SSF Episode 4
[00:00:00] Beth: Hello and welcome to the Smiling Soul Fitness podcast. My name is Beth Alexander. I am the founder and creator behind Smiling Soul Fitness. In 2018, I had the pleasure of attending opening day at Just Do It headquarters, a popup training facility hosted by Nike Los Angeles. There were many highlights that day, including working out with top professional athletes and playing with new fitness and recovery equipment.
My biggest highlight was meeting other like-minded trainers and fitness professionals who are exceptional at what they do. And today's guest is a colleague and friend. I met that day, Gideon Akande. He shares amazing stories from his career as a trainer and athlete. In this episode, that will inspire you, whether you're just getting started on your fitness journey or you're pursuing high level athletic training, there's something for everyone.
Gideon Akande is a three time Chicago Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, and national winner of the Men's Health Next Top Trainer Competition. He excels at motivating people to be their best, and you can find him on Instagram @getfitwithgiddy. Gideon offers online workouts, both live and on demand at gideonakande.com where his love of fitness leaps, right through your screen.
And I am excited for you to meet him, but before we bring him on, I'd like to share our working definition of a smiling soul. Smiling souls are resilient, optimistic, and community focused beings, even though smiling souls, share core values and attributes. We come from so many different backgrounds and lived experiences.
We hope the story shared here, inspires you to better health and fitness and support you in feeling connected and inspired on your personal path. Let's pause here and take a few breaths together, breathing in feeling your belly and your rib ribcage, expand and feeling the belly. Relax on the exhale.
Settle into your body and join me in welcoming Gideon Akande. Welcome Gideon.
[00:02:39] Gideon: What's up Beth? I'm so excited to be chatting with you. It's gonna be a, a good conversation. We're about to have, yes, we're
[00:02:45] Beth: gonna go over all things fitness. We're gonna start from how we connected. We'll talk about your career.
And how you get through your workouts too. Cause I know you've been inspirational on me and a big inspiration for a lot of other people around the world too.
[00:03:00] Gideon: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you very much. I'm ready. Let's jump right into it.
[00:03:04] Beth: Let's jump right in. So let's tell everyone a little bit about how we met.
It was a few years ago, Los Angeles at the Nike, Just Do It.
[00:03:13] Gideon: Yeah. I remember that. And you know, me being from Chicago, um, didn't have a ton of friends out in the LA area, but obviously it was a Nike event. They rented out this warehouse space. They transformed it into more than a fitness studio, just a fitness experience.
And I had the awesome opportunity to meet other fitness professionals like you out there.
[00:03:34] Beth: Yeah, it was such a fun couple days Nike had put together, it was even like recovery chambers. If you remember that, we did some great workouts, some good nutrition, so much fun.
[00:03:44] Gideon: And I also remember it being really, really hot
[00:03:48] Beth: It was, it was June.
And I know, you know, June in Los Angeles is hot, but you are in Chicago, right? Chicago, Illinois,
[00:03:57] Gideon: Yeah very much.
[00:03:58] Beth: And that can be even hotter.
[00:03:59] Gideon: Yeah, but the humidity is what really separates the Midwest from a lot of other places. That's for sure. Especially Chicago.
[00:04:06] Beth: Absolutely. And then you came out to the west coast a couple other times.
You had hosted events for the Mind Body Conference in San Diego. Yes,
[00:04:15] Gideon: That's right.
[00:04:16] Beth: And yeah, the Brunch And Burn Events in Los Angeles.
[00:04:21] Gideon: Yes, I man, now that you're putting it all into perspective, I guess I do go out to LA often, uh, more often than the average person, but it's a fun time. I mean the palm trees and 70 degree, weather's kind of hard to beat.
[00:04:31] Beth: Yeah. Well, lucky. Yes. It's always great to get to connect with you. And I'm grateful for online platforms allowing us to connect to. So thanks for being on the podcast today.
[00:04:41] Gideon: Of course.
[00:04:42] Beth: So we wanna know, um, how did you get started on your fitness journey
[00:04:48] Gideon: Yeah, my fitness journey is a very unconventional route.
Let me tell you that much. Um, so just kinda gimme some background, always been into sports, always loved fitness in high school. I wrestled, I ran track. I played football, uh, received a division, one football scholarship to play a college of the holy cross for undergrad. And when I finished playing ball in college, I thought that was kind of it from my, I guess, at least from my competitive.
Came back to Chicago after graduation worked in sales for four and a half years and decided I didn't wanna do that anymore. I needed to find something more fulfilling, something that I was actually passionate about and actually loved to do. And, uh, I knew it needed to be back into the realm of sports or competition, something in those, um, In those industries, if you will.
So I decided to make the transition to personal training, and that was in 2009, 2010. Uh, and I haven't looked back since, so a good 12, 13 years now in the industry. Absolutely love it. And I'm certainly blessed to do what I love. And I certainly have had the opportunity to do much more than I ever thought was possible in fitness.
And I'm hoping to be able to have the chance to do even more.
[00:05:58] Beth: Yeah. I mean, you have had a stellar career already and we are excited to see where you go from here. One of the high notes being the three time, Chicago Golden Gloves, Boxing Champion. can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
[00:06:12] Gideon: So, as I said, I played football in college.
Um, I love contact sports, always of love, contact for whatever reason. Right? So it's something about lining up against someone else and having the best person to win. And for me, Even though football was done, I wanted to still find a way to challenge myself. Still find a way where I can prepare for an event, have something to train for, see how I improve over the course of that training, but also see how I improve from competition to competition.
