Monday, November 22, 2010


So, as I told you all another blog was coming soon. Likewise, I told you that I like to wait and contemplate on a post when I first think about, because I want to deliver it in the best possible manner. Now this is a post that I've been meditating on for about a month now. This is my personal testimony of what has been going on in my life! So sit back, make some time, and I hope it blesses your soul!

As some of you know I am in the fitness industry. I have been a personal trainer for about 7 years now. Well in January of 2008, I started working at Fitness Together in Mountain Brook, AL. I loved it there, I had a great team of co-workers and wonderful clients. However, somewhere along the way I started to be unhappy with the job situation. To make a long story short, I left Fitness Together-Mountain Brook in August of 2009. I then began working at Regions as a telebanker. All of you who knows me knows that I am one of the easiest people to get along with. So throughout my training I begin to love everyone, and they started to love me as well. I even received the award for mvp or something like that of my training class. So, after training i hit the ground running. I begin to make an impression on all of the people around me. Things were going great for the first month or so. Then I begin to get a little unhappy with that job, although none of my coworkers probably knew it because that's just the type of person I am. The only thing that made me unhappy about that job was the sales aspect of the job. I am not a seller by far, but I'm a talker and I love people. So believe it or not the rude, cursing, belligerent, angry, overdrafting customers did not bother me at all. I was just stressing that maybe I made the wrong decision by leaving what I love, to do what I believed to be right at the time.

Now the whole time I was at Regions, God was watering a seed that was planted before I ever left my old job. I had tossed the idea around of being interested in possibly owning and running a fitness together. I didn't know anything would come of it though. Now just as I was really getting a little stressed with the job at Regions, I got a phone call one day from my former coworker asking me if I was still interested in what I had talked about. I was like yeah of course, Regions pays the bills, but health and fitness is my passion. Again, to make a long story short January 15, 2010 I found myself meeting with two of my former coworkers and an investor who was a former client of mines. What does that mean Mike?... Yes you guessed it, I had suddenly become a 25 year old co-owner/operator of Fitness Together-Mountain Brook! So, is that my testimony... yes, but the plot thickens du-du-duhhhhh

I've mentioned before in a blog that everytime God blesses you, the devil attacks. God's plans are for you to prosper, but the devil simply wants to see you destroyed. So January through February was all adrenaline. Truth be told, I didn't know didly-squat about being a business owner. I was just excited to have the opportunity. Towards the end of February that high and adrenaline started to die down, and I begin to think maybe I'm not ready for this. I'm not good at sales (however thank God for Regions and what I learned there). I don't even know what I should do with my time at work when I'm not training. We're not growing at the rate I thought we should be growing. We have no marketing; the list goes on and on. Now in March, one of my business partners and I went to Franchise University, Fitness Together's week long training of the business, in Denver, CO. As the week went on, the stress and anxiety begin to build up. I started to realize that this is a lot, and I don't know if I'm ready. Now Franchise University is an awesome tool for Fitness Together. The staff, from the CEO to the secretary, was awesome and very hospitable. So one would think that you would leave there on a high. However, I left in worse shape then when I got there. I can remember being on the plane ride home thinking... there is no way we can do this.

So here I am in the blog that I wrote about previously titled, "The Pit of Depression/Negativity is Endless" Yes people I was in that pit. So if any of you had any type of interaction with me since about March, you should've known that it just wasn't the same old Mike. I went from being the life of the room and making everyone happy, to barely being able to make myself smile. There were friends and family that would ask me if everything was ok, and my reply would always be... "Everything is ok, just keep praying for me things are a little tougher than I thought but I'm blessed". So even in a bad state, I was still speaking positive. None of you could feel sorry for me, because half of you never knew anything was going on with me. It's like for months I was living, but not really here. Then it got worse; I begin to have headaches that would last for days. I couldn't seem to find my happiness. Felicia started to noticed a change, and she would often ask me at first. I would just tell her I don't even know what it is. I didn't think I was stressing, but I was and it was really making become a totally different person. Some of you may have noticed that my facebook status updates of inspiration got few and far between. I took a total hiatus from twitter. I hosted an event at my church, and I can remember people telling me, "Mike you just weren't yourself". I would shrug it off and keep going. The devil really was putting a two-piece combo on my life. He was hitting me with jabs and upper cuts, and I didn't even know how to climb out of the pit of depression. However, I will tell you one thing that I did not stop doing. I did not stop praying for breakthrough and deliverance.

Now back in June, my pastor Bishop Jim Lowe instructed us to just trust God and go outside of your norm in praise, serving and giving for 3 months and breakthroughs were going to happen. So of course I obeyed, I begin to pay more in my tithes and just be more faithful in serving at church. God begin to move before the 3 months. People were getting healed. People were getting jobs and better jobs, raises and bonuses, benefits, sales and commissions, and most of all Revelations from God. The whole time I'm thinking.. Mine is coming, but the devil was saying ha you're a fool. So the end of September ended the 3 months, and I found myself still in this state of depression. It was hard for me to even be around crouds of people. Now this is a little hard for me to admit, but everyone was telling me "Mike you're loosing weight, what are you doing?" I would always simply respond with nothing special, just the same ole. So it got to the point where I was loosing weight from stress. Now, I wanted to take off a few pounds, but not that way. I lost about 5 pounds on a church fast that we had back in February, so that was my excuse. The fast kick started it, and I just keep loosing.People in total I had dropped 22 pounds before I even realized. Felicia and I were close to having to buy me a whole new wardrobe.

