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I’ve been in the coaching profession for over 10 years.  We just celebrated our 8th year anniversary at MSP Fitness…which is awesome and amazing. I look back over the years and my personal and professional growth has been immense. With that, I acknowledge that this evolution is in part due to a handful of amazing and brilliant people who I’ve surrounded myself with.  The phrase “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” is apropos.  I didn’t do this alone, and I am here to take a moment to thank one person in particular.

Beyond my wife Van, who tops this list without question, there is one person who’s impacted me the most in my journey as a professional coach. A great friend and brilliant mentor: James ‘OPT’ FitzGerald.  I’ve known James for 7+ years now, initially pursuing him all the way into the true “Great White North” of Calgary, Canada back in 2010 as part of a first group of coaches taking part in his CCP (Coaching Certification Program).

I’m one of a small handful of coaches that have completed all of his Level 1 and Level 2 course work.  A number of years ago James relocated his business, OPEX Fitness, from the frozen tundra to Scottsdale, Arizona and I’m here to say that he chose wisely.

If there is a sentence that epitomizes James, it’s that he’s a teacher not a teller.  I can relate to that a thousand times over.  He truly brings the best out of me.  He supports and challenges me to open my eyes and mind to a wider view, allowing me in my time (and in my way) to come to a point of clarity.  Having then, the ability to take actions that are in complete harmony with my values and vision around health, fitness, and business.

I just recently came back from Arizona, after spending 2 days with him, and it was brilliant.  It wasn’t an easy two days, but it was exactly what I needed. A perfect blend of support and challenge.

Everyone needs a Coach, a Mentor.  While this picture isn’t a great image, it’s perfect as the faces say it all.  I’m thankful for all that James has done for me, and I hope nothing more than to pay that forward and help others like he’s helped me.

Michael Pilhofer, Owner and Head Coach at MSP Fitness, has over 20 years experience listening, observing, and communicating to help people improve themselves. His goal is to create a positive and supportive training environment that inspires people to make long-term fitness and lifestyle changes. He believes in not simply doing work, but doing work that matters – work that has purpose, a plan, with an outcome in mind.

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