And, uh, long story short, other trainers in the gym that I was personal training at would work boxing with their clients. And every now and again, I would jump in and hit the MITs with them and hit the heavy bag and try a couple things. And they all commented that I. Somewhat of a, a little bit of athleticism behind me, if you will.
um, and pretty decent at the sport of boxing. So from there, I was like, you know what? This may be a good way for me to get back into competition. Um, I can train on my own hours. I can move at my own pace and, uh, see where things can go from there. So I started training at Sam Colonna boxing gym, a gym on the west side, in the city of Chicago.
And, uh, over the course of a year or two, I saw my first competition saw my second competition saw my third competition. I was winning, went as far as to have maybe seven or eight fights that year. Wow. And then won the Chicago Golden Gloves. My first time through in the novice category came back the second year, repeated from my second, uh, uh, Chicago Golden Gloves in the open category, which essentially is the best fighters in the city.
And took some time off, uh, just because I wanted to focus on other things in my fitness industry or in the fitness industry and with my fitness career. And I decided to come back for one more, go around in April of this year, right before my baby boy was born. So I can say, you know what. I had that itch.
I scratched that itch. I was able to win the third Chicago Golden Glove boxing championship, but now I need to stop taking punches to my face for the sake of my baby boy who's now here .So The Chicago Golden Gloves experience and the whole boxing experience in general came about for me.
[00:08:18] Beth: Wow. I love that you, you know, started your career with sports and including football, and then you made this pivot into boxing. How, like, how was that experience for you and what would you recommend for people who maybe have been practicing one sport or one style of fitness and are curious about something else?
How to go about making that transition. Yeah. You've obviously been very successful at it.
[00:08:44] Gideon: Well, thank you. And I've been very fortunate to have some great coaches and great mentors along the way. This certainly wasn't something that I was a natural at. I have athletic ability. I know how to use my body and move my body, but let's be real if he took Michael Phelps out of the water, as great as he is most decorated Olympian ever, et cetera.
But if you take him out of the water and you put a basketball in his hands, he may not necessarily be the best basketball player or if you put a tennis racket in his hands, he may not know what to do with that tennis racket. But he is so dialed in on his sport that sometimes people forget that outside of what we do, we may be novices and it's okay.
Cause you gotta start from somewhere. You grow, you build, you adapt and you adjust based off of that. So for me, it was not a natural transition in a boxing. Boxing is nothing like football whatsoever. The way you stand, the way you use your body, the way you have to control your breath, the way you have to engage through your core, the way you have to calculate what your opponents doing in addition to what you are trying to do, it's world's different. So being able to humble myself, right? Take my licks, get knocked down on my butt, get right back up on my feet and learn from those experiences is something that I even take into my day to day life. So what I would advise anyone who's looking to make a change from one sport to another, or just looking to make a change in life.
It's okay to be set back, to start a new. Erase everything on the whiteboard and start from, you know, ground zero, if you will, and build from there, because it's all part of the process, it's all part of the journey. And eventually you get to where you wanna be. If you stick with it,
[00:10:19] Beth: I love that you it's like, you really appreciate the beginner's mindset and the beginner's experience.
And you are just capable of taking it to levels of mastery, you know, in, in different arenas, in. What has been the most impactful, you know, part of being a beginner on that boxing journey for you?
[00:10:37] Gideon: For me, it gives me a whole different mindset, but more specifically, a, a different ability for me to be a better coach.
Uh, often times a lot of the things that I do is to help me become a better husband. They better father, a better professional, a better friend. How can I do more and be better than I was yesterday? And for me just doing those different things, it gives me the ability to coach in a different way to respect that someone may not know what they're doing or how to do it properly.
It gives me a sense of patience, understanding that I wanted to be respected with that same patience as I was going, but also, still be believed in, um, that I can get to where I'm hoping to go or where my coach or my mentor wants me to. So it, it gave me that mindset to, Hey, Gideon chill. Like this person may not do what you do right now, but they're working they're giving it their best. Show them that same respect that you would want, give them that same chance that you would want, so you can watch them grow. And the most recent experience that I had with starting over from ground zero was not too long ago. It was in November of last year when I ran my first marathon and it was a New York city marathon.
I'm not a runner by, well, let me rephrase. Before that I would never consider myself a runner. I'm certainly a runner now. And I have a whole New York city medal that says 26.2 on it to testify to that. But before then I would never consider myself a runner. I thought running was just something you did as a punishment for all your other team sports.
Right? If you were late, you ran. Yep. If you messed up an assignment, you ran. Yeah. Right. It was never, uh, an a reward. If you will. So being able to get outta my comfort zone train for 26.2 miles, go through the experiences of my body is sore things ache, but wait, I just ran one hour long. I've never done that before.
I just ran two hours long. I've never done that before. And every milestone serving is victory, but also giving me more confidence and belief in myself was another way for me to just. Watch your clients or the people who take your class, watch their faces glow. And remember what that experience was like for you while you were boxing while you were running the marathon and how their life and their experience from start to finish is being.
It's happening right there unfolding right before their very eyes, the same way it did for me. And also it just draws us all together because we all share those same experiences. And no matter where, if it's in fitness, no matter if it's in our career, no matter if it's in our families and relationships, we all share those same things.
And that's what ties us together. The human experience.
