Having been a Zumba instructor for years, she knew her influence included more than fitness training when a candid conversation with an exercising client revealed that women in caretaker roles often forget about themselves. She named her new motivational fitness business Genesys Fitness because it signified a rebirth for the often “forgotten” woman: the divorce’, caretaker, and empty-nester. Genesys Fitness (GenFit) is a community of women who recognize the need to reclaim their lives and are emotionally ready to do the work with Beverly K. Johnson, motivational life coach, fitness trainer and “girlfriend of authority”. At GenFit, self-care takes priority over caring for others because it is in caring for ourselves that we make the best caregivers. We believe that by helping women rediscover who they are after suffering a loss, she will be empowered to become her ideal self – physically, mentally and emotionally. GenFit is a safe space where women can transform their mindset, body and life in a caring and non-judgmental environment. Through candid conversations and fitness training, “forgotten” women are empowered to reclaim their identity and unveil the strength inside by working 1-on-1 with motivational life coach, Beverly K. Johnson.
Patrice: What makes Beverly a pretty woman that hustles?
Beverly: I’m a mixture of faith, determination, and old school rap music. Beverly is a dreamer who’s learned to push back her fears and go after her dreams. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and take more risks.
Patrice: Was fitness something you always enjoyed doing? What sparked your interest?
Beverly: As an Army veteran, fitness has always been a part of my life. When I was younger, I went to the gym more out of habit. I understood that I needed to exercise for my health. There were times when my friends and I would literally finish a group fitness and then celebrate Taco Tuesday at the Mexican restaurant across the street. Now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the importance of having a healthy, balanced wellness plan. It’s a plan that recognizes my emotional, mental, and physical needs.
Patrice: Zumba is a fun exercise to do in classes and fitness training. How long have you been a Zumba instructor?
Beverly: It’s hard to believe that I’ve been an instructor for over ten years! A decade of moving and grooving while encouraging and motivating my students to achieve their goals.
Patrice: How did you come up with the concept of creating Genesys Fitness? (GenFit) What was the inspiration behind it?
Beverly: Prior to passing my certification exams, I had a list of ten names that were possible contenders for my business name. Oddly enough, Genesys Fitness was not on the list! It was not the original business name. After going to my list, all the other names were taken. I remember sitting at my desk, wondering what my business name should be. I asked myself, what did I want every client to achieve. I wanted each person to experience a new beginning, a new awareness of who they are. Looking back, I’m glad the other ten names didn’t work out. I genuinely believe that the impact wouldn’t be the same.
Patrice: Is there a particular message you want women to understand with your business?
Beverly: One of the prevailing messages that I’ve always shared is that we are worth the love and effort that we freely give to everyone else. Self-care isn’t a selfish act. It means that you recognize that it’s impossible to nurture others when you’re depleted.
Patrice: Health and fitness are an essential aspect of life. What advice would you give to those who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Beverly: I encourage you to start with your “why.” What’s the reason for your lifestyle change? Many of my clients have goals such as “being present for my grandchildren,” “stop taking high blood pressure medications.” Your “why” will push you when the motivation ends. I also encourage everyone to start slowly and find the activities that you enjoy. You’re more likely to stick with it.
Patrice: Any tips on keeping fit?
Beverly: I tell my client not to overwhelm themselves. Start with gradual changes. For example, if you’re not drinking water, increase your intake. Don’t be afraid to try new foods. Before you clean out your pantry, begin with substitutions. Figure out what you like first. Lastly, rest is always overlooked. Give your mind and body time to rest and reset.
Patrice: I do like the name Gen Fit. Could you explain what the term means for our readers?
Beverly: GenFit is the abbreviated version of Genesys Fitness. I was in a meeting one day and mentioned it. From that day, I started using it.
Patrice: How important is self-care, and how does GenFit demonstrate that?
Beverly: Self-care is one of the most underutilized tools. In our culture, we tend to glorify those who work 24/7. The result usually leads to injury, mistakes, and exhaustion. And when you’re exhausted, it leads to increased consumption of sweets and junk food to keep going. Over the years, I had to learn that women often feel guilty for wanting to rest. Part of my coaching includes educating women on the importance of self- care. More than anything, they also see me practice it.
Patrice: What is the “Forgotten Woman?”
Beverly: In different seasons, we’ve all been the “forgotten woman.” I often describe her like this: She’s the person who makes sure her family eats, yet often takes the smallest plate. She’s the one people know by name, but she sometimes forgets her own because she’s so tired and overwrought. The Forgotten Woman is a beautiful and selfless spirit who, in everything she does, puts others’ needs ahead of her own. She often goes unappreciated, unloved, abused, and overworked. She often feels alone, tired, sick, depressed, ugly, invisible, and doesn’t know how to express her feelings. In her heart, she desires more but has been accustomed to going without.
Patrice: This year has been crazy, with the pandemic and small businesses closing down. Has your business been affected at all by it?
Beverly: This year has challenged me to tap into my creativity and ingenuity. Initially yes. I also work as an independent contractor and teach at several gyms. Earlier this year, several of the fitness centers were shut down for safety precautions. I had to figure out a way to remain connected. As with everyone, I expanded my presence in the virtual world. I now offer complete online training programs. I have the capability to remain connected with the clients and classes. With the new platform, I’ve been able to increase my speaking engagements.
Patrice: Are there any new projects or events you are working on?
Beverly: I am in the early stages of writing a book. I have bits and pieces. It’s a matter of pulling it all together and ready for review. I’m also preparing for a health and wellness masterclass in January. I want to provide the tools for building a sustainable weight loss program.
Patrice: With GenFit, how is it transforming their mindset, body, and life?
Beverly: I’ve always believed where the mind goes, the body follows. Often, we start a wellness journey with no clear plan. Many of us know that we need to go to the gym, drink water, and eat better foods. And with no clear strategy, we tend to give up in less than a month. It’s not for lack of wanting a change but more of not sure how to maintain the progress. I provide my clients with a roadmap, based on their goals and needs, that offer strategies for achieving their goals.
Patrice: What is next for Beverly Johnson?
Beverly: On the immediate horizon is take a well- earned break. Usually, around the holiday season, I take some time off to rest. I practice what I preach about self-care. I’m also working on a few projects to expand the services that GenFit offers.
Patrice: How can readers connect with you?
Beverly: I invite everyone to join my tribe on Facebook- The Fitness D.E.V.A.S. Like and Follow Genesys Fitness on Facebook and Instagram- @bevkjohnson
Patrice Rivers is a 9x published author, freelance writer, certified journalist and owner of That Riverz Gurl Brand. She is also expanding her writing skills by writing for several online publications. Learn more by visiting her website at http://www.thatriverzgurlbrandllc.com