"I just want to feel good in my body.”

That's what one client recently told Lisa Stein, owner of Evolve Integrative Personal Training. As a lifelong athlete herself, now in her mid-40s, she understood this well.

But still, what compelled this trained psychotherapist and published Tibetan translator to create an on-site personal training business of all things?

"Kindness matters," she told me as we sat down recently to talk about the motivation behind her new business venture, which was launched three years ago and now employs six trainers in all.

"I wanted to work in some kind of healing capacity, in a relationship-based way. People are busy, life is busy. It's hard to take care of our bodies, and our minds too, in this frenetic, fast-paced world."

There are yoga studios, crossfit studios, big box gyms and small boutique gyms. But nothing that, frankly, didn't feel like more effort in an already busy world.

So she decided to create something entirely new.

"I wanted to make it as convenient as possible for someone to be fit, no matter what age, size or fitness level. If you need someone who specializes in weight training or bootcamps, we've got that. If you want a yoga teacher or a running coach, a meditation instructor or a black belt in shudokan karate, someone experienced in lymphatic drainage or physical therapy or injury recovery -- whatever a client needs, I wanted to be able to provide that."

And bring it right to your front door.

But still, there was something more. Lisa wanted to address the whole person, with trainers who can help clients not just get in shape, but also support the deeper aspects that create and sustain health.

That's where she decided to draw upon her training as a therapist and over twenty-five years as a meditation practitioner and instructor.

“Something seems to be missing as we move through life, keeping our body strong, keeping our bones strong, our muscles strong. So I just reflected for myself, 'When I feel my very best, physically, spiritually, psychologically, what are the pieces that comprise that equation? That's what I felt like I wanted to offer as a service to others."

"A really big piece of it is simply human connection," Lisa continued. “As human beings we need the experience of someone just holding space for us; being a witness to who we really are. I started wondering if there's a way to integrate this under the umbrella of personal training."

"It's the idea of meeting that person wherever they are. Maybe they need to ground and meditate. Maybe they’re having a crisis at home. Maybe they just had a breakup or extra work stress and could use a full hour on the floor stretching. Our goal is to support our clients, wherever they are, in whatever way is genuinely most helpful to them, as we help them become stronger, healthier, fitter and able to live their best lives."

"I really believe that our business is kindness. It's showing up fully, being present with our clients, and out of that space, delivering exceptional service."

"If that's happening, if we're building genuine relationship, if we’re offering meaningful support, that's a hugely gratifying piece, of not just our work, but any relationship -- being able to connect and truly be there for someone. And we have the wonderful opportunity to do that week after week."

"That's an incredible gift."

For more information, visit evolvetogetherpdx.com or call 503-498-8145.

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