[00:13:15] Beth: My gosh, Gideon. Your words are just making my heart smile so big right now. .
[00:13:20] Gideon: Aw, well, I don't want your heart to smile. I want your soul to smile too.
[00:13:23] Beth: Everything smiling! Yes I'm a smiling soul. Yes. Thank you. And you clearly are too.
[00:13:29] Gideon: Aw, thank you.
[00:13:31] Beth: Gosh, the New York city marathon. Um, for those of people that don't know, it's a, you know, an iconic marathon, you run through the boroughs of New York city. And one of the coolest things, I, I haven't run it cuz I'm a half marathoner, but I've coached some clients through it. And you just have people that are lining the streets like the entire time.
Was there a moment during that marathon that was just pivotal or extra meaningful to you from running the Brooklyn bridge to getting into central park?
[00:14:03] Gideon: Yes, absolutely. And it was the entire 26.2 miles. The entire, that, that is I, I kid you not Beth. I looked at it as it was a victory lap for me. That 26.2 miles, even though I never ran that distance before it was a victory lab. It was more so a celebration of me committing to doing something, committing to the training program, whether I was in another city or another country, I did the put the mileage in.
If I was tired, I still did it. Whether it be 11 o'clock at night midnight, I put in my miles. I did my recovery, right? So my foam rolling, my stretching, um, you know, anything and everything I could do. I tried to make sure that I set myself up for success and I stayed committed to the plans that was laid out in front of me.
So for me to show up to New York city, which means I had to get on a flight from Chicago to go there, show up in a whole new city, put on the bib line up on the start line and start running 26.2. It was, the work has already been done. The 26.2 in my mind was gonna take care of itself. And I wasn't necessarily looking to hit a certain number, a certain goal, a certain mark a certain time.
It was just, Hey, go out there. And celebrate the fact that you committed to something and you got it done. Oftentimes, you know, we have a goal and it has to look a certain way and it has to be a certain way. Oftentimes the, the journey that's the experience and that's where the growth and development happened necessarily the end point, right. Um, at least in my mind. So for me, it was like, Hey, go out there, run. Enjoy the city, enjoy the people, cheering your name. I had my name on my Jersey. So people would scream your name and you know, it just make you feel good. And the bands are playing on the sidewalks and the strangers are there and the little kids are high fiving.
You and. It was just such a amazing experience. Let me tell you this too. This was the 50th running of the New York city marathon. Really? Yeah. So it was a milestone event and the fact that they didn't run it the year before due to the pandemic. So this was an opportunity essentially for not only the runners to come out and to live life again, but also for this city to come out and live life again, and kind of give a, the entire area a, a re awakening.
If you. After the pandemic shut so many things down. So for me, it was, it was a big whole Harrah moment from start to finish smile on my face the entire time. And, uh, I will never, I will never forget it. My wife came and joined me out there and she was jumping from mile marker to mile marker and cheered me on along the way with my little baby boy in her belly as well, too.
So it meant, it meant a whole lot.
[00:16:36] Beth: That is just the most amazing experience ever.
[00:16:40] Gideon: It really was.
[00:16:41] Beth: Yeah. So how do experiences like that? I know, you know, you're a personal trainer, so you have a, a private training practice, but you also have your app and you have a whole library of online workouts. And how do you infuse, like everything that you're sharing with us here? You know, when, when people are looking for fitness trainers, whether it's for personal training or online training, I think, you know, exercise, selection, and making sure there's a fit that way is important, but personality fit and the way they offer mindset coaching is also really important. So how do these experiences inform the way that you train others, whether it's virtually, you know, or in person?
[00:17:18] Gideon: Yeah. Tho those experiences are exactly what I draw. That's all we can draw from. You know, if I read a book and someone went through. Experience A, B and C. I may be able to regurgitate what they said, but it won't be authentic. And of course, if I needed to dive deeper into those experiences, I wouldn't have the capacity to do so.
My experience in, in what I try to do and how I try to live my life. It's to give me more knowledge, wisdom, uh, to be able to share with whoever I can share it with, but also for me to share it with myself and for me to remember what I went through so that when obstacles present themselves again, I'm able to hurdle them with a little bit more efficiency and maybe, maybe I'm not successful all the time, but I give myself a chance to be more successful than if I didn't. So for me, the experiences are what I draw from. I try to share from those experiences, I try to analyze what somebody else may be going through and then have it refer back to what I potentially went through that may be somewhat similar and give them advice on how I would tackle it or how I recommend they would tackle it in hopes that it gives them some inspiration or maybe click something in their mind for them to do more of, uh, you know, in their case.
[00:18:27] Beth: Yeah. Wow. So another accolade of your many accolades is you were Men's Health Next Top Trainer? Yes. You were the national winner of the Men's Health Next Top Trainer Competition. Yes. What was that like? Like that just sounds so cool. So big.
[00:18:49] Gideon: Thank you. That that was an experience. So it was in 2015. Okay.
And, uh, essentially at that time in my career, I was no longer working for a box gym. I started my own personal training business, but I was still teaching group fitness classes, um, in the, in the city. Right. So I was working at different studios, different boutique studios and lead fitness classes, just like any instructor.
And with those classes, you know, you may have 20, 30, 40 people show up for a class. You don't necessarily know who they are. You don't know where they come from. You don't know their background. You just hope to give them the best experience you can, uh, with the lights down, the music loud and their exercising based off of your direction and instruction.
