Welcome to another exciting and electrifying moment with yours truly.
Today, I’m bringing you an interview of epic proportions. Many moons ago, I told you not only would I do my best to give you life changing sage fitness wisdom from on high, but I would introduce to amazing people and things in the fitness world. My quest has brought me many amazing experiences and led to meet many great warriors and heroes from across the globe. I want to introduce you to another amazing warrior woman, Damia Jackson!
I met Damia last year in Black Girls Lift ( ave you been to an event or told a friend about Black Girls Lift yet? I hope you have). Recently, Damia took the mighty leap and has recently donned the mighty mega mantle of Certified Personal Trainer. I’m thrilled at the many adventures and heroic epics that will be written in her name. I wanted her to tell you about her journey, her goals, and fitness philosophy. So with that being said, let’s get to this insightful interview.
Before you become famous, let’s make sure they get your name right….
Ha!!!!! My name is Damia (sounds like day-me-uh) Jackson. Thanks for addressing this out the
gate because people tend to pronounce my name ‘duh-me-uh’ and I always have to correct them.
It took me a long time to appreciate having a name that wasn’t easily pronounced so I need
people to get it right! Lol.
Were you always athletic and fitness oriented? If not, what prompted you to become a warrior?
Absolutely not! Lol. I did do ballet/tap and gymnastics when I was much, much younger and
played tennis; however, I wasn’t involved in any fitness related activities when I matriculated
from junior high to high school. My interest/slight obsession with physical fitness didn’t start in
earnest until I was 21 and my dad told me I needed to lose weight. Oh the horror of it all! Lol. I
was stunned by what he said. Well stunned and hurt. Don’t get me wrong, my dad is the best dad
in the world and he said this to me out of love and concern for my well-being but it STUNG, big
time! Thus, began my journey of weight loss, weight gain, weight loss, weight gain, etc. It was a
long roller coaster ride filled with fad diets, hypnosis, diet pills, plastic sweat suits (remember
those?) and the like before I finally began to figure out the mind-body connection and move
away from being defined by the numbers on the scale.
What made you take the leap towards becoming a Personal Trainer? How was the test?
Great question. I didn’t entertain the notion of becoming a trainer until a few years ago. I was
working with a trainer at the time who saw my physical potential in a way that I’d never
envisioned it and I think that lit the flame. I began to understand and appreciate how empowering
it is to redefine, or refine, yourself and the challenges you navigate along the way. This has been,
and still is, a journey towards being not just physically fit but mentally, emotionally, and
spiritually balanced. It wasn’t until last year I decided to commit to taking the exam to get
certified and let me tell you, it was no easy feat. Smh. I took an exam prep course at the local
college and still didn’t feel prepared to sit for the exam so I studied for an additional 6 months
and finally (FINALLY) took it on June 8th . Let me tell you…the exam was h-a-r-d!!!!! I took (and
passed) all the sample exams I could take and still felt stumped with some of the questions posed
but I was able to apply the principles and theories ACE is based on and received a passing score.
Do you have a favorite lift or exercise? Why?
Hmmmm…define favorite for me? Lol. I’d say there are two exercises that I refuse to let best
me. The first are burpees which I started out hating and thought they were pure evil. After all,
what sane person could envision such a heart stopping move, right? Right? Sigh. While I
wouldn’t say that I’ve conquered burpees at this point, I have managed to find my grove with
them and try to do them as a warm up before my workouts. My other “favorite” exercise are
pull-ups. I inwardly (okay maybe outwardly) groan when I have to do these because I haven’t
mastered doing them without using the band for assistance. So to sum up…burpees: I don’t hate
them, but I don’t love them—pull ups: I. Hate. Them.
Can you explain your training philosophy? What is your objective for yourself whenever you
work out? Do they vary season to season?
