In 2014, I was just two years out of college working a sales job and was unsatisfied with my career. I had played football and been involved in athletics all my life and I felt a sense of loss no longer being around the sport I had devoted myself to. I had always loved training for performance and spent my little free time researching different training methods and working out. I had always wanted to be a strength and conditioning coach, however I felt that it was too late to change directions. I had a well-paying job shortly after college and a history degree from DePauw. I reached out to numerous other trainers in the industry sharing my predicament and everyone told me the same thing. “You will need to go back and get a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, and then you will still probably need to get a master’s degree to get hired.” “You should stay in sales. You will have to invest so much time and money getting degrees and certifications and will make very little money in an entry level position.” I was discouraged but my passion for training still burned inside.
One day while, watching some training videos online I spotted my high school year book. Inside the year book was a picture of me with a description of my dream job underneath. It read, “When I am older I want to be a strength and conditioning coach for athletes.” At that moment, I knew I could no longer settle. I had to chase my dream. I quit my job and began studying for the certified strength and conditioning specialist exam. With no background in Kinesiology the material was hard to digest. I would not be detoured, I set my test date for 2 months and studied for 10 hours a day and passed my exam. Next I enrolled in a master’s program at Ball State and began training a few of my friends out of another gym. I reached out to my former high school and was fortunate to be contracted as the school strength coach. In November of 2015 I acquired the keys to Genesis.
With all of my savings in the gym, I had no idea whether I would be able to pay the first month’s rent. But I did the one thing I had always done, worked. I worked long nights and early mornings. I sacrificed my social life. I endured as members of my family fought illness. I watched people I loved give up on me. However, nothing stopped me from continuing to build my dream. I worked to market and become the best trainer I could. I researched tirelessly and studied my craft. I cared about the lives and success of the clients and the gym. The people who walked through the doors got results. The doors stayed open, rent was paid, and within a year I had doubled the gym in size.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty” –Teddy Roosevelt. These words, painted on the walls at Genesis, are the essence of my story. I look at them every morning when I walk through the door. They capture the spirit of unwavering dedication to achieving a goal that can be felt within the walls of Genesis. Genesis was founded to offer exceptional individuals a place to unlock their potential and achieve their goals. Whether it is gaining a college scholarship, starting on varsity, playing professionally, losing ten pounds for a wedding, or simply feeling better about yourself, Genesis is the vehicle that can help you reach your goals. I share my story to inspire action. Like any noteworthy objective, there will be setbacks, obstacles, and hardships, however if you trust the process and dedicate yourself to truly achieving what you set out to accomplish your efforts will be rewarded. If you are ready to begin your transformation, I look forward to helping you fulfill your dreams.
-Graham Wilkerson, Owner