Unbeknownst to me, there were some men's health sales representatives that were taking my class and would normally take my class. It was like Tuesday at 11. Right. So, wow. It wasn't like a prime time class. There were a handful of people, you know, getting their workout in. And one day, one of the young ladies came up to me and said, Hey, my company's having a competition.
You should look into it. I think you'd be a great fit. And you know, I wasn't, wasn't thinking much of it. I'm thinking, okay, it's an online competition. People don't necessarily just win those. I'm thinking of it like the lottery, right? One lucky person's that aware is probably gonna be a rigged situation and that's it.
But somebody else came up to me and said, Hey, Gideon, you really should look into this matter of fact, she sent me a DM on Facebook and like, Hey, here's a link. Check it out. You know, I think you'd be a great fit. So I was like, all right, I got the lake in front of me, so I clicked on it. And I saw that it was an online audition process, meaning that anybody who submitted an audition to be considered for the competition, you can see their video right then and there.
And people were asked to vote on who should be, uh, part of the finalists. Okay. So I looked at the videos. I'm like, okay, there's nothing here that I don't think I can at least match. So let me try it. And I decided if I'm gonna do anything, especially that competition, I am going to put my all into it. So I had my script down what I was gonna say, how I was gonna flow.
My good friend was a videographer. And I asked him, Hey, bring all your equipment, bring all your audio equipment. We're gonna go to the park. We're gonna film it this way. We're have, this is the backdrop. I wanted this to be, to blow out all the other videos out of the water. So we went to the park. This story is longer than it should be.
We're filming this video. Um, I'm stumbling on my words. I don't have a lot of CA on camera experience and it shows, but I still wanted to nail. We probably were out there for three hours shooting a five minute video as I'm gonna take after, take after take. All right, shoot. I, I messed that up. Let's do it again.
And I didn't wanna edit it. I wanted it to be free flow and so people can catch my energy and you couldn't see a spike or a change in how I was delivering what I wanted to deliver. Long story short, we got through that five minute video. I thought it came out fantastic. Still on my YouTube page. If anybody ever wanted to go check that out.
And, uh, men's health selected me as one of the eight finalists, but that wasn't the end of it. Okay. It took eight finalists and there was, I was from Chicago. There was some representative from LA Boston, from New Jersey and some other places across the country. OK. They flew was out to the headquarters in Pennsylvania.
OK. And then they took us through a survivor style competition. Wow. So the competition was fitness based, fitness, knowledge based and personality based. Okay. And the whole idea was if you won a competition, you would advance to the next competition with maybe a little bit of a slight advantage. Okay. If you lost a competition or consider the, the bottom of that competition, you got sent home.
So eight finalists became seven, seven finalists became six and it whittled down to three of us at the end. And I was selected as the winner when it was all said and done. Wow. And as a result, I got a chance to become a contributor for the men's health brand in their magazine, online, a. And I also designed and started my own fitness DVD, and that came out in 2016 under the title Riptensity sold out on men's health.com sold out on Amazon.
Uh, so unfortunately it's not available anymore. It's been a while, but a lot of my workouts and, and similar styles are available on my app in addition to so much more, but that was such a great opportunity because it opened up so many doors. Men's health is a largest men's fitness brand in the world. And it just gave me exposure and opportunities and experience to do what I continue to love to do, which is be on camera and motivate people through exercise.
[00:23:16] Beth: My gosh, Gideon, I cannot imagine somebody who was just more deserving of that. So I'm just so happy that that's been a part of your process and yeah.
[00:23:24] Gideon: Thank you. Thank you so much. It, a lot of fun.
[00:23:28] Beth: Yeah, I bet. And you just, you always. Rise to challenges, even that one where you weren't sure what was gonna happen. Right. You just, yeah. I'm just, yeah. Love that story. So thank you for sharing it here.
[00:23:43] Gideon: No, thank you. I I've learned from that experience. Hey, even if you don't think you're going to do well in it, or if you don't think it's for you, it's worth exploring it's because you never know what's gonna happen. The worst thing that can happen, oftentimes if someone says no, right, or the door is closed or the opportunity doesn't happen and that's fine, but what's the best thing that can happen.
And if we start switching our mindsets to the possibilities that are out there for us, I think we'll make our decisions in a more wiser way.
[00:24:09] Beth: Yeah. And I, I feel like too, even when you go in and you learn. You know, even if you don't get the opportunity that you're shooting for it, there's still so much learning in that process.
You know, whether it's going after training goals, going after professional goals, going after relationship goals, et cetera. I, um, I love that
[00:24:28] Gideon: you nailed it.
[00:24:30] Beth: So one thing that you have helped me to understand, because I, um, do not come from a boxing background. I also . I come from more of like a dance studio background, right?
So, you know, athletic in its own way, hundred percent. Like you have helped me to understand the difference between boxing and kickboxing before. And I, I think this is something that a lot of people, you know, who are maybe newer to fitness, they might use those terms interchangeably. Yeah. Can you explain the difference to us?
Like how would you explain that to someone?
[00:25:04] Gideon: Yeah. There's different ways to look at it and I wouldn't even say necessarily boxing versus kickboxing. Um, okay. But certainly I would say boxing for fitness versus boxing for sport, right? Yes. Good, good. Or, or boxing for sport and kickboxing for fitness, or even kickboxing for sport and kickboxing for fitness.
