Entertainment: Personal trainer grows in fitness journey while instructing others (5/7/21)

Jenika Kulasekera interacts with purchasers and followers on Instagram and Facebook, corresponding to her teaching Facebook group Beyond the Ashes.

Photo submitted by Jenika Kulasekera

When Jenika Kulasekera began her health journey in 2014, she mentioned she struggled with feeling motivated to go to the fitness center.

It was a tough lesson to be taught, however Kulasekera mentioned she wanted to vary her pondering to see outcomes.

“I used to rely on motivation rather a lot,” she mentioned. “I believe it truly comes right down to your self-discipline and the way badly you need it for your self.”

Switching her focus from motivation to self-discipline fully revolutionized her strategy to private health. After experiencing her personal transformation, the Southeast senior and pre-veterinary science main now trains others in reaching their health objectives.

Kulasekera runs a web-based teaching enterprise, participates as a bikini competitor and works as a private coach at Southeast’s Student Recreation Center. While she’s solely been in a private coaching function for the previous semester, Kulasekera mentioned she’s been within the health trade for the previous seven years.

The worldwide pupil’s journey started when she was residing in Sri Lanka and created a objective to shed pounds. During the time, Kulasekera mentioned girls had been usually discouraged from lifting heavy weights — there was a concern of wanting too muscular or “manly,” she mentioned. She caught to sure exercises with out weight coaching however didn’t see the outcomes she needed.

After shifting to the United States to attend Southeast, Kulasekera mentioned she began coaching with a pal who defined extra elements of health to her.

“It’s good to have an outdoor eye and somebody who’s extra educated in that space to information you,” she mentioned.

It quickly grew right into a love and appreciation for the background information behind coaching; vitamin and train work collectively in a fragile stability to supply outcomes. There’s much more than meets the attention, she mentioned.

She started a web-based teaching enterprise, Beyond the Ashes, in 2019 to encourage others of their health journeys. Beyond the Ashes started as a free service for 5 girls — Kulasekera mentioned she discovered it enjoyable — however after a consumer requested to pay her, the coach mentioned she obtained certification and formally launched the enterprise. It has since grown.

When consulting purchasers, Kulasekera mentioned two widespread objectives for ladies are muscle tone and weight reduction. Specific objectives could change over time, corresponding to girls’s concentrate on slimming or boosting sure components of the physique. It also can rely on tendencies within the health trade.

“I nonetheless have some pals who’re very old-school. They’re like ‘Oh no, my butt’s too massive, and I need to slim it down,’ and I’m like, ‘Why?’” she mentioned. “Times are very completely different now, and I prefer it!”

Similar to her hometown in Sri Lanka, Kulasekera mentioned girls in Southeast Missouri generally concern creating cumbersome, masculine muscle groups via weight lifting. That’s often a fable, she mentioned — as girls don’t produce a big quantity of testosterone, feminine athletes’ our bodies wouldn’t reply in the identical technique to weight coaching.

No matter the priority, she mentioned she finds achievement within the pleasure she sees in her purchasers.

“I fell in love with having the ability to assist folks,” Kulasekera mentioned. “It’s so arduous whenever you go surfing — there’s so many issues, and folks can get so confused. When I began serving to ladies they usually had been actually joyful to see outcomes, it made me joyful!”

Patience and consistency is essential to sticking to a fitness center routine; she mentioned one specific instance is a consumer who labored together with her for 2 months. While the progress was gradual, it was noticeable — after their classes had been accomplished, Kulasekera mentioned her consumer misplaced a complete of 10 kilos.

“Honestly, it’s simply seeing them joyful and placing a smile on their face,” she mentioned. “It’s good to get the message the place they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I can match into this outfit I couldn’t match into for therefore lengthy.’”

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