I’m not sure this is a philosophy but I strongly believe total wellness is achieved when you are
spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically balanced. I try to meditate and journal in
addition to working out to maintain this balance. I also try to focus on being fully present with
each workout, whether I’m out for a jog, or pushing and pulling weights around. My objective
with my workouts is to become stronger and leaner and enjoy the process along the way. I’m
always excited to see what I can do each time I step into the gym because I don’t always feel
energetic or excited so it’s a real testament to the saying “our bodies are capable of anything, it’s
our minds we have to convince”. Honestly, I can be exhausted and have the BEST workout and
other times have all the energy in the world and can barely get through my workout. I try to
focus on one specific challenge every 30 days. For example, I did a 30-day jump rope challenge,
then a 30-day jump rope and kettlebell challenge, and a 30-day burpee challenge, etc. I find that I
get bored easily which, in the past, has led to inconsistent effort in my workouts.
As of now, what do your workouts consist of?
Right now, I attend boot camp sessions 5 days a week and I just signed up for the Army 10-Miler
in October so I’m going to start jogging in preparation for it. My goal is to design my own
workouts and move away from the boot camp classes sometime in the fall.
What does fitness mean to you? Do you have any personal fitness goals for yourself? PR’s (Personal Records or Personal Best for the uninitiated) for
any lifts? Movement mastery of any kind?
Fitness to me is about transformation. It’s about willing what you want which requires tenacity,
consistency, focus, and grit. But don’t most things in life require those things? I don’t have any
specific fitness goals for myself other than to become the healthiest and leanest version of myself
Do you have a favorite accomplishment you’d like to mention? What was one of the most
challenging things in fitness for you so far?
A lot of people don’t know this but I completed a half-marathon a few years ago. It was
definitely one of the more challenging goals I set for myself but I felt a huge sense of
accomplishment when I crossed the finish line. I may even have a few more half-marathons left
in me. Stay tuned…
Are you a strict dieter? Do you have a specific diet you go by? How often do you indulge if at
I try to eat healthy 5 days out of the week. I don’t follow a specific diet but I don’t eat dairy and I
eat very little meat and on occasion I’ll have seafood. I indulge on the weekends which provides
a nice balance.
Anything you do in particular to motivate yourself. Special rituals? Are you a reader of great
lore and tomes?
Yet another great question…I have a picture in my mind of what I want my body to look like and
I use that image to motivate myself; however, I don’t have any particular rituals that I employ
before working out. Lol at the third question. Does the ACE Personal Trainer Manual, Study
Companion, and Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals count as a great lore?
Yes? No? Maybe? Those are the three books I read while I was preparing for the certification
exam. I’ve since moved onto Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the
Ultimate Female Body by Michael Matthews.
As you plant your flag across the world, what would you like to accomplish for yourself as a
I want to create a fitness program that helps people transform their lives while also building a
community where we support, encourage, and educate one another along this journey. As I
mentioned above, fitness isn’t solely about physicality. It’s about spiritual, mental, emotional,
and physical balance. It’s been my experience that if you have an imbalance in one area than
you’re likely imbalanced in others as well. As an example, I’m an emotional eater so most of my
trials and tribulations with weight gain have been because I was eating rather than addressing
certain things in my life head on and food became my escape. I think we develop these types
habits to cope with things that make us uncomfortable. I want to help people find healthier
means of dealing with challenges.
As we come to a close, are there any quotes you live by? Anything you’d like to leave the people
I have these three quotes written on my bathroom mirror-
I will what I want (meaning I’m in control of my life, I am not a victim of it)
Life and death are in the tongue (meaning not only should you mind what you say to others, but
also what you say, and believe, about yourself)
Faith and fear cannot coexist (meaning don’t let fear keep you from achieving your dreams)
I wrote a long post on Instagram about my journey to getting certified. One of the things that I
struggled with was feeling inadequate which was a limiting belief that’s held me back from
pursuing different goals at various times in my life. At some point, I realized I was standing in
my own way and that I had to stop this line of thinking because it didn’t serve me. So for those
of you have a dream, go for it, keep your head down, shut out the noise (even if it’s coming from
your own head), and stay focused…you’ll get there. Will what you want.
You can reach Damia Jackson via the following:
Email: [email protected]