Running Down a Dream

About a month ago, I made a huge decision when I decided it was time to leave my full-time, pretty steady marketing gig and focus my energy on creating and marketing my own fitness company. This isn’t something I had thought about briefly and decided that it sounded like a great alternative; I had actually thought about going back to school for a nutrition or physiology degree many years ago, but the idea of having double student loans in our house and having to go through 8 courses of pre-requisites scared the heck out of me. When I saw a poster in my gym last year offering a course to become a Certified Personal Trainer for a nominal fee, I was really excited! I completed the course a year ago this past April and passed my exam in December, (I had waited until I had completed my walk chair duties for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in October to hunker down and study with a classmate).

There are numerous reasons for why I feel this is my time to “run” so to speak and I want to be as transparent as possible with my audience and potential clients. So in short, here are my reasons:

I had stopped growing professionally.

I had attended numerous events around town and listened to webinars about amazing marketing tactics and all the awesome things you can do…when you can actually use social media, write your own content and have clients that appreciate your time when you work with them. I was working in the financial services industry where there is a lot of red tape and compliance and it is no fun trying to put together any creative content. The advisors were my in-house clients and while I had fun with some, (more notably in my first 4-5 years); the last few years I had been spinning my wheels with no output being completed by my “clients”. Was I getting paid? Yes. Was I fulfilled? Not really.

My work family was gone.

By the fall of 2016, anyone I had worked with at my office for the last 7 years had been let go and the culture shift was tough. My usual confidants and teammates that I would get projects done with were no longer around and it made my job tougher. I was doing more of what I didn’t want to do and less of what I did. I also was now sitting in an area with no light and no energy. It was draining and a bit depressing.

I decided to follow my parents’ advice, (whether they knew it or not).

When I was 15, my Dad had a heart attack. Shortly thereafter, he resigned from his employer and took a new job. The stress wasn’t worth it in the end and he decided to start a new path, which was good because that new job was helpful when he and my stepmom moved to Cleveland and he needed a transfer in 2002.

When I was 17, my mom had a great job with a nice pay and we were able to go out a lot and on trips, etc. Then one day, she told me she couldn’t work there anymore. Again, the stress was too much and she would rather work 2-3 low paying, less stressful jobs to make ends meet than work a steady gig where she was miserable. She quit and worked 2 retail jobs until she found her next position in nursing. There were times when I helped out with grocery money and things were tight, but to have a parent more mentally balanced was completely worth it.

Stopping to see family on the 2008 road trip.

Stopping to see family on the 2008 road trip.

When I was deciding about my next move before coming to Cleveland, back in 2008, my father said to me “Well, you can keep doing what you’re doing, and that’s fine and you’re okay, or you can take a risk and see where that takes you.” Two months later, he flew down to drive with me to Cleveland and my life was forever changed. Had he not said that, I might still be stuck where I was in FL. Having their support currently in this life transition does make it easier!


I wanted to make a difference everyday.

I had volunteered for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Cleveland Society for Human Resource Management, was a board member for Women in Sports and Events, etc. and I knew I was capable of marketing with little to no money and limited resources. I also loved nothing more than when I was speaking to a woman last year about suicide prevention at the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival and I was showing her some resources. As she walked away, my husband turned to me and said “I bet you have saved people’s lives and you don’t even know.” I knew that I had more to offer in my career than what I was doing everyday at that time and that solidified it for me without a doubt.

And now I want to help you!

I am so excited to fully launch Thomas Fitness Consulting. I have put together packages that range from one-on-one sessions up to groups of 5 and I also have the capacity to train people on-site at work, in their homes, virtually or at 3 different studio locations in Cleveland.   I am CPR/AED certified and also carry liability insurance by law; my business has been registered as a limited liability corporation in the state of Ohio, (all good with Uncle Sam). J

I look forward to helping anyone who desires to better him or herself or if they know someone that might want to improve their life. A fitness journey is personal and there is no one size fits all approach, you have to do what works for you and what you will follow through on. Please reach out to me if you think I can help or if you have any questions.

More blogging to follow!


Laura Thomas