THE PAULA HENRY FITNESS STORY
When Paula was about 27 years old she discovered that she was too young to be so old when her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter was running across the parking lot and couldn't catch up. That’s when she knew that something had to change. That incident started her journey to fitness and being healthy. She changed her diet and did everything. She starved herself skinny. It wasn't really that hard to lose weight because when you're not eating, your body will shed whatever it needs to shed. But what Paula discovered after she had lost a significant amount of weight is that she was still in an unhealthy place because she wasn’t strong enough to move around.
When Paula realized that she starved herself so skinny and had no muscle strength she knew that she needed to figure out how to go to a gym. At that time, Paula had never been to a gym, she was not a runner nor athletic. But she went to the gym and started jogging and lifting. It took her two years to get it right and feel comfortable and not awkward in front of people.
When she started to outgrow the classes and started going to the women's side of the gym that's when she really started to notice the difference in her body and was really starting to put some muscle development on.
Paula Henry was also a very fast study and would always pick the trainer's brains. When she was listening to one of the trainers explain something to one of her friends from class, and she asked the same question again a week later, Paula answered it. It just so happened that the trainer was standing behind her. He turned to her and said, “You know, Paula, you'd make a really good trainer.” That was really the first seed that was planted and how she got to be where she is right now.
In 2004, when Paula studied and thought she did a good job and went and took her test, she completely failed and was totally derailed. She thought “It’s definitely not for me. This is much harder than I thought. I'm never going to be able to get this right. I don't have the education.” So she kind of just gave up on it.
In 2016, she found another test, which was through ISSA. She studied for about six months and when she went and took the test, her whole life changed that weekend. And the defining moment when she was taking her certification test for ISSA was with Dr. Jack Barnathan. And one of the first things out of his mouth was “You! You want to be a personal trainer because you love to work out. You think that you're going to have clients like yourself. No, you're not. You're going to have people like my mom, 65 years old, sitting on a couch for the last 10 years. They go to the doctor to have a physical and the doctor says, you know, you know, cholesterol is up. You have your blood pressure up, you have some things coming up. You should really just go to a gym, hire a trainer and work through some of these issues. And then, she's going to meet you and you're going to have her, what? Do push-ups? Squat? No, you are not going to train people like yourself. You're going to train 65-year-old individuals who have never worked out a day in their life. Those are your clients.” Paula sat there utterly stunned and freaking out because he was right. She will hurt somebody because she remembers what it was like for her on day one. And it defined her entire career. She decided that she was going to be a safety first trainer.
When Paula moved to Ipswich, her landlord thought it was great that a personal trainer was living in her house and she became one of her clients that was the first of Paula Henry actually worked for herself. Paula was also a traveling trainer. She had clients in another community and would drive there to train them. She had one-on-one clients where she would travel to her client’s houses because she didn’t have a gym to go to.
And when Paula was in massage therapy school, she would take her knowledge from school and she would bring it back to the studio and would start doing body work on her clients and training them at the same time. That is where the blend of Paula Henry's fitness that the bodywork comes from.