Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooklyn Castillo.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Brooklyn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I would have to say that the story of Brooklyn Fit started waaaaay back in 1980-something, during the days when Gilad and Denise Austin ruled the fitness world, leotards, bikers shorts, leg warmers and all. Back then my mom would leave for work at 6 AM, waking me up before she left, so that I could watch after my sister and get us both ready for school. I took advantage of the time before I had to wake my sister, by getting in a 30-minute workout with one of the two fitness superstars, whoever was being aired on television that day. I was only in fifth grade at the time, but I knew the workouts made me feel better and gave me just the kick start I needed in the mornings.
My family was always active. Whether it was hiking with my mom through the mountains of Pennsylvania, where I’m from, or tagging along with my Dad to the gym, hanging with him and his bodybuilder friends. Health and fitness has always been a way of life in my family. So it was no surprise to anyone that I enjoyed working out pretty early on, as well.
When my dad began giving me weight training workouts in middle school (super light weight to start) we focused more on training for the sports I competed in. But I loved it, how strong it made me feel, and the way my arms and legs began to pick up more definition. It was completely addicting. I began daydreaming about competing in fitness and owning my very own gym, a gym I would call Brooklyn’s Planet Fitness (I’m a bit of a science nerd too). However, we all know someone obviously beat me to that punch.
While in high school I enlisted in the Army National Guard and spent weekends and summers in combat boots. But still leading my passion for fitness there as well, earning physical fitness awards and eventually becoming the fitness leader for my unit. While studying for my bachelors in nursing at West Chester University, I became a group fitness instructor and eventually took over the fitness program coordinator position. I led classes, coordinated them and took charge of educating new trainers, all while attending classes full-time. It was a position I thrived in!
My career in fitness then took a back seat for a while after I graduated college and began my work as a cardiac nurse. Working 12 to 16-hour shifts left little time to train myself, let alone others. I then transitioned from the Army National Guard to active duty Air Force. I worked and traveled through a few states, and countries finally ending up in San Antonio, Texas.
I officially started Brooklyn Fit in 2010, primarily a mobile training service, providing personal training to clients at their homes. It was part-time, training clients before and after my day job. At this time I also started competing and became a nationally qualified NPC bikini competitor after just my first show. I had completely trained myself and created my own nutrition plan, so I was pretty stoked that I had placed so well. I continued to compete until 2015, placing top five in the majority of my competitions. I also continued Brooklyn Fit part-time, but decided in 2015, with my husband’s support, to take it full-time. It was a move that I wish I had made much earlier.
In 2016, I became pregnant but continued to train clients up until a week before my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy Bodhi. I continued to work from home, taking Brooklyn Fit to online-training services only. We moved back to Pennsylvania, then back to Texas, landing in Houston, where my husband was born and raised. Once settled in I decided it was time to get back to work. I missed seeing clients in person and the energy of leading group training. So I started Brooklyn Fit in Houston with Boot Camps and mobile training.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been a smooth road, but is success ever a straight line up?
Many people didn’t understand at first how I could leave a career in nursing to start up my own wellness business. But really, I don’t feel like I ever truly left nursing. I still consider myself a nurse as I keep up with my continuing education and licensure. I also utilize much of my nursing education and clinical skill set when training clients and assessing new ones.
But the biggest challenge has been getting my business started again. When I began Brooklyn Fit in San Antonio, it took me about a year to really market my business and get a steady flow of clients. Most of those clients I kept for two or more years at a time, often referring me to their friends and/or family. But when we moved I sold all my equipment and worked only with online training. Now that we’re back in Texas, in a new city, I feel like I am starting all over again from the bottom up. To add to that, I now have a very active two-year-old, and I’m studying for my Master’s degree in Health Education. I am blessed to have a very supportive husband that helps me juggle it all and continues to push me to do better, and keep reaching for my goals.
Brooklyn Fit – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Brooklyn Fit is a wellness business, not just a personal training business. I take deep pride in not just my personal training education, but also my nursing education and experience, utilizing my skills to help people become the healthiest versions of themselves. I offer a variety of training services, assist clients in making more sound nutritional choices, provide health education and even strategize with clients how to overcome possible health and fitness barriers. I also provide consultations, to those that may just want a little guidance in the right direction.
With over 16 years of health and fitness experience, I feel confident in welcoming all people of various ages and backgrounds. Whether you have never stepped foot in a gym, just starting out on your fitness journey, or you’re the avid health fanatic, looking for a new challenge, I have a training plan for you. I welcome seniors and pre/postnatal clients, holding specialized certifications in both.
By providing BK Boot Camps in the Kingwood and Humble area I aim to extend my reach to those that may not be able to afford one on one training or prefer group fitness classes instead. My hope is to reach as many people that want to make a change, as possible.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I would say there is not just one moment, but many moments. Every time I see a client reach a goal that they may have thought was impossible, the way their face lights up, it makes my heart beam. Every time I get a phone call from an ecstatic client who fits back into an old pair of jeans, slips into a dress two sizes smaller, or just completes their first 5k, I get an overwhelming sense of pride and gratitude. I am thankful that they chose me to be a part of their fantastic journey
- Website: www.Brooklyn-Fit.com
- Phone: 210-870-0744
- Email: Brooklyn@brooklyn-fit.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/brooklyn.fit2.0
- Facebook: Brooklyn Fit (Group Page)
- Twitter: twitter.com/BrooklynFit2_0
Profile Photo & Similar Photos with White Background by Adrian Barboza , IG: @ayoadrianshoots; Doorway Photo: Picture Groove Photography by Sarah Lyons Glabman , IG: @picturegroove; BK Boot Camp Flyer (Background Photo): Brett Seeley , IG: @seeleyfoto