Janiya Winchester Gaston Gazette
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Tia Howell weaves spirituality into her physical training for her unique fitness business called "Lift with Tia."
Local fitness trainer takes your fitness to the next level with a twist. Tia Howell, 24, believes in focusing on the body, mind and spirit to transform the lives of her clients of Lift with Tia.
However, Howell includes more spiritual aspects of to her business per the client's request.
Lift with Tia, located at 300 S. Firestone St. Suite 100G, offers custom programming for one's goals, educational resources, and one-on-one coaching support.
Originally from Cleveland County, Howell is a 2014 graduate of East Gaston High school who later earned an exercise degree from Gardner-Webb in 2019.
Growing up with a traditional background introduced her to a foundation of spirituality that she would include in her business, Lift with Tia.
"I'm a huge believer in understanding that holistic wellness includes the mind, body and spirit," Howell said. "I've always struggled with traditional religion and church from seeing a lot of hypocrisy and things that doesn't actually represent who God wants us to be."
The death of her grandmother while balancing entrepreneurial life served as a turning point for Howell toward the importance of her faith.
"My mental health went completely in the gutter and I wasn't taking care of myself mentally and spiritually," Howell said. "I was meal-prepping and eating right but I still went into a dark place."
The passing of her grandmother helped her to see the connection between the mind, body and spirit.
Howell's custom training programs costs no more than $40 and she offers a free full body program on her website.
"I'm big on education and helping clients make educated choices on life decisions outside of sessions so they won't be too dependent on me," Howell said.
Howell says that the pandemic challenged her to become more "innovative" and "think outside the box" as an entrepreneur.
"It made me better as an entrepreneur with the boundaries being pushed in that way," Howell said.
Before starting her business last year, working at a YMCA as a Wellness coach opened Howell's eyes to running her own business.
"I have always loved helping people and knew I wanted to work in the Health Sciences field," Howell said. "I would pray about it a lot because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after school but I always ended up in situation where I was helping people."
Howell says that helping clients to have a greater relationship with themselves represents one of the many goals of her business.
One of Howell's clients, 36-year-old Trekas Sims, says that Tia cares about people and loves helping them reach breakthroughs.
"I think that's why she's so effective," Sims said. "It's not just about losing weight, it's about overall health from a holistic perspective."
Sims says that having Howell as a trainer feels like having a therapist.
"I think that men are taught not to admit you need help with mental health," Sims said. "The conversations that I've had with Tia have helped me with self-discovery and addressing past traumas."
Meditation and journaling helps Howell to prioritize her own mental wellness.
"I have to have time to myself and to God so that I can reflect and develop ideas. I can't just be distracted all the time," Howell said.
Howell battles feelings of "imposter syndrome" from being the first in her family to become an entrepreneur.
Imposter syndrome causes high-achieving people to doubt one's abilities and feel like a fraud, according to Harvard Business Review.
"I never knew how difficult things like taxes and the legal areas goes into it," Howell said. "Being consistent even if others don't see the vision can also be really challenging but you really have to be your own cheerleader."
Howell feels that social media depicts owning your own business as glamourous and hides the hard work from behind the scenes.
"The best thing to do is to be consistent even if you have to keep your head down and stay focused for a while," She said. "Don't let people deter you from what you're supposed to be doing because only you and God know what you're supposed to be doing."
___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.