Right. There's different ways that you approach what you're trying to do now, for instance, if you were swimming for exercise cool. You're getting to the pool. You do your laps. Maybe you'll do some intervals, et cetera. Maybe you're always doing freestyle, right. But if you are swimming for a competition, well, maybe you don't even swim freestyle.
Maybe the, the butterfly stroke is your event, and you're gonna train very specifically to be as efficient as possible in that motion and in that movement. So to get back to your boxing for sport versus boxing for fitness analogy. If I'm boxing for fitness, I'm gonna start off in the Orthodox stance, meaning my right leg back.
But I may switch to a south paw stance, meaning my left leg back and I'll do it. So my body's even, I maybe I'll do it to the beat into the tempo. Right. And I just kinda have a little fun with it. There may be a smile on your face more times than there was if you're boxing for actual sport, which means I'm gonna stay in my strong side, which is possibly Orthodox, and you're gonna stay there and you're gonna drill over and over and over.
You're only, not only going to work your boxing combinations and your, and your punches in general, but you're gonna do a lot of jump roping as part of your. Right. And most people don't know how to jump rope. So, uh, that's one of those forgotten arts of calisthenics, so to speak. So you're gonna incorporate much more jump rope, because that's gonna translate into your boxing.
You're also gonna hit the heavy bag and you're gonna hit the speed bag and you're going to shadow box all the time and you're gonna run miles. Right? So the type of exercise you do the frequency in which you. Is gonna be very different if you're training to actually compete, versus if you're training just for fitness and to have a good workout and to get a good sweat and to burn some calories, there is nothing wrong with boxing for fitness.
There is nothing wrong with kick kickboxing for fitness, but it also determines or determines that type of mindset you have going into it. because when boxing for training and boxing for competition, you're gonna spar, which means you're actually gonna hit somebody mm-hmm and somebody's actually gonna hit you.
You box your fitness. Typically there's no contact there and certainly no contact of people's faces or bodies. Most, most contact there'll be, will probably be to a bag or to a mit. So just keeping those things in mind, completely fine, both of them, but just make sure that you're choosing the right one and understand the mindset that's needed to excel at whichever one you choose.
I love that.
[00:27:43] Beth: I feel like for me, you know, I've been more of a boxing or kickboxing for fitness person. mm-hmm . And I find that it's a really cathartic way to work out. Like I find it's really good for moving emotions. Like not only do I get a great cardiovascular workout and you know, there can be some strength components that are, you know, Thrown into their agility as well, but just the ability to move emotions through the body, through the movements and a hundred percent.
Yeah. It's so useful.
[00:28:12] Gideon: So let, let's talk about your experience real quick. So as you're talking about how it's so useful, what are you feeling like? Is it in your mind? Is it in your body? Is it is near your heart? Like what, what does that sound like and feel like for.
[00:28:26] Beth: So when I'm talking about, you know, the catharsis that I feel from kickboxing for fitness, cause definitely training for fitness, not for sport. I feel actually like it's like a joy. I feel something that comes up from below me and it comes up out and it's like, I just wanna take my arms and, you know, get them moving to help move that around. I definitely do feel, you know, some warmth in my heart, but it just feels like a release mostly.
[00:28:50] Gideon: A hundred percent and, and I would agree with you, whether you it's for sport or for fitness.
I feel like we all just have an innate desire sometimes to break things, right? Mm-hmm we have an innate desire to hit something, right. Mm-hmm and we certainly don't wanna hit a person and we certainly don't wanna hit something in a way that's going to hurt us and, uh, a great way for us to get out stress or just even sometimes.
Get out, some joy, get out some excitement, get out some pent up energy. And so put on some gloves, beat something up, or take the gloves off and just simulate the punching motion or the kicking motion that just gives us that release that we need to balance our yin and our yang internally. So I agree with you. I feel that same way. There's nothing for me. There's nothing like a good boxing workout and the feeling of exhaustion, but in a positive way that you get after it.
[00:29:39] Beth: Yep. Yep. I feel like it's a very healthy release for that kind of an emotion.
[00:29:42] Gideon: 100%. You don't get arrested afterwards. It's a good thing.
[00:29:45] Beth: Nope. so pivoting subjects to maybe a new, both challenge and source of immense love and joy in your life. You are a new parent.
[00:29:58] Gideon: Thats right. I am. Yep. Yeah. Brand thinking new. My baby boy is four months old. His name is Samwell. And he is the most beautiful thing in the whole wide world. And I'm certainly in love.
My wife is over the moon and we, uh, we find parenthood to be a complete joy.
[00:30:17] Beth: I love that. And yeah. Baby Samuel, you can see on Gideon's Instagram and he has a smile, just like his dad, such a big, beautiful smile.
[00:30:27] Gideon: Thank you. I appreciate that.
[00:30:29] Beth: Yeah. So how has being a new parent changed the way you work out?
Like if it has, you know, a lot of people coming into parenthood for the first time, like navigating, you know, lack of sleep, uh, schedule changes, you know, different priorities. It, it shifts things. How have you navigated through that.
[00:30:47] Gideon: Yeah, that very, very true. Um, it is a challenge without a doubt. And I tip my hat to all the parents out there or all the parents to be, because if it weren't for the fact that this is my profession, mm-hmm and this is my job. This is my career. This is my duty responsibility, whatever you wanna call it, it would be very hard to keep up with my workouts and my workout routine and schedule because having a child also brings on a whole other set of demand. Fortunately for me because it's my profession and I know I have to get these workouts out.
