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Robert Selders 3Q FITNESS: CROSSFIT GARLAND Fitness is often thought of in the context of meeting weight-loss goals, being able to run a 5K, or maybe playing a sport. Society tends to view fitness from a strictly physical perspective, but for one Garland business owner, it’s a much more global concept. Robert Selders began his career in the field of engineering. He earned a Master’s degree, moved to Texas for a great job he enjoyed and started a family. This successful businessman seemingly had it all together, but after just a few years on the job, the sedentary lifestyle of working in a lab and sitting behind the computer caught up with the life-long athlete; and in his own words, he’d gotten pretty big. Keenly aware of his physique and looking to make a change, Robert made a wager with his father-in-law as to who could lose 25 pounds the fastest. Robert joined a competition in physique transformation to keep himself motivated and surged to the top of his class to become a sponsored athlete for the company hosting the competition.

Though his prior experiences with personal trainers had been less than impressive, Robert found himself inspired by the science of all he’d learned. He found that the processes of his training were repeatable and that a large majority of the population could be helped by the same sort of things he was learning to do. Robert decided to get certified as a personal trainer, eager to share his new-found knowledge and skills with others, while still working full time as an engineer. “I had my own personal fitness transformation, and I realized that it’s possible to make changes,” Robert said. “I remember feeling very confident and feeling very accomplished at having done that. I was really proud of what I was able to do. It was very meticulous, very thoughtful. It was a process.” After achieving his certification, Robert took a part-time job as a fitness manager at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano. The position allowed him the opportunity to work with youth tennis players, where he found himself


intrigued by the performance aspects of fitness. Around that time, in the early 2000s, California University of Pennsylvania, in association with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, created an Exercise Science Master’s degree program for working professionals. Robert enrolled and before long, he had become completely immersed in the world of physical fitness and sports training. While maintaining excellence at his full-time engineering job and pursuing a Master’s degree, Robert began an internship with Velocity Sports Performance in Allen, Texas. He was taking classes in performance enhancement and injury prevention, gaining hands-on experience, and applying his skills to coach young athletes in volleyball. As his passion grew, Robert knew he was ready to make a change and go all in, but working for the gym just wasn’t going to work for his family. With the support of his wife, he began a slow transition to making personal training his full-time career. “I told myself, ‘I’ll just start slow and I’ll find a little space and just start having clients, just attract a few clients here and there,’” Robert said. “I’d already started working with some of my co-workers. I would work with them and help them and I wouldn’t charge them anything. So I found a small private studio here in Garland and went in and introduced myself to the owners and basically asked them if they would mentor me in being a personal trainer.”

The Garland Guide 2016  
The Garland Guide 2016  

The Garland Guide is one of the Chamber’s most highly-requested publications. Full of feature articles highlighting local success stories an...