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Building Communities Through Fitness

An Interview with Raia Carey, Certified Professional Coach

— March 18, 2019 — Business
Raia “Coach” Carey is a motivational speaker and a certified professional coach that seeks to help and inspire people on their health journeys. Focused on initiating sustainable positive change and promoting wellness on the personal and corporate level, Coach Carey offers her services through workshops, events, speaking engagements, and specially curated programs. Bringing a great degree of personal triumph to the table, she encourages relentless spirit and commitment.

Trend Hunter spoke to Coach Carey about how communities are being formed around the concept of fitness, what impact the wellness craze has had on the industry and the upcoming CITY SHRED event.

What pathways do you personally take to build communities around fitness and what is the common response?

For me, personally, the best tool for building a community around fitness is sharing my story, my highs, my lows, times of tribulation, as well as when I’ve been vulnerable. A little bit more about me — I’ve lost 300 pounds and sharing my journey along the way has allowed me to create a community of people who are looking to start their journey, people who are actively on their journey and other people who are crushing it and are motivated by how I’ve never given up and my commitment.

The number one common response is “Wow, I had no idea!” from people who didn’t know me five years ago. The other response is “Wow, how did you do it?” and the third one always involves requesting tips of how they can do what I did and how they can stay committed. For a lot of people, it takes a long time but the journeys aren’t that different from a weight standpoint. Sharing my journey is a really great part because I am a firm believer that we are all learning and growing. The world will be a much better place if we could grow and share together.

The wellness industry has been a huge focus. How has that affected your business?

I think it impacted my business in so many great ways because now I’m not only able to share my journey with my community and friends, but I am able to take it to the next level and do more work in the corporate space. For the first time ever, mental health and corporate wellness are coming to the forefront. Today, companies are focusing more on ensuring that the wellbeing of their employees is taken care of and the staff is in a better headspace. I have been able to do more workshops in the corporate setting and people who are in those environments have a lot more benefits than before. They are able to take better care of themselves which is beneficial to everybody.

The best part of this shift is that collectively, the world is trying to be a little bit more conscious of health, consumption and mental wellbeing.

Where do you see this wellness-centric attitude going toward in the next five years?

I see it going in a direction, where it will be a little bit more accessible to everybody. Good examples of this are free apps and services. The movement is developing in a way where knowledge is more attainable and shared through articles and blog posts. In the social media environment, where we celebrate users who are healthy and fit, there will be more space for those who don’t necessarily have abs but are healthy and can be a leader in that field.

How do events like CITY SHRED impact and empower those who attend them?

Events like CITY SHRED will give people a higher sense of community. When you are working together and growing together, it creates a stronger sense of morale. When you have that ‘we are in this together’ mentality — it's not ‘me vs you,’ but ‘we as a collective group, you create a network and family with people who you don’t necessarily know. One ends up making tons of new friends and meets new people to grow and share with. A lot of that turns into groups that go to events together. I think that is a really empowering part of CITY SHRED. No one is really better than anybody — the guy who has an eight-pack and the lady who has never worked out before are sweating equally because it is a challenge for both parties. We are all in this together, so it is a really beautiful experience.

How has technology impacted your fitness rituals?

Integrating technology into my fitness regime has really helped a lot. Examples include using apps to track my heart rate, steps, calories, and activity. It helps me keep myself more accountable which is essential to achieving your goal. You can troubleshoot what works well and what doesn’t, how you can grow and it gives you the ability to access a rich variety of workouts anytime and anywhere. Instead of hiring a personal trainer to pick up some new moves, I can download an app and find a full workout routine that I have never done before and challenge myself.

It benefits me a lot, especially because I have been on this journey for so long and I’ve had a lot of trainers. I also travel a lot, so if I am not able to meet my trainer, I can clock-in a 30-minute yoga class or a 35-minute HIT class on an app. That is one thing that has largely impacted me with my hectic schedule.

Can you speak of the major changes you've experienced in the last 5 years?

A major change has been the number of people who are now more conscious and aware. They are not just aware of the space itself, but also of how it impacts their body, their health, their energy, how they are able to sleep and remember things. It really connected them all together, whereas before it was very separate.