I have to upload them to my app. Um, you know, I have to stay up on my social media and film workouts for that as well too, and provide workout, demonstrations and inspiration. I have to be very, very strict with my scheduling and my timing. Okay. And, and I think anybody, whether you're a fitness, professional, or not, if you are able to drill down on what your time looks like.
And work with your partner or work with your resources to allow you to have those 30 minutes, 45 minutes, one hour or whatever you need. That's gonna make a world of difference. I noticed that all right, in the beginning, cool. We were enjoying each other, enjoying the family, figuring out our routine and kind of finding out how it was gonna work.
Mm-hmm . But once you have a little bit of a slither of an understanding, it's best to set up those guidelines. Right? I know that from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, I'm gonna be working out on Tuesday and. Hey, babe wife, do you mind helping out during this time and whenever you need your time to work out for yourself or to do whatever you need to do to kinda balance yourself, let me know.
So I can schedule that time as well, too. And if you're able to share those responsibilities, heavy, clear understanding, and then also stick to it, I think it ends up being okay. Like you understand the rules. I know. Bath time and nap time for Sam at this time, right? Yes. I know that afterwards, he's gonna go to sleep for 30 minutes to maybe 45 minutes and I can knock out a workout then, while my wife watches him on the monitor.
Right. And then I know that after I'm done with my workout in a quick shower, I can watch him while she does her thing. So if you want to be successful in a fitness journey, It's best that you are able to do your workouts within a set plan and time, whether you have a child or not. Right. We all have jobs, responsibilities, family, and things that take away from us thinking that we can work out at certain times, but if you put it on your schedule, you put it on your calendar and you work hard to at least get to that place and get that job done.
You'd be surprised that you actually can develop those routines that last longer than you, uh realize.
[00:33:23] Beth: Yeah. And I feel like, you know, we're having this conversation right as two fitness professionals, but I feel like the pandemic. You know, the boost of online and at home workouts may actually be an asset for a lot of new parents.
Yeah. Would, would you, are you finding yourself working out at home or like, would you agree with that?
[00:33:41] Gideon: I mean, look behind me, you know what I mean? I got my dumbbells set up there. I have my flooring right behind me. None of this was here prior to 2020. This is all hardwood floor. And I don't even remember what I had down here.
but, um, ever, ever since then, yes. I outfitted myself with resistance bands with dumbbells, with, uh, full work drills, with jump ropes, with medicine balls. So I have all of that in my space and very fortunately for me, I don't have to drive 30 minutes to get to the gym. Right. I don't have to wait for pieces of machinery to open up, which eats into my time.
I don't have to worry about driving 30 minutes back. It's like, all right, what? I have 15 minutes. I got 20 minutes. Cool. I'm gonna be downstairs. I'm knocking this thing out so I can get back to life and get back to found and get back to responsibilities. So yes, if you have a setup and even if you don't have a great setup, like I have on my app, I specifically build.
Tons of body weight workouts so that people can do that at home with no equipment in very limited space, or if you're traveling, but you still wanna stay on top of your fitness game, you can do it outside, or you can do it in a small hotel gym, which usually doesn't have a lot of stuff. Right. So the opportunities are there.
You just have to be willing to take advantage of them.
[00:34:51] Beth: Love, love that advice. So, you know, you're already in a routine and you know, like you said, schedule and you've got habits around exercising and you do your best to stay consistent. Yeah. Do you still celebrate, like getting the workout in and if so, how do you find like feelings of accomplishment within your own routine?
[00:35:11] Gideon: So for me getting the workout in. Is the celebration too. Right? Cause afterwards, afterwards you feel so good. I mean, I, I, I hate cliches. I try to stay away from 'em as much as I can, but one that I'm like, man, that's just really true. Is that you never, you never regret a workout. at least I've never, never, I've never went to a workout and said, you know what, man, I shouldn't have done that workout.
I've never done that. And every time I'm done with the work, even though I may feel like I really don't wanna do this right now, I wish I didn't have to. I wish I did it earlier. I wish I worked out yesterday. Whatever the case is, even though I may feel that going into it. When it's all said and done, I'm like, that was good.
Mm-hmm I enjoy that. That sweat was perfect. Like my endorphins are right where they're supposed to be. Like, I , it always feels great for me afterwards. So for me, that's that exclamation point at the end of the sentence, that's that cherry on top of the sunday, that's that feeling of, of celebration and accomplishment.
[00:36:10] Beth: I love that. Making the workout, the accomplishment. Yeah. um, how, um, what has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
[00:36:20] Gideon: Ooh, the most challenging mm-hmm I, for me, the most challenging, there's a number of things that present their challenges, especially when you are independent. Um, mm-hmm because as a personal trainer, for those who don't know as a personal trainer, you can work for a gym.
Um, oftentimes they may help out with providing clients. Um, you may help out with providing insurance and, um, you know, they obviously provide the facility, but they're also gonna take their cut out of the revenue that's being brought in. And then as an entrepreneur, you can set your rates. You can charge more, you can charge less.
Um, you can work out in multiple places in multiple situations, you run your business. So you're bringing in a hundred percent, but at the end of the day, you're not guaranteed. so I think the challenge is the fact that our business as professionals ebbs and flows, mm-hmm and a lot of people, depending on where you are, may not consider fitness, health, and wellness, a priority.
