Today we’re profiling one of our Sweat Pink Ambassadors, Christie from Fit Fab Forever. She has an encouraging, lift-you-up presence, and we were thrilled to sit down with her and chat about finding your passion, going after the impossible, and making time for pizza.
Christie Grosskopf, @fit.fab.forever, is the kind of person who radiates positivity. I’m convinced her warm, upbeat energy could inspire just about anyone to do things they never believed they could.
It seems perfectly fitting, then, that Christie found her calling first as a devoted mom of two—even now when she visits her son, she leaves his freezer full of meals (lucky guy, amiright?!)—and then found her passion as a personal trainer as her kids entered their teenage years.
Her journey to becoming a personal trainer was a natural extension of what she loved to do. A lifelong fitness enthusiast, she had always taken care of herself, making working out and healthy eating a priority for herself and her family. Her kids, accustomed to eating healthy, would jokingly ask, “Mom, can we eat this? Can we eat this?” knowing she’d have an opinion (though she is also known to suggest a pizza and wine night, because balance is everything).
It wasn’t just her family that turned to her for guidance on how to eat or stay active. Women would frequently approach Christie in the gym, asking for advice on their own workouts and healthy lifestyles, until finally, Christie’s husband Tom suggested that she become a personal trainer, and translate her passion and her natural strengths into a profession.
He pointed out that she was always correcting his form, reading up on the latest research, and keeping her knowledge about nutrition and exercise current. Even so, she hesitated to pursue her certification. “I really prayed about it. I was really scared at first. I wasn’t sure if I knew how to do this, and then it all came together,” she says about the decision to go for it.
After earning her certification, she designed her career around the ways she knew she wanted to connect with others. “I didn’t see myself working at a gym,” she says, “I’m more of an intimate, relationship, getting to know women type of person. These women need help, but they don’t want to go to the gym. I thought, I could do this, I could bring this to them, in their houses, where they’re most comfortable and where we can really build a relationship.”
“I can’t believe I get paid for this. They just bless me beyond words.”
Christie positively gushes about her clients with genuine gratitude for how they have shaped her life. “I have the best ladies ever,” she says, “I can’t believe I get paid for this. They just bless me beyond words. It makes me so happy to be with them and to help them get more confident, and here I thought I was doing so much for them, and I’m getting more in return.”
Christie’s gratitude for her clients and the work she does clearly runs both ways: she says all of her business comes via word of mouth, and she’s had the honor of working with people at all stages of life and with every kind of goal: from a 16-year-old training for volleyball team, to training her dad, who battled Parkinson’s Disease.
One client in particular stands out for Christie as evidence of how blessed she is: this client “approached me at 62 and said, it’s too late for me, and I said, no it’s not!” Christie relates with her characteristic upbeat energy. “We trained together about two and a half years. She had had blood cancer and had gotten weak. We built the most amazing relationship, and it was an honor watching her body get strong again. Her cancer did start coming back and I thought, we’re going to fight this together. I bought pink boxing gloves so we could beat cancer together. Those gloves became a memento and force of inspiration to other women. She did pass away, but she was a fighter and I got to be part of her journey. She let me in, she let me help her, she let me be part of her journey.”
Stories like this show how easily Christie gains her clients’ trust, and how she becomes more than a trainer who clocks in and clocks out; she becomes deeply invested in their lives and their outcomes. For her, the greatest reward is “watching women get more confident, more healthy, more vibrant.” She shares how much joy it brings her when clients will show off their biceps or other areas of accomplishment.
And those accomplishments, she insists, are available to everyone, no matter their age, their history, or their current fitness level. With a client base that is mostly women in their 40s and 50s, she says she’s constantly fielding questions like “Am I too old? Am I too late?” Her answer is always “no!” accompanied by sharing a picture of one of her clients who didn’t start training until she was in her 70s. “She’s 90 now,” Christie says, “and you should see how strong she is!”
That positivity and unconditional encouragement extends throughout her training relationships. As you might expect from a personal trainer who also loves having pizza night and a glass of wine, Christie is unfailingly pragmatic and understanding that life happens. If clients only fit one workout in during a vacation, she cheers them on for what they did accomplish. “Be proud of every accomplishment you have, don’t be so hard on yourself,” is her constant refrain, and she believes every word of it. “Women are way too hard on themselves,” she says, and she aims to be a counterbalance to an all-or-nothing mentality about health and fitness.
“It’s never too late to start, ever,” she reiterates. “Take small steps, bite size pieces.”
If you have the mindset that you can, then you will.”