Astria Goolsby, our 2018 January Trainer of the Month, is setting a new standard for our industry and opening possibilities in the way we serve. Astria’s successes and achievements include developing an online personal training certification course and assisting with the restructuring of a total wellness curriculum for Tougaloo College. She plays a key role with several organizations, schools and institutions to establish health and wellness programs for under-served communities including a Mobile Health Program to provide health and wellness screenings and fitness advice for the under-served and under-insured communities and populations. Astria is raising the bar through her deep-rooted passion and commitment to her community and to the industry.
Here is how Astria is raising the bar…
Certifications/qualifications: University of Mississippi BS Exercise Science; CPT-NFPT; ACSM-EIM; Chronic Disease/Diabetes Self-Management Leader through Mississippi Department of Health; Silver Sneakers Trainer in Yoga, Classic-Strength and Conditioning, Circuit; HIV Screening Consultant
Business: Verve LLC – Health and Wellness Consulting
Year started in business: I began working professionally within the fitness industry in 2005 and established my business Verve LLC Health and Wellness Consulting in 2007.
PR/recognition/awards received: 2013 PFP Trainer of the Year - top 10 finalist; WebMD/CDC site champion panelist; Featured Fitness Specialist for Metro Morning Live – JSU TV; Multiple featured publications in the Oxford Eagle, Enjoy Life Magazine, Invitation Oxford Magazine; Multiple news/radio station appearances and interviews
What inspired you to start your business?
I have to say the people within my state of Mississippi were the biggest inspiration when starting my business. I knew starting a business would be the most efficient way to help the most people while giving other trainers a platform to grow and develop.
What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable?
One hard but valuable lesson I have learned early in business is that with every level you reach there is always a beginning. It used to frustrate me that with each new contract taking me to the “next level” I always felt like I had to learn something new. Now I embrace the newness of each level and see my expansion of knowledge as open doors for more people to be helped through me.
If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other trainers, what would they likely say?
I have been told that I have a genuine spirit. I see how detrimental it is to live unhealthily and the community it affects. I try to reach each client on an emotional level and help them to realize that the state of your health is the most important responsibility as a contributing member of society.
Name one or two ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry.
I am trying to raise the bar within the fitness industry by bringing recognition and attention to the need of special trainings to serve the chronic illness population which includes stress, anxiety and depression. I want to make it an industry practice to expand the concept of general services to go beyond fitness training and address all components of wellness. This will in-turn expand the field of service and demand for fitness professionals, move towards fitness professionals gaining respect as allied healthcare professionals and allow fitness professionals within Mississippi to increase longevity within the fitness industry.
I am also trying to raise the bar by exemplifying what it is to be a consummate professional. From cross-sectional partnerships to client interaction and customer service, trainers should understand that their actions affect the livelihood of fitness professionals everywhere. That is why in my personal training certification courses I stress the importance of professionalism at all times and the potential consequences with a lack of.