Maybe it's their job. That's the number one priority. Maybe it's their spouse or their family. That's the number one priority. But fitness usually comes down the line in terms of what they are. Gonna spend their money on. Uh, so when you don't necessarily know when your next paycheck is gonna arrive, uh, and you have responsibilities such as bills and, you know, plans for your future, maybe a wife and child that can be a little bit nerve wracking.
So always being on the go, always hustling, always trying to find ways to provide value to the people you serve, but also attracting new clientele, I think is one of the challenges. And it's also can be a touch frustrating. You can be the best at what you do. Super professional show up on time, leave late, um, doing everything above and beyond everyone else in the industry.
But if somebody lost their job, well, guess what? They can't pay for your service anymore. If somebody moved to another city or another country, guess what? They're no longer a client, right? So it doesn't have to do anything with you. Life changes, things just move the way they move and it can be out of your control sometimes, but you still have to find a way.
So those are the things that I feel I find the most challenging with what we do in our industry.
[00:38:23] Beth: Absolutely. And what, conversely is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
[00:38:29] Gideon: The most rewarding for me is, is twofold. Okay. The first part is I love helping people. And to be able to see that smile on their face.
I've had people come up to me and tell me that I've changed their lives and that they were going through something that was really tough, really challenging. And, and this was what they needed to help combat that. I had a client in 2020, um, who was coming off of an injury and was also working in the healthcare field and was really just down and out from all that was going on with the worldwide.
And being on the front lines and having to manage long hours and, and stressful situations. And when we started training, it was a great release for her, right. It was a great way for her to move her body, to stay committed to something, to see the changes and not just her body, but how she felt, how she slept her stress levels, how she was dealing with people just to have that release.
And to know that I helped, uh, provide that sensation for her was so rewarding for. So that's the first thing is being able to positively affect people's lives with whatever they may be going through. And they don't even have to be going through anything drastic, but to let them know that they have the ability to do tough things and to overcome challenges, no matter what may be coming, your weight, fitness or otherwise is very rewarding to me.
and then secondly, I'm, I'm living my life. I'm pursuing my passion. I'm doing exactly what I want to do. There's like not too many things that can provide you that much joy with living your true passion, where everything seems to fall in place, because you're doing exactly what you're supposed to do, how you're supposed to do it when you're supposed to do it.
So those are the two things for me that just light me up.
[00:40:14] Beth: Love that. And I feel like we're all so lucky that you're following your passion, because then we get to experience all of yeah. All of that joy and that energy and all of the amazing offerings that you bring. It's, you know, it's and it's infectious in the best way.
[00:40:29] Gideon: I, I appreciate that. And you know, to be honest with you, like, it's vice versa too. Like good people like you, that I've met in the industry also have provided inspiration for me in ways. I, I couldn't, I couldn't even put into words, like just being around good people. I feel like we all elevate each other.
And, uh, I mean, there was advice that you've given me and continue to give me that to this day has just kind of been a catalyst. And oftentimes, I mean, you don't know this, but. You know, with social media and with, you know, people's websites and different things that you can, I guess, tap into without even actually having to directly talk to the people like mm-hmm that provides inspiration for me.
So when I see you working out on a mountain cliff, and you're doing these amazing body weight exercises, I'm like, you know what? Those are some awesome movements that my clients will probably enjoy. And when you're posting about, Hey, Smiling, Soul Fitness, Going these workouts onto the app. I'm like, man, this is awesome.
Like, I, I struggled for a very long time getting my online offering going, but it was through conversations that we had through advice and encouragement that you gave me that really lit a fire under my butt to get things going. So like yeah, your energy that I may have given to you, you given right back to me after, you know, Just us passing it back and forth and that extends to, um, everybody I know in the fitness industry one way or another. So thank you for that.
[00:41:48] Beth: Yeah. Thanks Gideon. Yeah, I really appreciate that.
[00:41:52] Gideon: of course, of course.
[00:41:53] Beth: So speaking of, you know, other people that have been influential in just community support, could you name one teacher that has had a big impact on your life for, you know, a coach maybe and share.
[00:42:05] Gideon: Oh, my goodness. To be honest with you, it's hard for me to pinpoint one person. Okay. Um, I, I'm the type of person who I draw inspiration from so many places I draw inspiration from the fitness industry, of course, but I also draw inspiration from celebrities. , but I also draw inspiration from my clients and people who may look at me as a mentor or a coach.
I actually see their hard work, their tenacity, their consistency. And that drives me to keep going. Mm-hmm or to do more than what I'm doing, because they're doing more than what they were doing. So I can, I can draw inspiration from a million different places. And I, I've never been one to, I guess, focus on one person or one character, but more so learn lessons from anything and everything that life has given me, uh, through people and through my own experiences.
And I really encourage people to do that. Um, especially across the aisle mm-hmm and you know, in, in today's day and age, where you have red and you have blue, you have left and you have, right, right. You have all of these. Antagonists for lack of a better term, uh, that believe different things or that support different things.
But there's so much to learn from the other side and so much to analyze my wife gets so mad at me because she'll ask me, Hey, David, what, what do you feel about this? What do you feel about that? I'm like, well, I kind of need to know a little bit more information. and she's like, what do you mean? Just like, just like, what do you feel about it?
I'm like, I'm not the type of person who just feels a certain way and goes off of that initial instinct for me. It's why is this person saying that? Why is that person saying this? Why are they so passionate about it? What is the belief? What is the history of it? For me? Asking questions and understanding motives gives you so much of a better understanding as to what drives us, what fuels us.