Well about a month ago, we had our monthly call from our area director Eric G. at work. In that call he was just assuring us of how good we had actually been doing this year. Then all of the sudden everything hit home. I came home and begin to pray, and it's like I heard a voice say "Mike you've been here all along, but it was only going to be realized when you stopped looking at what you think your problems are". So, was it the call that made me feel better. No, it was God's appointed time to bring me out of the place where I was in my life. I had to go through that season to realize how precious every opportunity is. I had to go through that season to realize that things are not always as bad as you think. I had to go through that season to help someone else who will face the same challenges. I had to go through that season to be the energetic/motivated/determined trainer that I am today. I had to go through that season to become the driven and successful owner that God has called me to be. I had to look at the devil and tell him that I was created to excel and not fail and that's my devine potential! I had to tell that devil that no weapon formed against me shall prosper and that God had already blessed me tremendously, so you can just go back to hell where you came from.

I spent almost the whole year stressing over nothing when I was the person that was always encouraging people. I spent almost the whole year on doing the exact opposite of what I was telling everyone else to do. Well, I'm here to say that I'm back and I feel better than before. There is a certain feeling that you get when you realize that what God has for you, it is for you! There is a certain feeling that you get when you realize that weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning. So, that's why you've noticed[(hopefully :-)] in the last month that I can encourage more again. I can keep my tweeples (my name for people who follow me on twitter) engaged. I can go to work everyday with a smile on my face. I can hold my head up proud and say I am a young, black, successful business owner. I can say in faith that God is getting ready to take me in places that even I don't see coming.

So, I say to you that if there is any situation you're going through. Please give it to God. Some of you are experiencing hurt, pain, loss, heartache, headache, stress, lack, loneliness and many other hardships that you just can't seem to get out of.... BUT GOD, He speacializes and He can do what no other power can do. I urge you, in fact I dare you to just try Him. As in my case, just stop and then Go. stop worrying, stop crying, stop stressing, stop fighting, stop losing and Go on with your life. Go on with your happiness. Go on and enjoy what God has already blessed you with. As I have also written previously, "Life is Like Nike, Just Do It". Don't let anyone tell you what you can't do.

I just want to send blessings to each and every one that has, is and will read this blog. This is a special one to me, because it really was a huge breakthrough for me. I pray that God will bless you spiritually, mentally, socially, physically and financially. Likewise, as always I just ask that you do the same for me. Now, if this blog/note blessed you in any way I would like you to do a few things for me:
1. Tell someone else about it or send it to someone who you think it will bless.
2. If you're on twitter, follow me
3. Find my business' page on facebook Fitness Together Mountain Brook, so you can support and mainly just pray for us.
4. Pray for or check on people who you feel are acting unusual or out of there norm, usually there is something wrong.
As always, God bless you and I love you!


  1. Mike James, this has really blessed me; this blog has reinforced a lesson that I've ben learning for some time now. Just as you stepped out on faith when you first left the fitness center, I did the same when I left Regions. I went to Opelika thinking I would find a job as soon as I got there. I didn't find a job until the end of July. I wasn't satisfied because the job payed the same to a high school graduateas it did to a college graduate. I have been applying for a job with the government since 2006. Thanks be to God, I was just blessed with the job. This goes to show how important it is to be patient and wait on the Lord. Never let the works of the devil discourage you; use it as a reason to be encouraged. ~ Artissa

  2. Thanks Mike your testimony sounds like some of my story! Believe it or not I feel like God sent you to tell me to read this tonight. I was really going through a lot and thinking about a lot of different things and you instant message me to read this blog. It really blessed me thank you.

  3. Ashley Davis (choir member at church)December 7, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Praise God!!! lol I am truly encouraged by your testimony Mike. I also have experience and still experiencing to a certain extent the same thing only I was applying to medical school while juggling being a single mother and working full time. There were so many nay sayers but I, just like you, chose to believe the report of the Lord which says that with God all things are possible, and that the Lord is able to take the foolish things of this word in order to confound the wise, and that the Soveriegn Lord is My strength for He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountain! I audibly confessed these things daily even when I did not make the score that I wanted or thought that I needed on the MCAT for medical school and thanks be to God I have an interview for Medical school!!! Like fitness is your passion well medicine is my passion and the Lord gives us the desires of our hearts as we delight ourselves in Him. He is faithful and I am just standing on his promises and declaring those things that be not as though they were by saying that I will be a member of 2011 medical school entering class in Jesus name and I will go on to become a cardiologist some day and stand on the frontlines of medicine for Christ! The Lord is truly the author and finisher of our faith so Amen and so happy for you! Keep excelling at everything you put your hands to do!