Let’s face it. When it feels like so much is changing around us, getting into a routine that grounds us firmly in the present takes high priority. And if that same activity also gets us moving and releases endorphins - count us in. Fitness expert, Simone Tchouke, has long been acquainted with the importance of routines with her clients but counts trust and chemistry as the true markers of a good session. We caught up with Simone to find out what's new and why she is still fired up for the future.
If you’d have told Simone she would one day be training all of her clients remotely she would have looked at you like you are crazy. Coach Tchouke remembers, prior to the current containment efforts, the sole time she trained a client virtually. “I had this client and she was in Canada and I said, ‘When you’re working out just Facetime me and I will motivate you and guide you’, but it wasn't something that I had in mind that I’d do regularly.” The reasoning, she shared, is because nothing substitutes in person support. Training after all is a tactile practice, “Sometimes just me touching and putting you in the right position is the difference.” In a time when it seems like every brand and business is going LIVE in order to stay relevant amongst follower’s divided attention, Simone Tchouke is actively doing the opposite. To Simone it's quality over quantity, “I’d rather impact ten people, intimately, and see them change than for me to train one thousand people and not give them the attention they deserve.” The Cameroon native, understands the importance of a focused effort when working with clients. She in fact, contributes her own success to the continuous efforts of those in her extended family that raised her, her village. She proudly shares “everyone contributed for me to be right here with you.”
“Our goal weight and sizes are: strong, happy, healthy and agile”
The spirit of her village, contribution, influences her work, day in and day out. After her brother passed away, the inability to save someone she loved galvanized Tchouke to be a force for wellness in the world. However, after starting graduate study in biochemistry and realizing many of the chronic health factors people faced were all contingent on lifestyle choices, she stepped out on faith and decided to take a semester off to pursue fitness training. Her logic was simple - instead of meeting people in a doctor’s office after they’re already sick, she would meet people where they are in their fitness journey and use every effort to rewind the clock with preventative measures. After the semester passed, Simone never looked back.
Choosing her path has bolstered Simone’s belief in self over the years and serves as a mainstay through these unprecedented times. Despite leaving research years ago, her father still finds a way to jokingly remind her of the impact she could have in bringing the current virus to heel. And she shares that an uncle still offers to pay for medical school should she ever decide to go that route. Those days are long gone, she shares, and stands firmly in her purpose. “I never want to lose my love for training”, to Tchouke the education and positive input in clients lives are more meaningful than the money grab of doing something else. Her conviction reminds her that she doesn’t need others approval, especially during a time when anyone's desired outcomes for the future are unpredictable.
Even in the current climate, Simone still has hopes of opening up a gym and after school facility in her birthplace of Cameroon. Tchouke fondly remembers attending an after school program as a child and relishes the enriching experiences they provided. Paying it forward seems to be written in her DNA. Here in the US, her plans are a little different. She intends to open a gym that’s a safe space for all who identify as women, but may not feel comfortable in general fitness spaces due to intimidation or inexperience. The only thing it seems that matches her passion is her knowledge of self-worth. Clients know she is about longevity, as many have trained with her for years and count her services as a line item no different than groceries or gas for their car, “I want to be as essential as toilet paper in these times”, she laughed cheerfully.
“Movement is medicine and our goal is to stay as mentally and physically healthy as possible.”
Long story short Simone’s vibrance, passion, and heartfelt sincerity is here to stay. Choosing to be the woman she wants to be and not what others expect of her, make us admire her even more. When asked what strength means to her, she shared the following: “Sometimes we are scared to try and do something, and to me being strong means to get up and do what you say you are going to do. Whether it is working out, changing careers, starting a new job, or going back to school, basically, being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Follow Simone @simonelovesfitness for more
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