Fast Track To Fitness | Niki Klasnic
Running track and cross country was Niki Klasnic’s passion, but when that came to an end she decided that she needed to find something else to do. Instinctively gravitating towards fitness, Niki pursued a career in personal training! “I missed being a part of my college track & cross country team so I became a personal trainer. I was lucky to always be encouraged by my parents to pursue something I’m passionate about. After I graduated college with a Theater degree I tried a few things but I found my calling through turning my collegiate running background into health and fitness,” Niki exclaims!
As I mentioned, Niki originally started in the running field, but eventually her high school track and cross country career came to an end and it was time to transition into college. However, her body seemed to have other plans which hindered her progress. “When transitioning from high school running to college, I developed bone marrow anemia. I came in as a scholarship athlete and completely bombed. The worst part about it was I had no idea why I was suddenly doing so poorly. It may seems silly but it was really hard mentally to go through. So much of my identity was tied up in running and being ‘good’ at it that it was hard to be doing worse than I did in high school when I was supposed to be getting better. Not to mention the fact that physically I felt slow because of the anemia. It took me until halfway through my junior year to finally realize what was wrong and by then my college career was almost over. I of course had a lot of ‘why me?’ moments. Didn’t understand the point of an entire college career wasted but now I know that it’s given me a mental strength. A determination to make it through things when they get tough and a willingness to keep going when I want to quit. Without those years where it would have been easy to throw in the towel and quit, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Every struggle builds strength! A lot of what got me through this was personal growth and positive reading. Again something I may never have gotten so deep into if not for this experience. Reading books that create a growth mindset and fill my mind with positive thoughts have been so helpful to me through this and other tough situations that I’ve had since,” Niki explains.
Because of her own experiences, Niki is full of great advice. That’s why she makes such a great trainer! She understands that becoming fit doesn’t happen overnight therefore one thing she always suggests is starting off small. “I would tell anyone looking to create a healthy, fit lifestyle to start with small doable changes. A lot of times we want to do a complete overnight life change. Most of the time those don’t last. Making small changes and adding on gradually allows you to adjust as you go, build up and create momentum. Even if you just start with drinking more water, adding a veggie at one of your daily meals or moving in a way you enjoy three times a week, those add up,” Niki says.
For The People
While this may not be what Niki expected to come out of her life, she loves the way that things turned out. Her favorite aspect of it all? The ability she has to help others! “Being able to help people with something I absolutely love. It’s an incredible feeling when someone tells you that you’ve helped them change their life. Even if it’s just by something small you said or did. Doing what you love is amazing in itself but when it can be taken a step further and helps other people too, it’s incredible to me. I’m super blessed to be able to do what I do,” Niki shares.
Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?
Mindset is sooo key! It’s actually a great thing because we can work on and mold our mindset to help us. It’s important because it influences everything you do. We can look at a healthy lifestyle as something we have to work towards or something we get to work towards. A day where we fall off track can be a learning opportunity or it can derail us completely. Having a mindset that helps you succeed is key. We need to celebrate small progress, forgive ourselves for falling off track and believe in our goals, dreams and the work we’re putting in to get to them. This creates a mindset that allows us to continue on through tough times, off times or challenges that come our way because we are able to deal with those things rather than quit at the first sign of challenge.
You were a competitive runner, what lessons did you learn about mental toughness, discipline, and nutrition that you still use today?
I mentioned a lot about this before but I definitely learned a lot about mental toughness and discipline. I learned that when we are challenged we have the opportunity to grow and become our best in a way that only happens when we step outside of our comfort zone to push ourselves. Being disciplined is so key to your fitness journey because motivation fails. Nobody wakes up motivated every single day. That’s when you fall back on discipline and the routine that you’ve created for yourself. You look at your goals and realize that you want them more than you want to skip your workout. It again is a lot about mindset and creating a mindset that you want rather than just riding every feeling you have. We have feelings and they’re valid, but they’re not always what should inform our actions!
What did you learned as a competitor that you feel helps your clients / followers in helping them reach their goals?
It was really helpful for me to see that different things work for different people. In high school we all trained the same, that’s just how it was. Once I got to college we had training groups sorted by mileage and the type of runner you were, even in cross country where we all raced the same distance. It really made me realize that each person has individual needs, responds to things differently and that will be reflected in their training. I train the way I’ve laid out in my Get Fit Guide. I love to push the weights, vary my HIIT between bodyweight and running but I know there a others that use my GFG who would rather use lighter weights and couldn’t stand the thought of running as one of their HIIT days. It’s all about making small tweaks to make it work for you!