Cause we're all passionate for different things, right? Doesn't mean I should need to hate you. You have your reasons as well as I have my own reasons. So let's understand where our reasons come from. We can still disagree. But at least I can understand where your reason is coming from based off of your set of beliefs.
And hopefully you can do the same thing for mine. So for me, it's drawing and learning from that situation and everything else I mentioned that really gives me, I guess, my perspective of the world in whole and just every small thing that may be coming my way.
[00:44:20] Beth: Mm that's beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. So when, where, and or with whom. Do you feel the most yourself or the most connected
[00:44:34] Gideon: That was a very detailed question. Can you ask that again? I like the way you worded it. Yeah. .
[00:44:39] Beth: When, where, and or with whom do you feel the most yourself? The most connected.
[00:44:48] Gideon: Okay. Uh, let me, you know what, I'm gonna ask you to repeat that question as I answer it.
So the first one was in when mm-hmm right. So when would have to be. When would have to be right before my son was born. So within the nine months, uh, so pretty much all of 20, 21. Okay. So that, that's when now the next part of the question where, where would be place? Yeah, it would be home. Yep. Yeah. A hundred percent at home.
Yep. So a year before my son was born at home.
[00:45:24] Beth: And with whom
[00:45:25] Gideon: and with my wife 100%. So she is with my baby boy in her belly at the time we're at home, it's the anticipation of our lives changing and what that's gonna look like, be like, feel like it's the preparation of those changes and what we want for ourselves short term, long term, what we want for our son short term, long term, it's the, uh, preparation in terms.
Putting the crib together, getting the nursery ready, you know, and making sure the finances are good to go. Like all of that stuff are part of that experience for me, which is a very special time and everything has its own moments, right? Every special time or every time in my life, I feel it's very special, very meaningful and worthwhile, but you know, I can look at that time finally as well.
Uh, for all the reasons I mention.
[00:46:15] Beth: Wonderful. So we're gonna head into the lightning round. Oh boy. So I got three questions for you. I just want you to share the first thing that comes to mind. Maybe couple words, one to two sentences. You ready?
[00:46:27] Gideon: as ready as I'll ever be. Let's do.
[00:46:30] Beth: All right. What would you tell someone who is just getting started with working out.
[00:46:35] Gideon: What would I tell someone to just getting started where, um, just get started. I would say that I would say, just get started, pick something, anything don't worry about the length of time. Don't worry about what burns the most calories don't worry about. Mm-hmm do something that you enjoy and do a lot of it at your pace, and then ramp up as your desire, uh, tells you to
[00:46:57] Beth: Love that. And what would you tell someone who is currently lacking motivation to exercise?
[00:47:04] Gideon: Yeah, if someone's currently lacking motivation, uh, let them know that. It's natural. Welcome to the club. Everyone loses, loses motivation from time to time, but we often come back to whatever we enjoy the most. So think of something that's fun for you.
Um, and try to make that fitness. If you love spending time with your kids or your niece, your nephew, your cousin, whatever, spend more time with them, maybe outside and you're running around, tossing the ball around. If you love going for walks around a neighborhood. Cool. Go for walks just as it is. Or maybe you grab two pound dumbbells, and you put them in your hand and you walk with those. If you love swimming, you just can't get enough of the water, make that your exercise, right. It doesn't have to be you doing laps. It could be you just, you floating and, and having fun that way. So find something that you enjoy. And now I'm sorry.
That was more than two sentences, but find something you enjoy and just have fun at it.
[00:47:54] Beth: Excellent. And how would you, this is the last question. Okay. How would you describe a smiling soul?
[00:48:01] Gideon: Ooh, a smiling soul is a soul with a smile. A smiling soul is one who is okay with themselves. Um, one who is okay with making mistakes. One who learns from their mistakes and grows from it. Smiling soul is one who influences other souls to smile. Um, a smiling soul is a light, uh, a light shining bright.
[00:48:27] Beth: Mm. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So Gideon. Uh, where can people find you? I know you're on Instagram. You've got your app. You've got a website.
Tell us where we can go to connect with you.
[00:48:40] Gideon: Yes, thank you for asking Beth. So my website is gideonakande.com, G I D E O N AKA N D E.com. And on that website, you can find my in person classes, you can find details about my app and you can reach out to me with any questions or concerns in regards to that.
Um, also my social handles for YouTube and Facebook and Instagram is get fit with Giddy spelled properly. And giddy is spelled G I D D Y. Get fit with Giddy.
[00:49:08] Beth: be linking to all of those in the show notes. So wherever you're listening to this, you can find direct access to Instagram, YouTube, Facebook website, um, all down below as well.
Gideon, you are such a light in the fitness industry. You are just an exceptional, you know, coach and a friend. And I'm just so honored to get to record this episode with you today. Thank you so much for being here for sharing your wisdom, your expertise, your laughter, your joy, your inspiration. . Thank you.
[00:49:42] Gideon: I really, really appreciate it. Fun. This was so fun. Thank you for inviting me on as a guest, and I'm hoping the listeners gained a nugget or two, and I hope they continue to be their best selves, chase their passions, goals, and dreams, and, and, uh, continue to be smiling souls themselves.
[00:49:58] Beth: Thank you. Thank you so much for being here on the smiling soul fitness podcast today, we appreciate you.
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