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Wellness Spotlight: Nasara Gargonuu

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Background? What got you into fitness?

I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY, born from a Trinidadian Mother and a Liberian Father...I lived in Trinidad for several years and ended up in Queens before I decided to join the Navy back in 1988.


How long have you been in the fitness/health and wellness industry? Wow...when I got my calculator and did the math I realized it was 23 or 24 years! I started in a small gym in Atlanta back in 1996 or 1997 I can't remember the exact year. Why did you decide to become a certified personal trainer? I chose to become a certified personal trainer so I had the knowledge and "authority (lol!) to let folks know they were doing things incorrectly. It would bother me when I saw people doing things incorrectly but I figured, "Who was I to correct them?" What is the biggest challenge for you as a fitness instructor and health professional? My biggest challenge initially was getting Black folks on the "Fitness and Health" bandwagon. I noticed the Health disparities in the Black community and my original goal was to focus on the African American population. To this day it is sometimes difficult, but I have come a long way. I believe that I have made a difference primarily through consistency. One of my biggest challenges now is balancing Fitness with my "regular" job, family and my own personal pursuit of Fitness! WHEW!

What is your biggest accomplishment in the fitness industry? I never got into fitness for the notoriety for the accolades but I have accomplished a lot that I am genuinely proud of. I think it's a 3-way "tie" between being named the Group Exercise Instructor of the Year at the YMCA of San Diego in 2014, my company, Sirius Fitness becoming a Live well San Diego Partner in 2015 and receiving the Live Well San Diego Public Health Champion Award in 2017! What has been your most rewarding experience as a fitness professional? I absolutely LOVE going to teach a fitness class or do a race warmup or present fitness at a Health Event and be able to move the crowd and get them sweating working and best of all...SMILING! I try to teach them that working out can be fun! Any advice for people thinking about a career in fitness? If you are planning to get into the Fitness industry, do it for the love of it! Be passionate about it because those folks who you train will know if you are in it strictly for the money or if you love what you do.

What does the future hold for you and for the health and fitness industry? I have been doing this for a while and I am looking to continue for years to come, but being realistic about wanting to spread the message of Fitness further and longer I have been working on mentoring young individuals to eventually pass the torch! I'm also excited about the new partnerships with up and coming Fitness Professionals and groups. It's time to create the Fitness Empire I have been wanting to do for so many years! Is there anything else exciting you would like to share? I'm so excited that through this "temporary normal" I have learned to "pivot" and keep being able to live my passion and my mission. I am extremely excited about what the upcoming year will bring and all the great things that are ahead in the fitness world as we get back to normalcy!

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