Sharon Bourke, our January 2020 PFP Trainer of the Month winner, has dedicated almost 30 years to the fitness industry. A trainer who is passionate about the “power of movement,” Sharon specializes in Medical Exercise. As the owner of Life Energy Foundation in Rockville, Maryland, she designs personalized exercise and behavior modification programs to help clients avoid becoming immobilized from chronic conditions/pain. She was recently voted Medical Specialist of the Month by the Medical Fitness Network. As a veteran in the field, Sharon hopes to continue giving back by mentoring and being a resource to others.
Here is a glimpse into how Sharon is raising the bar…
— ACE - Certified Medial Exercise Specialist
— ACE - Certified Personal Trainer
— Moms on the Move Pre/Postnatal
— MS Foundation - Multiple Sclerosis Certified
— Arthritis Foundation - Certified
Studio/Business Name: Life Energy Foundation
Year started in business: 1989
List any PR/recognition/awards received:
— Medical Exercise Specialist of the Month 2019
— Rockville Maryland - Best Personal Training Studio (2015, 2016)
— Rockville Maryland - Best Personal Trainer 2019
What inspired you to start your business? My clients inspired me. People who have limitations due to their conditions have challenges that don’t register with the main population, not all of them visible (like a brace or wheelchair). When you work in the Medical Exercise arena, you find there are so many limitations in commercial gyms and studios. It is tough enough for them to get out of bed let alone go somewhere to get fit. I envisioned creating a safe experience, then a place for those who have limitations to feel totally comfortable and safe while getting healthier. Watching clients get better, what better inspiration can I have?
What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable? Knowing my limitations. I bought into the “nothing is impossible; you can have it all” philosophy. I built my business going from working for large gyms and small studios to having my own space. I was on my way to realizing my goal of creating a medically oriented gym, when the unthinkable happened, one of my associates was shot and killed. I had to regroup both from an emotional standpoint and financial one. Did I want to recommit much of my time and energy (which is limited) to covering his clients? Or let go of this dream? I decided to go with the latter. One of the most difficult decisions of my life. I needed to be more realistic about my limitations (as I live with a chronic condition) and reprioritized my life. The result, I formed The Life Energy Foundation where now I have a much greater impact helping people.
If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other places/gyms/trainers, what would they likely say? They trust I won’t make them feel worse than they already do. I give them hope that they can get better, experience more things in their life they enjoy doing and bring happiness. Though setbacks happen, we face them together to work out the best course of action to get back on track. I don’t take this trust lightly, I am grateful and honored my clients entrust their wellbeing to me.
Name one or two ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry? Leading by example, making myself the best I can be. Striving for excellence, not perfection, in my chosen area of Medical Exercise. If the other businesses see my success at supporting others and making a difference in people’s lives, they will want to follow suit. Together, we can create the change we all so desperately want in the health of this nation/world. By giving back and mentoring. I have been around a long time in this industry and seen so many changes happen. I am always happy to help in whatever capacity I can, whether by answering questions, providing great quality resources or sometimes just listening and validating a person’s journey in the industry.