Today we’d like to introduce you to Vernell Hill.
Vernell, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up against many odds. In my earliest memories, I remember being left at home alone at the age of four years old to watch my little sister who was a year younger than me. My mother worked two jobs full time to make ends meet, and my father wasn’t there to take care of us. He’d leave us at home so he could run the streets, get high, and sell drugs.
I remember being intelligent at a very young age, intelligent enough to know that I needed to protect my little sister to the best of my abilities and make food for her while we were home alone. I remember my dad would pretend and swear to my mom that he would take care of us while she was at work and then he would feel accomplished because he taught me how to make some simple food to eat and how to feed my little sister so he would say to make myself some food, and gave me the responsibility of feeding my little sis. Only God knows how we made it out of that time period.
I have two older sisters, but they have a different dad, and they were with him during this time. A few occasions, I recall the police and fire department coming to our house while we were home alone. On one occasion I remember putting an entire jar of blue magic grease on my head, and they assisted the best that they could with taking it out, and on another occasion, I remember the fire department giving me a HUGE teddy bear that I cherished. It was one of the first gifts I remember receiving at that time. We lived in poverty. My biological dad disappeared by the time I turned five years old, and I didn’t officially meet him again until I was 24.
I grew up in a very violent atmosphere as I got older and was able to go outside and play I remember neighbors parents being murdered and the next thing I knew murder would try to knock on the doorstep of my house. At the age of six or seven playing video games in the living room with my siblings, we heard a knock at the door. I stood there with my stepfather behind the door when he asked “who is it?” and the voice said “Pizza man” and he and my mother said “we didn’t order any pizza” he began to open the door and as soon as he did he saw a man lift up a shotgun from under his trench coat and try to force his way in. He slammed the door shut and yelled to my mom to call the police while yelling to us to run to the room. We heard a shot. Thank God we survived that night.
At the age of nine, my step-dad pulls my little sis and I out of class in the first week of 4th grade to give us some grim news as we walked across the crosswalk on the way to the car expressing with tears that my mother was shot and was in the hospital. I’ll never forget the look on the crossing guard’s face as she heard the news with us while she walked us across. This is just a snippet to an extremely deep story and the journey that I’ve endured and had to overcome. For the sake of time, I’ll skip through to the end of high school. As you can tell, I have the kind of past experiences that most people just don’t make it out of. It was deep and difficult.
I grew up extremely athletic and in sports, but due to my environment being such a heavy influence my parents suggested that I join the Army. I didn’t know anyone in the Army and the benefits seemed to outweigh the risk. I’d been continuously fighting for my life from a young age and overcame grim odds anyways, so I wasn’t very concerned about that. I wanted the ability to get outside of my environment and fight for something bigger than me. At 17 years old, I joined the Army and quickly excelled with my physical prowess. I signed a six-year contract and stayed on deployments for more than five of the six years that I served.
I’ve been to 14 different countries and got to develop in an entirely different way than the environment I grew up in developed me. I had the privilege of serving in a Special Operations LRSD unit while I was in the Army and I deployed with them to Iraq. During that time I was designated as the units Master Trainer, and trained guys to be battle fit, have a greater physical advantage, and pass the fitness test. I was really good at performing. What the Army refers to as high speed. There were so many testimonies… almost what even seemed to be miracles that guys experienced when I trained them when they got results. I realized at that time that I genuinely have something special.
I was sitting in a cubicle as a Corporate Compliance Consultant with maybe like 5-6 pictures of myself on the walls of the company for various company awards. I was the highest performer… but I was unhappy. I began to feel sick. I was making more than enough money at a six-figure income with more than enough recognition and was miserable. I knew that I was missing something, and I felt the deep longing for what I did in the Army, and that was changing lives through health and fitness. I started to notice the unhealthy cycles everyone was stuck in around me. In Corporate America, and in my community. Every time I saw someone make a post on their social media of a new health and fitness journey, they were excited to start only to fail time and time again and I felt compassion for them. My passion stirred up and I felt God pushing me to make a move because I had the answer. I transitioned into managing a 24-Hour Fitness and was able to utilize some of my business acumen with the fitness industry, but it wasn’t enough.
We’d love to hear more about your business. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I launched my company Llex Fitness in 2015 out of that passion. Aside from my master training experience in the Army Special Operations unit, I went to school for a fitness specialist credential, but it was just a formality. I am continually invested in education to remain on the cutting edge of science, technology, and what our clients need. I realized that I had the business acumen and the training expertise to successfully run my own company to make a great impact. My life has never been more fulfilled. Our mission at Llex Fitness is to inspire and empower leaders in the world to do more and be more through health and fitness. Our philosophy is that everyone is a leader, whether you have eighty thousand employees or you’re the leader of your household. Great leadership starts with us! What we do impacts our own lives without a doubt, but we often forget that everyone around us is also impacted. It’s bigger than us. That’s the definition of leadership and legacy. We are proud to be partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America, Michelle Obama’s company. We specialize in corporate wellness programs. We focus on the 3 main pillars; Training, Mental Health, and Nutrition. We provide personal training, boot camps, and customized virtual training with our mobile app, available in the App Store and on Google Play under the name ‘Llex Fitness’ for individuals seeking a healthier life. Sign up on our website. We can help you no matter where you are or what your lifestyle is.
I don’t have the kind of life or upbringing that reflects someone who followed the narrow path to success. I didn’t follow the yellow brick road of success that was laid out in front of me or a cookie cutter approach. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that being your story. But it’s not my story. I didn’t get straight A’s in high school. I didn’t go to an Ivy League college. Even though professionally I’ve performed like I did. I want to inspire the millions of people that are like me and have faced overwhelming odds. People that have even made bad decisions early on in life as a young person. Or maybe they’re an adult and have recently made some bad decisions. I want to give everyone hope. Redemption is real and so is transformation.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think the biggest challenge facing entrepreneurs today is being completely committed and consistent. It’s easy to give up! But in doing so, you also give up your ability to move forward. Even if you’re like me someone who came from nothing, if you don’t give up something BIG will happen for you. Have faith, be committed to excellence & development, and keep going.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your work?
Check out my website and sign up to be a member of Llex Fitness! We have put together very comprehensive resources so that no matter what your lifestyle is or where you are we can help you. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a business traveler away from home, or a doctor who works overnight.
Sign up on our website to get started and to gain access to our app and download our app in the App Store(iPhone) and Google Play(Android). Our App is called Llex Fitness in both places. You can also follow us on social media for inspiration content — Llex Fitness on Instagram and Facebook.
- Website: www.llexcon.com
- Phone: 2132554833
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @llexfitness
- Facebook: Llex Fitness