave Gold’s Gym.  Ryan and Mana were an unbelievable duo that had changed a lot of people’s lives – mine included.  I was pretty shook up and scared and not sure if I was going to be able to stay on course with my weight loss with them gone.

Enter Semaj Baldwin.  He had moved here from Denver where he had run his own gym.  I remember coming to Gold’s Gym to train with Ryan and Semaj would be sitting in the trainer’s office.  I’d walk right into the office and stick my hand out and say, “Hi, I’m Patty.”  He was like, Okay.  “Hi, I’m Semaj.”  Then I would leave and go train with Ryan.

The next day I would come into Gold’s Gym and see him in the trainers office and I would say, “Hi, I’m Patty.”  “Hi,” he’d reply, I’m Semaj.”  This went on for several days.  I remember saying, “I’m trying really hard to remember your name.  So he told me, “It’s James – backwards.”  Well that really messed me up.  I was like that would be Se-maj; I swear you are saying Se-maj-ay.  (It’s Se-maj-ay)

Well, it didn’t take long for us in the semis to get to know his name AT ALL.  He was scheduled for two of the 10 available spots on the semi schedule and we kept asking for him to be scheduled for more and more because we LOVED training with him.  First and foremost his positive attitude was just what we needed, because we were all pretty bummed about the two trainers that had left.  Let me just say that Semaj is like a party in a box.  His attitude is infectious.  (And his workouts were killer -which is what we wanted.)

I loved that he really got to know me.  And God bless him, I pretty much said, “Even though Ryan left, he is still helping me with my food and watching over my training.  But I would like your help in the semi- privates.  But that’s it.”   He was always like, “Cool, I respect that.”  There was no ego – nothing like that at all.

I think sometime in the future,  I will devote an entire post to the changes a person goes through mentally (emotionally) as they lose weight.  I was not in a good place mentally when I met Semaj.  I was super angry at the way the two guys had left the gym.  I was scared about my future progress.  I was a mess.

There would be times that it would be just me and Semaj training together.  He would take me in the NLP room (we call it the FUN room).  He would set up a work out, explain it to me, and then put Les Brown (a motivational speaker) on the audio system in the room.  And I would work out listening to Les Brown tell me  “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.”    “Our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our strength.”   And this one was HUGE – “Forgive those who have hurt you.”

Mental Toughness is keeping strong in the face of adversity.

Semaj didn’t say much.  He’d just play the podcast.  It makes me tear up just thinking about it.  Because I believe the biggest thing I have gained from training with Semaj these past 8 months is mental strength.  Unbelievable, undeniable, mental strength.  I will be forever thankful for that – for the rest of my life.  I am a different person today then I was 8 months ago.    I had carried around past hurt like it was a badge of honor.  I have LET IT GO – like Elsa says.  I also used to be VERY influenced by what others thought of me.  I’d change entire plans to do what someone else thought I should do instead of believing in myself!  NO MORE.

Personal Trainers change people’s lives and yet they are paid peanuts.  It’s the industry and it’s really too bad.  In my opinion they should be paid like our doctors are paid.  I see my doctor once a year for a 45 minute check up.  I see my trainer once a day for a 60 minute physical/mental/ and sometimes emotional evaluation.  The trainer makes me strong (if I do what they say) so that I do not need the medical doctor so much.  I don’t know if I am communicating that well or not.  But your value as a PT is very HIGH in my opinion.

Semaj also has his Corrective Exercise certificate and he has helped me get back to squatting WITH weight as we have worked together weekly on rehab.  Before that he helped Joe (my son who has had surgery for scoliosis and has a rod T4-L4) continue getting stronger and stronger.

My son Joe on a Semaj “leg” day!

He even taught us how to use the cardio equipment.  LOL

And who could forget his semis ending on the “shaky” thing.

I do not know who will try and follow in your footsteps, but I can tell you I am less afraid and less anxious about that then I was back in October.  You have taught me the mental strength to know that I can do this – even on my own if I had to.

The results Tori and I have had in the short time we have
known Semaj!

Semaj is moving to Florida because his girlfriend, Laci, has been accepted for her doctorate at Palmer College of Chiropractic.  He would love to return one day and work the wellness side of Laci’s future chiropractic business.  We would love to have him back!!

Best wishes to all three of you!

  God speed!   

(Semaj developed a group of athletes and some of us will be competing in two weeks at a Power Lifting competition.  I’ll need another post to tell you about that.}

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