Q&A with Complete Athlete Fitness Center owner JaMeel Releford
Posted on May 15, 2017
“I encourage everyone to be better each day, focus on positivity and know that we are made of energy and you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
Name: JaMeel Releford
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
Current home: Midland, Washington
Business: Complete Athlete Fitness Center
Favorite food: Rice
PSP: Are you a vegan?
Releford: Yes, I’ve been vegan for little over a month now. Breakfast I’ll usually have a smoothie then a snack like an apple. Lunch is more solid, like beans/rice and salad. Then it’s another snack like fruit and dinner is around 6 so I’ll have rice or potatoes, asparagus and salad. It puts me in a good mood, I have more energy and I stay focused.
PSP: Why did you decided to open Complete Athlete Fitness Center?
Releford: I’ve been training for 11 years. I was training kids in the neighborhood before I knew It was my passion. In early 2000’s I worked at Bally Total Fitness. Every Friday I would meet with a group of small business owners at a restaurant across the street from the gym to network and bring referrals back to Bally’s. Long story short, management thought I was training under the table, they wrote me up, so I quite. I left with no job, a child on the way in a month and rent was due. I prayed and asked God to guide me, and tell me what to do. That’s when I started “Your Neighborhood Trainer”. That following Friday I met with the regular group of small business owners and told them what I was doing. After the meeting one of them came to me and said, “JaMeel, I want to train with you and have a couple of other people who want to train, we’ll be your first clients,” She gave me $500. With that money I bought more equipment and from there I would just grind. At the time I had a Ford Taurus 96 and would drive from Grahm to Eatonville to Lakewood training people at their house, in my living room, parks- anywhere I could train. I was investing in people, I would spend all my energy in people. There were hardships, at Christmas I had to buy my kids dollar store toys. As a man that was really hard for me to do. It seemed like every time I would take a step forward, I would take 2 steps back. I hurt my knee and I had to go to peoples houses on crutches. Or I had clients then I would lose them. It was always something, but I always provided. So to answer your question on how I got this facility- through love and giving. The majority of the things you see in here are donated. I remember looking through the windows of of this place and saying, “I want this spot.” Didn’t know how I was going to pay for it or get it, but it’s here and it all started with my faith.
PSP: You’re a family man too. How do you balance entrepreneurship and home life?
Releford: I’m married with 4 beautiful children. Balance is a challenge. I take it one day at a time and try to do better than yesterday. My weekends are time with family. I barely see my kids during the week so the weekend is very precious for me to spend time with family. When I’m at work I’m grinding, when I go home I try my best to keep work there. It’s a continued battle but through time I do everything out of love. I truly believe nothing happens by accident. All the things that happened to me in the past made me into the person I am today. No one taught me how to run a gym, I’m still learning. It was a lot of faith, grinding and overall love.
PSP: What life lessons do you want to teach your kids?
Releford: That with faith they can do anything they want to do even if people say you can’t. There were many times people told me I should be a physical therapist because it was better money, more stable and that there was no money in training. Just do it and work on your inner self. Your inner self is a reflection to others and when you work on that it’s easier for your light to shine.
PSP: Your gym has a challenge coming up. Tell us about it.
Releford: It’s a 30-day fitness challenge Beginning May 22 until June 22. $40 Entry Fee includes 8 FREE workout sessions (2 workouts per week) on Monday and Friday. We’ll have weigh-ins and flexible workout times that work around everyone’s schedules. The winner will receive a gift basket that includes: Dinner, a movie, Mani/Pedi & a gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
It’s to get people more aware of what they’re eating and how they’re treating their body. A lot of us are givers and forget to work on ourselves. So this class will teach you how to take care of yourself, because when you take care of yourself your light shines brighter and you can help others.
PSP: Any advice for people wanting to start their own business?
Releford: Don’t take no for an answer. If it’s a part of you just do it. You may not see the end results but have faith that you’ll get there and do it. Whatever you do make sure it’s your world and don’t be around anyone that wants to take away from your world. I encourage everyone to be better each day, focus on positivity and know that we are made of energy and you can do anything if you put your mind to it.