By Loretta Gillespie
The Cullman Times
What do you do in a Business Management degree in a struggling economy? Especially when you’ve just graduated and most employers require five to 10 years of experience?
You create a job for yourself, of course.
Stand-out 2003 Vinemont athlete and Wallace State graduate, Cody Pearson, did just that.
Following high school Cody signed a full baseball scholarship with Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. After playing for a year, Cody decided to come home and enroll at Wallace State Community College, where he earned his degree in business management in 2008.
Following graduation ceremonies Aug. 7, Cody married Ashlee Brown of Hartselle Aug. 9.
The newly wed began looking for a job right away, but the economy had taken a nosedive so he continued to work at Cullman Sports Fit, where he had been employed while attending WSCC.
“I sent out hundreds of resumes all over the place, but every employer in my field required at least five years of experience and some required as much as 10 years,” said Cody.
“There were just no jobs available.”
At the time Ashlee was still in school working toward her respiratory therapy degree at WSCC, so it was necessary for Cody to be the breadwinner. “Becky Pollard was the manager at Sports Fit. I had known her all my life,” said Cody. “She encouraged me to get my personal trainer’s certificate so that I could go out on my own.”
Cody continued to seek employment in his field so that he could put his degree to work but by now he was frustrated with job hunting.
“In April 2010, I started getting serious about going out on my own as a fitness expert and personal trainer,” he recalled.
“I had been searching for something,” he said. “Then one day I went online and discovered some different types of marketing techniques for personal trainers.”
He studied everything he could get his hands on that would help him to take his budding career to the next level.
In the middle of the night he came up with the idea of the ultimate fit body boot camp.
“It was a big jump going from a steady job to opening my own business,” he said. “I spent a lot of sleepless nights.”
“It was scary, intimidating and exciting at the same time,” he laughed.
Ashlee was his biggest fan, encouraging him every step of the way. His family, who had always supported him in everything he did, continued to do so.
Cody used the skills that he gained at WSCC, developing a sound business plan and a strategy for attacking it. He continued to work at Sports Fit, although he was not a full-time employee any longer.
He found a place to hold his classes next to the Boy Scout center in Vinemont, just down the road from his old high school.
“This was not to be strictly a gym,” he explained. “This is personal training in a group setting. It’s more fun, more effective, and much less intimidating than one-on-one training.”
He cranks up the music, often outside when the weather permits, and gets his classes moving. Cody is very good at what he does, so the results weren’t long in showing.
“We started out by doing a demo workout, just to get the word out about what was going on,” he said. “We had two members that first day, and now we have grown to 23 clients and several one-on-one classes.”
“We can incorporate weight-loss and toning into our workouts so that every member of the class is included, no matter their skill level,” Cody pointed out.
“From the most experienced to the beginners, each person works at their own speed,” he explained. “A lot of this is because the workouts are 30-35 minutes with timed rounds/exercises, so that a person can do what they feel comfortable with.”
Cody is always there to keep everyone motivated and to make sure that everyone is doing each technique properly and safely.
“Everybody supports each other,” he said. “We have people of all shapes, sizes and ability levels in our program — all with one main goal — to lose weight and tone."
Nutrition is a crucial aspect of Cody’s fitness training. “I give people a lifestyle plan, no crazy diets, but showing them how to make small changes that last.”
“It’s important to me that I get the message across that this is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.”
Just after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, the Ultimate Fit Body Boot Camp will begin a program called the “28-Day Fat Blast”, offering members unlimited workouts for 28 days. “We stress the regular nutrition plan and give members useful tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of holiday meals.”
"For the month of November you get an entire week of our workouts for only one dollar,” said Cody. “So you really have nothing to lose by 'test driving' our program, especially since our 30 minute workouts are designed to fit your busy schedule."
Cody Pearson has literally created his own dream job out of sheer determination and because he has always known where his real talents and abilities lay. Because he excelled in athletics, he decided to put what he knew to work for himself.
By utilizing his skills in business management, Cody has been able to do his own accounting and his background in sales insure that he stays on course and makes the best business decisions possible.
“I’d still be working at a minimum wage job if it wasn’t for the skill sets that I learned at Wallace,” he commented.
“Knowing as much as I could about sound business principals has made this a success. I would encourage anyone thinking of starting their own business to do the same in order to manage their business more effectively.”
Cody has found his niche in life, doing what he knows best, and what he loves.
“It’s an amazing feeling when I look back over the past two years,” he smiled. “This has exceeded all my expectations. I’ve never felt so good about myself.”
Cody plans to branch out after the first of the year, opening other Ultimate Fit Body Boot Camp locations in Decatur and Madison County.
For contact information, hours and location, as well as tips on fitness, nutrition, and lots more, be sure to ”like” Ultimate Fit Body Boot Camp on Facebook (256-590-1298).