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What is your ‘Spark’? I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.


I always tell new members that 15 years ago I was fat and miserable and decided to start my own obstacle course and bootcamp workouts in the park. I tell them about the personal weight loss (and repeated weight gains) and how my business suffered as a result of my poor nutrition and extreme exercise habits. I tell them about how 3 years ago I finally started eating healthy (6 Week Challenge) and quit punishing myself through exercise. It changed everything and saved my businesses.


But what was my catalyst? What was the spark? What actually made me start?


The Ninja Warrior Obstacle Competition in Japan. I had seen snippets of the show and all of the sudden I was completely obsessed with the idea of traveling to Japan and competing. They didn’t have it in the United States yet. I was overweight and completely incapable of competing, but the idea of exercising on obstacles to have fun as opposed to torturing myself became my new obsession.


I would go to Home Depot and scheme up new ways to make obstacles I could bring to the park. I had contractors build me obstacles, and I bought my first equipment from Power Systems (hurdles, agility ladders, and parachutes.) I was always trying to come up with fun things for me and my small crew to do in the park.


Even though I never went to Japan to compete, Ninja Warrior was my catalyst. I always hated exercising and as a result, I never exercised once I left High School Track and Cross Country. I just gained more and more weight until I turned 21 and started the beginning of what is Camp Rhino today. Ninja Warrior showed me that exercising could be fun. One day I was watching kids playing in the park, and realized they were getting exercise, too. My program became a mix of play and obstacles.


You can read a small bit of the story of building Camp Rhino here, but this story I am telling you is different. This is not a business story, this is a personal story. This story is to help guide you to find your personal spark.


In 2004, I thought it was impossible for me to lose weight. I thought I was going to be miserable and fat forever. I thought that I could never have the discipline to stick to exercise and eating healthy. All it took was a passion beyond trying to ‘fix’ myself. A passion for something that aligned with my desire for a healthy and active lifestyle. A passion for trying obstacles and ‘playing’ while working out.


As I sit down with potential Camp Rhino FitFam Members, they too come with a spark. These days, I meet with everyone who wants to come to Camp Rhino before they join to see if they are a good fit and if we can help them. These meetings are amazing. I get to hear about their life’s story, and I can usually find a way to help them immediately. Most of them say that they have struggled for years with exercising and eating healthy. They are tired, and have limited time. But, they saw_____(Obstacles/Bootcamp/or CrossFit)___ and they thought ‘wait, that actually looks fun! I want to do that!’


Making ourselves workout and eat healthy because ‘we have to’ or because we want to look better usually doesn’t work. The desire is not strong enough to stick, especially if we never find a routine we enjoy. However, working out and eating healthy because we found a program that looks fun, with a great group of people, can last a lifetime.


What is your spark?


What makes your heart beat a little faster? What will give you the motivation you need to turn your actions into habits?


Here are a couple of our newest members ‘sparks’ that I had the privilege of hearing lately: (Names are changed for privacy)


Name: Ricky

Age: 50 years old

Exercise level: Has never exercised in his entire life. Never set foot in a gym until he came to Camp Rhino. Was the scrawny kid in school who got beat up a lot, and now he just uses his brain for work. (I won’t tell you his job, but let’s just say he owns his own non-profit, is starting a business, and has co-founded an academic journal.)

Spark: He bought a piece of property with a lot of land and is retiring in 5 years. He realized that he may not be able to hunt and hike on his property once he moves there because of his inactivity. He also wants to conquer his fear of heights because he wants to use his hunting tree stands.

My prescription to him: We are starting with one on one training, just once a week. That’s better than he’s ever done, and it’s okay to start slow! He is also going to do the nutrition program to really jump start his new, healthy lifestyle. Once he gets into the swing of things, we will increase to two times per week, and then 3!


Name: Nancy

Age: 38 years old

Exercise level: Used to exercise before she had kids. Lost herself when she became a Mom. Loves her three kids and is a single mom with a full-time job as a waitress.

Spark: She wants to be strong for her kids. She realized that not taking care of herself means that she can’t be there for them. She took an extra shift to afford her unlimited membership plus nutrition.

My prescription to her: She has to feel good in order to have the energy to do her job AND be there for her kids. Nutrition is key. She started the nutrition program AND started CrossFit.


I want to hear your ‘Spark’! Please reply and let me know what it is 🙂


<3 Julie