Healthy living and fitness have always been a passion for Lori Murphy who says she remembers growing up in the 80's and begging her mom to take her to aerobics classes held in the basement of her church.
By simply following her path, the 48-year-old personal trainer and owner of My Stronger Self was able to transform her passion into a career of helping others achieve their fitness goals.
"I'm just very happy to be doing what I love," she said.
Surrounded by photos of client success stories in her recently opened new fitness location, the 48-year-old mother of two is very animated when it comes to talking about fitness and healthy living but humbly avoids talking about herself directly and the impact she has had on so many lives.
Former client, current co-worker and friend of more than four years, Lisa Bender, however credits Murphy's personality, compassion and ability to connect with people for the positive influence she has had on other people for many years.
“She’s not just a personal trainer,” Bender said. “I know that sounds cliché but she really does pour her heart and soul into everything that she does.”
Helping people change their mindsets and build healthy lifestyles is Murphy’s main goal, according to Bender. And even while trying to build her own business, Murphy chose to start offering free boot camp classes to help those who are short on time and money.
“The bigger motivation was just to get people up off the couch,” Bender said. “It’s sometimes sort of hard to do that and not everyone can afford it either, but it really gave people the opportunity to come and do something even if it was just once a week.”
The free classes are just one example of how Murphy shows her commitment to the community and fostering healthy lifestyles, according to Bender. It is also her personal connection and support she shows her clients.
“I see so many people walk through this door and they’re whole mindset changes and a lot of it is her attitude and her approach to it,” Bender said. “You can walk in and be 400 pounds or 150 and she’s going make you feel like you can do anything that you want to do.”
Following her path
Murphy, who spent seven years managing a gym in Brighton and then several more travelling across the country selling fitness programs or training others, says somehow, her path led her to opening up her own gym and focusing on training others.
Owning a gym was never something Murphy says she had planned to do, however, but the decision was made after she found herself spending hours in the home of one her client’s training groups of people who wanted to work with her.
“By the time I was done I was in her basement for seven hours a day,” Murphy said with a laugh. “I looked at her and said don’t know how this happened but we need to figure something out.”
Connecting with her clients, male or female, and listening to their needs is what Murphy says makes her different than many other people in her line of work.
“My motivation is listening to people and trying to go where they’re at in their place, because I’ve been there,” Murphy said. “One thing about age, you’ve experienced so much that I can relate to a lot of what goes on with people and what they’ve been through as women.”
With the second location of My Stronger Self opening earlier this month, Murphy says she and her staff are now better able to train and help more clients which leads to the ultimate goal of seeing results.
“Being in shape affects every part of your life,” Murphy said. “When people reach their goal, it’s not so much that you’re skinnier now, its that you did what it took to get you there.”
Lori Murphy is part of our "Greatest Person" series. If you know someone in Hartland who is doing great things for the community, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.