Endurance relates to the measure of a person’s mental, physical or emotional capacity. However, having the strength to overcome the obstacles is a whole different story. For Jyllian Stephenson, she is not only strong and enduring, but also “…brings out the power that people already have.
Ever since she was a child, Jyllian enjoyed the outdoors and physical activity. But at the age of 6, Jyllian’s test of endurance began a little too soon. She developed Optic Neuritis and became medically blind for an entire year. Blind to the point, where the only sense she would get from a flashlight pointed to her eye, was the heat coming from the light itself.Jyllian was under close parental supervision and medical care until she got her sight back. Soon after, she was outside again doing handsprings and handstands on the grass, prompting her mother to place Jyllian in gymnastics. For the next 10 years, she devoted her life to the sport; training five days a week, joining the United States Gymnastics Federation and eventually becoming an avid coach at the age of 16.
Jyllian was becoming an independent woman, moved out and started a life of her own. After relocating to Santa Barbara, California, Jyllian became a café barista by day and gymnast by night. In the back of her mind, she always knew that she wanted to become a personal trainer and start a family. By the age of 23, that is exactly what she did.
A few years after getting married and certified as a personal trainer, Jyllian’s endurance was tested once more. She was diagnosed with Lupus, halting her career and personal life for three agonizing years. Antibiotics, medication and weight gain were just one of a few things Jyllian had to overcome. The doctors suggested oral chemotherapy, but that was not an option for her. After rejecting chemo, Jyllian chose to completely revamp her diet. Even though she was in already in great shape and no diet or food seemed to faze her, it was not enough.
A new life was required for Jyllian so she completely dropped all traces of junk and processed foods from her diet, and focused on lean whole foods. As time went by, her quality of life only got better. Jyllian was back on track with her clientele. Business soared and family responsibilities grew, which prompted her to build a gym in her own home. Having her own gym allowed her to focus on one-on-one training, for men and women of all ages. Whether for her clients or herself, Jyllian enjoys weight training, plyometrics, circuit training and running with her clients to stay in shape.
In 2012, Jyllian took fitness to a whole new level by submitting herself to compete in The NPC Titans Grand Prix Body Building Contest. By that time, she was also planning to renew her personal training certification with a different company to be in “extra-shape” for the competition. Jyllian began to sift through fitness flyers that were over a decade old, and one of them was from NCCPT. With the help of a friend, Jyllian was convinced that NCCPT would be her choice of certification. A few months after she was certified and still in the NPC competition, Jyllian took home 2nd place in the Bikini Division.
When it comes to fitness and especially physical appearance, Jyllian believes that there is no such thing as perfection: “Being the best that you can be.” She says that no two bodies are ever the same, which is why focusing only on you and competing with yourself is the only way towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. And those words of wisdom alone are enough to name Jyllian Stephenson, NCCPT’s Featured Personal Trainer.
For more information or to connect with Jyllian personally, visit www.idealbodies.co.