Tracy Markley is the Founder of Tracy’s Personal Training, Pilates & Yoga. Tracy graduated from Orange Coast College in 1998 where she earned her Fitness Specialist Diploma and a Dance & Group Leader Certificate. Tracy has consistently continued to gain knowledge and education in the last 20 years to bring the best care possible to her clients. Tracy is the author of two fitness books. Her third book will be out soon. She was recently asked to be on the Medfit Education Advisory Board and to write two certificate cec courses.
Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
I am Tracy L. Markley. I was born, raised and lived in Long Beach California for 47 years, then I moved to Oregon a couple years ago. I had my fitness studio, Tracy's Personal Training in Huntington Beach Cali for 17 years and started all over in Oregon. Since then, I have written two books, " The Stroke of an Artist, The Journey of a Fitness Trainer and a Stroke Survivor". and " Tipping Toward Balance, A Fitness Trainer's Guide to Stability and Walking." I have worked full time in the fitness industry for 20 years. I am a Pro-Trainer with FiTOUR and I hold live workshop fitness certifications. I am an AFAA Examiner for Group Exercise Instructor Certification Trainings. I recently was asked to be on the Fitness Education Advisory Board with MedfitEd and I am currently writing 2 certification programs. One is Stroke Recovery and Exercise and the other is Scoliosis and Exercise.
Could you tell us a bit about each of your books and the inspiration behind them.
My first book, "The Stroke of an Artist" is a journey with a 65 year old artist in town who had a stroke. I met him when he walked into the gym in a walker. It is an inspiring journey to what many survivors go through. But he was a special client and wanted his journey shared to help bring hope to other survivors and their families. This journey is an excellent example to what can happen in recovery if you exercise everyday. We had a special situation where he was able to train with me 5 to 6 days a week, this is rare for survivors as well as trainers. It published in October 2017 and it has helped hundreds of people so far. It is wonderful, just what the goal was for the book.
My second book, "Tipping Toward Balance", I published in March of 2018. It came about because I wanted to share what I do and what has worked with clients with certain exercises that has helped them get stronger in their walking, gait and balance. I have had several clients, mostly seniors, or those with a neurological challenge that has caused them to trip and fall, walk slower, stop activities for fear of falling etc. I share in the book a few short success stories and 8 exercises they can do to get the right muscles stronger that is needed for walking, stability and balance. I had several clients tell me they don't hike on the beautiful trails in Oregon. This spatial awareness to where we place and feel our feet in movement can be retrained in the brain and body. This is what this book is for.
With dozens of health and fitness books currently on the market, what do your books bring to the table that is unique?
These books are more then just a typical fitness exercise weight loss book. It is about putting the body, brain and neuro system (if possible) back together. Each book has a chapter on anatomy and muscles and why these specific ones I mention and teach about are essential for mobility, balance, stability and movement at any age.
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
The title of the books.. The Stroke of an Artist was originally going to be "Dear Stroke you Suck" because he used to always say "don't every have a stroke, they suck" but one day we were talking about what happened when he attempts to paint his art now. He said when he wants to make a long thin stroke it ends up short and thick. I thought, "The Stroke of an Artist". because "stroke" has a play on words. And Tipping Toward Balance.. was a play on words too, instead of tipping over we tip toward balance. It has become my thing. My third book is on the Brain and will publish in a couple months. It is called Young at Brain.. a play on words, like the saying "young at heart". we want to be young at brain.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book(s)?
Challenging time with the books is, one, I have so much information and experience in my head.. its hard to put it all organized out of my head into chapters. Once I get that organized they seem to flow better.
Where does your motivation come from to stay consistent with your personal fitness goals while striving to assist others with theirs?
My motivation comes from daily working with clients and experience with them the changes. When I get letters, cards and messages from people who have read my books and share how much they helped, it motivates me to keep helping and writing what I know that can help others.
Is there a message you want your readers to take away from your book?
My message I would like readers to know and take with them is to understand their body and how it works for movement and why, like I share in the books, because it will help them exercise anywhere they go and possibly overcome challenges that they were told and/or felt they never will.
Do you have any advice for any aspiring writers who may be reading this interview?
My advice to other writers is to just do it. If you want to write something just begin writing, it will all fall together. don't judge it or try to edit it as your thoughts are coming out. let it flow out. the best advise i got write when I was to edit. was this "Friends don't let Friends edit". Get a professional or a friend who edits for a living, not jsut someone who says they were an English major they can do it. I laugh when I write that because there is a knowledge to editing.
Another piece of advice to authors is, well what has helped me is knowing why I am writing and who am I writing for. Me or others and then know how to reach to those who would want to read or benefit from your writing, in my case I have a specific purpose and audience so I interact with those people in private Facebook groups and speak at stroke survivor support groups and also fitness industry. Since my books have knowledge and experience I also target other fitness professionals to help them train clients in such need.
What are you working on now?
I am now working on writing my two Certification programs that I mention earlier and finishing my third book on the brain. I was asked to speak on a panel with 3 other authors at the Florence Oregon Festival of Books coming this September. I am excited. The panel will be about marketing our books. I am also set to speak at our local library on Fall prevention and have my books there with me to sale, because Tipping Toward Balance is a Fall Prevention book and September is Fall Prevention month. I am also making videos for stroke recovery and balance on my youtube channel and sharing them with survivors to help them.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, etc.) and link(s)?
www.tracyspersonaltraining.com is the best way to contact me, or call.
In this book I share eight exercises and the reasons why they have helped clients regain their balance. These particular exercises have helped clients stop tripping and falling and to regain the ability to feel safe in movement again. I also share some short stories of clients who all have various reasons for losing their balance. A range of personal and specific factors may play a role in the body’s balance and walking gait as they become off-kilter. This leaves people feeling unsafe in their movements, which, in turn, causes the walking gait to change and slow down because they feel out of balance or unstable. At this point, individuals may find themselves tripping often and/or falling down. At any age, but often as we get older, the body can become weaker. That can be due to illness, lack of exercise, neurological challenges or a diagnosed condition. In many of these cases, the body begins to move more slowly. You can feel unsafe in everyday movements, even just walking. The center of the body, known as the core, must be built up in strength for the rest of the body to be able to perform movements at their best. Frequently, building core strength is thought to be achievable only when you get down on the floor and do crunches. Many clients with weakness or stability issues do not feel safe getting down to the floor. Consequently, that leaves them thinking it is a lost cause to attempt to strengthen the core muscles. Thankfully, this is not the truth ...
I am Tracy L Markley on Facebook, my business Facebook is facebook.com/tracyfitt