Muscle Is Knowing Your Worth

Andie in the City Challenge Obstacle Race

“It took time, but I had the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and become my own person. That is when I began to realize my worth.”

Andrea Houck

Activities: Weightlifting, Fitness challenges

Social media: @yourtrainerandie

Career: Trainer, Certified Strength Coach, Certified Nutrition Coach, Psychology Grad student

Song:

Fitness is a small, big industry, I truly believe there are less than six degrees of separation between everyone who works in fitness, in the NYC tri-state area. I met Andie, through her boyfriend Kalil Sherrod. I had known Kalil for several years, an easy going, never took himself too seriously, kind of guy, except for when it came to strength and conditioning knowledge, basketball, and training.

Although I haven’t had many opportunities to talk with Andie, the few that I have, left a strong impression. I believe her to be a woman of character, who knows who she is. She may waver with uncertainty from time to time, but we all do, it’s part of the human condition. It’s not the wavering that’s problematic, it’s the shape shifting to accommodate the moment, that is. Knowing who you are, and staying as true to that as possible, no matter which way the wind blows, is imperative. It establishes your belief of self worth, which is the fuel to one’s level of self esteem.

Thank you Andie for agreeing to interview with MCBMI. Here’s hoping it reaches many, providing a better understanding of self worth.

Q:  Where are you from?

I was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in Chicago, IL. 

Q:  Was activity and playing sports encouraged from your parents growing up? If so, what sports did you play?

My parents always encouraged us to be outside and involved in activities. My mother had me taking swim lessons at a very young age. I was also a figure skater for ten years.

Q:  What led you to becoming a coach and trainer?

I had an amazing personal trainer, Terry Carr Gorminak, during my undergraduate studies in Buffalo, NY. She was and still is the most selfless person I have ever met. She pushed me both in the gym and out of the gym and showed me I was so much stronger than I thought both physically and mentally. Her commitment and passion to both fitness, and her clients was contagious. I knew I wanted to touch people’s lives in the same way. Having  worked as a medical assistant in primary care, I saw a need for preventative care, focusing on physical activity and nutrition in the unit. 

Q: Do you believe it’s important for women to be active? If yes, why?

I do believe it’s important for women to be active. I consider it, for many reasons, to be a very beneficial form of self-care. Weight training, for example, can lead to an increase in both lean muscle mass and metabolism. Feeling good in your skin is important, so is being healthy, both can be accomplished through regular physical activity. 

Andie Working out

Q:  What is one of the most valuable lessons being active and playing sports taught you growing up?

Being active gave me a sense of belonging and being part of a community. I began to learn about the mind-body connection and respecting them both for their capabilities. 

Q:  You seem to be someone who walks through life with confidence, you know who you are. Do you agree with that observation and if so, what do you contribute it to?

Well, thank you! That is a huge compliment; however, self-confidence is something I had to build, and I work on everyday. For me there are fleeting moments where it wavers, despite the fact that I know for sure, my purpose lies in helping people, through my work as a coach.

Q:  Self value and knowing your worth, tell me what those concepts or ideas mean to you?

To me, they mean loving yourself, not in an arrogant way, but truly loving and accepting who you are. Knowing, without doubt, you have a reason to be here, respecting that reason and yourself. I think it is important to learn to do this before you expect others to respect you. 

Q:  Was there ever a time when you didn’t know your worth? If so, please talk about it? How did you eventually come to find it?

Yes, in my twenties, I felt pretty unsure of myself. I think it had to do with growing up in a less than ideal family situation, due to a lack of strong parental role models. I found it after leaving home and living on my own. It took time, but I had the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and become my own person. That is when I began to realize my worth.

Q:  Has the concept of self value and worth been lost among women and men of today? If so, why do you think it has happened? What is the remedy?

I don’t think it’s completely lost, but sometimes it feels misplaced. We put a lot of time and effort into social media, which sometimes seems to emphasize materialism and unrealistic portraits of people’s lives. It is easy to get immersed in a false reality and forget what is really important. A remedy is to hold yourself accountable and not get lost in other’s expectations.

Q:  Every woman has been sexually harassed. Do you believe there is any way to prevent it from occurring? 

A way to prevent it would be to ensure that respect is taught primarily in the home, as well as, in school, to both boys and girls. It is important to respect others, act respectable, and be respected. We, as adults, also need to be aware of our own behavior and hold ourselves accountable as to what we present.  

Q:  Why do you believe harassment occurs?

I think it can occur for a multitude of reasons. A couple of reasons would be: a complete lack of respect for another person, or learned behaviors through intergenerational trauma.

Heading to company holiday party

Q:  What legacy are today’s women, leaving the generations following them? What is it teaching them about self value and worth? Is there anything you would like to change about that?

I think many women today are opening new doors for future generations by making their voices heard. There is still work to do but I think younger women are inspired and motivated to continue to fight to be heard and make changes towards equality and respect.

Q:  I personally believe playing sports gives kids confidence, and value, but it can be a two edged sword if they believe all that they have to offer, revolves around the sport they play. How do you think that can be prevented?

I think it can be prevented by having strong positive role models that can help children learn to love the sport while maintaining their sense of self. I think children need a lot of positive guidance and support.

Trainers and friends: Andie and Eddie Wunderlich

Q:  Have you seen a person’s value in self change as a result of working out with you? If yes, in what way, and do you think the client realized it?

Most definitely. I’ve seen clients lose weight and achieve their physical goals, but the best part is when they gain a newfound respect for what they are capable of. It is so rewarding to see a client realize their potential and be proud of what they accomplished through hard work and dedication. 

Q:  What are your long term goals?

My long term goals are, to complete my Masters degree in Psychology, continue my education in nutrition and expand my knowledge on strength training. I hope to continue growing and learning from people that I admire and respect in this field and become the best coach I can be. 

Q:  Why did you agree to be a part of MCBMI?

I am happy to share my insights and experiences with a community of women that are focused on supporting one another. I am very passionate about fitness and healthy living and hope to connect and inspire people to make positive life changes. Women are very strong and we are always better together.