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Meet Damien A. Joyner of Incremental Fitness in Linda Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Damien A. Joyner.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Damien. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My road to where I am today began with moving from Chicago to San Diego for law school in 2007. After school, I decided to change my career and reinvent myself. During that time, I did various jobs and used training for competitive races and endurance events to add some fuel to my fire. The process of preparing my mind and body for these events gave me a chance to see how my hard work paid off. Between my own thoughts and others comments, a career in the fitness industry was a seed planted in my head.

The turning point to make the move to helping people improve their lives through fitness was when my time at a job was coming to a close. All signs were pointing me in this direction so I finally followed them. I believed that I had the empathy and understanding from my personal and professional experiences. A genuine enthusiasm to help people came from my parents. I caught a huge break working at a neighborhood studio and also with a company that provides group classes for corporate clients. These opportunities allowed me to try out new things and learn from those that were very successful at what they did.

Working with an amazing 83-year-old woman and seeing her determination pay off from her sessions with me was my “aha” moment. Anne understood that she needed to continue to put the work in to maintain her quality of life. She didn’t want to be treated as fragile or without any potential. She wanted to live her life to the fullest and deserved the respect to be challenged so she could truly improve the way she moved. I was so inspired by Anne’s effort and sense of purpose that I decided to help other clients like her. Ultimately, I decided to focus on clients near their 50s and up because helping seed healthy habits earlier in life can pay big dividends when people reach the 70s and 80s.

If you told me in 2007 that I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed it. At this point in my life, I am building something that I believe in. I got to where I am today only because of many generous people took me under their wing and shared their time and knowledge. My clients and mentors constantly contribute to my excitement and passion for self-improvement so that I can help those 50 and up do what they want to do when they want to do it.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been potholes, sections of the road under construction and detours. Starting out one thing to get used to was just putting myself out there. I deleted my Facebook account years before and was not on any social media. I doubt if I would be on social media today if not for my business. A good friend of mine is an accomplished web designer and marketing guru that gave me tips on how to put my website together and who encouraged me to get comfortable doing videos. It has helped to also have a mentor that can give me some advice and help me brainstorm about how to reach the 50 and up a crowd.

There are also the struggles that include figuring out rates that reflect the value that I bring, figuring out how to do taxes and spending too much time working on my website when there are more important things to do. Luckily, I have some good people in my corner, cheering from the sidelines, sharing their experience and running alongside me when I need it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
First, I would like to explain the meaning behind the name Incremental Fitness. It is about recognizing that our progress through fitness only happens in steps. Only through consistency and work can we improve the way we move. It does not happen in 30 days or some prescribed time. We are individuals and bring our history and lives to the table thus are experiences and goals are specific to us. The name is also a play on words. There is a mental benefit from exercise as well as the mental fortitude to stick to whatever exercise you choose to do.

I am a Functional Aging Specialist that helps individuals 50 years and up do what they like to do and want to do, easier and with less discomfort. In short, I specialize in helping this diverse demographic strengthen their foundation of independence. One person’s level of independence may be higher than someone else’s depending on things like activity level or interests. Especially as we get older the importance of doing what you want to do, when you want to do it resonates with any person in or around my target demographic.

I am most proud of my clients. Their struggles and successes are what is important. I am especially proud of clients that understand that working with me is only one important piece of the fitness puzzle. There are many other hours of the day, I don’t see them when they can make other decisions that benefit their well-being. Sharing those stories with other clients keeps that good energy and motivation flowing!

One thing that sets me apart from others is that I specifically work with individuals 50 and up. Thus, my clients know that I am focused on their needs and wants as a mature adult.

Second, there is more to me than working with my clients. I enjoy sharing tips and client stories through blog posts, videos or speaking with groups. I am also an active member of San Diego’s Fall Prevention Task Force Speakers Bureau. In that capacity, I enjoy representing the task force at gyms, apartment complexes and wherever else the requests come from. It is important to educate and empower our loved ones that fall are not a part of aging – through proper exercise, falls can be avoided. I believe that my own education about things like fall prevention, arthritis and effective ways to increase flexibility and mobility are my duty. In addition, as a Fitness Specialist at Golden Door Wellness Resort, I am growing professionally from working with people of various fitness levels and goals. This is a special place that I am very grateful to be a part of. Being part of the guests’ fitness and spiritual experiences is very powerful.

Third, I like to have fun during my sessions with my clients. I deliver some effective ways of moving that translate into everyday life and I enjoy making them think as that is also important. Even when having fun, I take my role seriously because if they were my parents or family members I would want them to enjoy a quality of life that they deserve. In addition, I greatly value the knowledge about life and advice that my clients share with me.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, San Diego is a great place for businesses like mine that work with and advocate for our increasing older population! It is very helpful when a city uses its resources to benefit the health and well-being of this growing group. It is great that the County of San Diego reaches out to our older population via the task force and brings many advocates to the table to collaborate. In addition, through The Feeling Fit Club the county offers free comprehensive exercise classes available online and at numerous sites led by experienced coaches. I saw the dedication of the attendees first hand, when I had the pleasure of leading a class for a short amount of time in Clairemont. It is important that there is continued support of those programs and the people that do such good work that helps to reach individuals that I and other fitness professionals may not.

I look forward to continuing to build my business in San Diego. Our city is a great place for residents of all ages to lead happy, healthy lives. Many (if not all) valuable moments in our life can only happen by the ability to move!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Erin Thompson

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