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Meet Trailblazer Elvira Geiger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elvira Geiger.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Elvira. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My entire life I have been involved with fitness enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Starting out while growing up as a child in Russia, my involvement and training in Russian gymnastics sent me down that path.

Unfortunately, my gymnastics career was cut short by a significant spine injury that had the doctors advising that I might not be able to walk again or even have children! Basically, they said the future for me would not be a “normal” life. I refused to believe that opinion/option and then I’ve decided to take responsibility for controlling my own health. The result was amazing and unbelievable!!! Also, it was the first time that I actually created a custom-designed exercise/rehab/recovery program for someone (just happened to be for myself)! It took me over three years to get my physical well-being back on track. Since I refused to believe the original medical prognosis, I took my future in my own hands and I won!

I also had studied hard for a career and eventually I received my first Master’s degree in Engineering, I got married, and not long thereafter, I had a daughter. However, I found myself still not satisfied in my carrier and I decided to focus all of my energy on pursuing my true passion and love – fitness and helping others. My experience with successfully designing my own rehab program gave me the confidence that I would be successful in pursuing fitness as a profession. I continued my studies and received a second Master’s degree. Physiques Fitness by Elvira establishment goes back to 1996. Since that time, I have continued (and still:-) my education and have now received many different certifications in both Fitness and Nutrition. Truly this is my passion! Over ten years ago, I immigrated to the US where I continue to pursue my passion of helping people be healthier, happier and feel better: I reopened my fitness business Physiques Fitness by Elvira starting from scratch, and I’ve never looked back and definitely no regrets. I love where I am and what I do!!

Has it been a smooth road?
Starting and succeeding with a personal services business is not an easy path. In my case, I think the most
compelling challenge is discovering how to use advertising to make yourself known to your client base. Referrals are a BIG part of sustaining fitness clientele but you still need to constantly grow your clientele base. That is NOT easy without devoting significant dollars. Once your business gains traction, it becomes a little easier but achieving clients traction is difficult.

As far as advice to young women thinking about getting into the field… I think the most important thing is to make sure you are ready to commit to obtaining the necessary education and experience.

Above all, you also have to have a similar mentality to first responders… the love of helping people. That is the real motivation… it is not a “fast money” profession. You also have to be ready to commit to continuing education because new developments and fitness philosophy are constantly changing.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
As a fitness trainer and nutrition specialist, I help people be healthier and enjoy their quality of life where they need guidance on how to accomplish that.

My specialty is directed at the population of people who are at the stage in their life where aging begins to cause changes to the body that, if not dealt with and understood, will cause an erosion of the quality of life they have come to take for granted. I help them by teaching and guiding them on how to deal effectively with aging. One of my proudest experiences as a fitness expert was being contacted by a military veteran who had just been discharged. He had recently suffered from a stroke and was in need of multiple physical rehabilitation and neurological issues (including regaining his speech). I spoke to his doctor and we all agreed I could help him rehab. He said that he wanted me to push him hard (since that was customary in the military). We worked together for over six months and he regained some of his speech and his physical development allowed him to improve his walking again.

That experience was very important for my development because I gained confidence that I had the skill/knowledge to help almost anyone… very gratifying!

I consider myself somewhat unique in that I was able to develop a strong combination of knowledge and experience throughout my life to give me the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. Recognition as an Elite Fitness Expert and Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist is a testimony to that. It is unusual to find that combination of knowledge in the same individual.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
In my experience, there are no real barriers for women in the Fitness industry. In fact, some believe that women may have a slight advantage over men in terms of having the right mix of patience and intuition. Quite honestly, in a fitness context, I think any barriers encountered can be avoided by demonstrating the proper mix of experience, knowledge, and education. That is more important to clients. With those traits in place, the trainer’s confidence level is sufficiently high and that is detected by the client. At that point, any barrier that may have existed is a mindset, not reality.

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