Failed Queries: A Repurposing Success Story

I was too in love with this lead to let it go. So, even though this particular query failed more than once, I was eventually able to use its subject — and a variation of its first sentence — in a story on balancing a full-time job with a start-up business.

Dear Ms. Editor:

Not very many grandmas would be willing – or able – to compete in a physique competition clad only in a bikini, body oil and a pair of killer heels.

But no one who meets XX today would ever guess she was a new mother at 17 and just became a grandmother at 36.  In between those milestones, she battled the challenges of single motherhood and many more obstacles. Since 2001, exercise – specifically distance running – has been instrumental in winning those wars, she said. XX started her fitness journey after years of battling body image issues while working as a paralegal and holding additional part-time jobs to support her daughter. Today, she often competes in events to raise money for causes including the American Lung Society and has finally followed her dream to become a full-time fitness professional as owner of XX.

In between visits to her new granddaughter and training sessions with clients, the AFAA and IFA certified personal trainer acts as race director for the XX and founding member of XX. Given all the fitness events on her calendar, it’s no surprise she decided to leave a career in commercial real estate to pursue personal training full time. She specializes in weight loss and functional training and also has a few clients preparing for physique competitions. While she’s had some challenges with start-up costs, billing and collections, she’s on track to break even or possibly turn a small profit in her first year.

Although it was a tough decision to leave a stable job in an uncertain economy, XX said it was time to explore her own strengths if she was going to encourage clients to do the same. Through her work and volunteer efforts, XX, who is also working on certification as a life coach, hopes to convince others that being fit and happy is possible for everyone, no matter what life brings.

“You only have this one life to live. You have the power to choose how you want to live – use your power and talent to do what you want and do it well,” she wrote in a recent email. “Take that power to control your own life because no one else can.”

Given her own inspirational story and her recent efforts to share that story with others, I think  XX would make an excellent subject for a profile. Depending on your needs, the story could focus on her use of exercise to overcome the obstacles in her life, the journey she has taken to become a certified personal trainer and full-time fitness devotee in today’s tough economy, her challenges and successes in her first year as a business owner or all those angles.

Please let me know if you are interested in a profile or if I could provide information on another angle of this story.


Charlene Oldham

Free photo from MorgueFile
Free photo from MorgueFile

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