The first time I walked into Excuse Free Fitness it was alongside my brother Darius and his then very pregnant fiancé Gabbie. Entering the warm, open space, adorned with my favorite pieces of exercise equipment, a punching bag and free weights, we were greeted by Gabbie’s mother who was manning the front desk and instructed us to hydrate and grab a towel. We were there for “Tank Top Tuesdays,” a circuit day complete with jump ropes, light weights, and enough body weight exercises and reps to tire everyone from the new comers to the gym rats. At the front of the room was Gabbie’s younger sister and Excuse Free Fitness founder, Caprice. Equal parts energy and motivation Caprice begins encouraging you from the moment you enter her gym. If you pay close enough attention she usually remains active, doing calf raises as she speaks with new visitors, bouncing from exercise to exercise, and hitting yoga poses at random intervals. I’ve known Gabbie and Darius for seven years but this was the first time I was meeting Caprice. As the beautifully tattooed personal trainer approached I extended my hand and was greeted with a “Happy Tuesday and welcome to the best hour of your day.” She was right! The class would turn out to be a ton of fun and the fifteen or so of us in the gym that night bonded around the music, sweat, and great energy of our gracious instructor. As I held my third or fourth round of planking I glanced to the front of the room and for a moment asked myself, “how did this person survive the stories I’ve heard and come out on the other side so alive frankly?” To know a little of Caprice’s story beforehand made my meeting and working out with her even more special. At the age of fourteen she was in a car accident that left her having to relearn to walk. When she was seventeen she was in another traumatic car accident rendering her epileptic for the rest of her life. At the age of nineteen Caprice suffered a seizure that sent her crashing to the ground causing a head injury that left her with retrograde amnesia. In her own words “I have 19 years of blank space in my life.” Now in her Jordan year Caprice is determined to write a new chapter of her harrowing story with no excuses along the way. In the months since I attended that class Caprice has been pushing her both her body and business to new limits while growing her client base and national exposure. Just a week after she sat down with the lovely ladies of BET’s “The REAL,” I had the pleasure of catching up with Caprice and asking her a few questions about her journey and what keeps her moving into the future without all the memories that got her here.
Q1: Why did you found Excuse Free Fitness?
A: I decided to found Excuse Free Fitness to give my clients a truly personal atmosphere during training. I wanted them to walk into the facility and not feel judged, stared at or uncomfortable. I also wanted to create a platform for like- minded trainers to build their dreams.
Q2: What was the “ah-ha” moment when you realized your logo was going to be a diamond and is there a story behind it?
A: I was actually at church when I decided to put the diamond in my logo. One of the senior pastors was teaching a lesson on pressure during our women’s group on a Wednesday night. She explained to us the different phases that diamonds have to go through before they can become beautiful. Immediately I related to this because they have to be beaten, cracked, and torn down in order to shine. In my head I said, “everybody wants to be a diamond, but nobody wants to get cut”. I felt it was my job to show people the way, without excuses. The diamond embodied everything about my journey and the vision I had for Excuse Free Fitness. The diamond in my logo is important to my brand.
Q3: How have you handled the various challenges of being an entrepreneur?
A: One of the biggest challenges we face is not knowing which risk to take! I handled them by utilizing my mentors more, instead of going to them after the mistake was already made. I also pray about decisions more because every “good thing” isn’t a “God thing”.
Q4: Who is your biggest motivation outside your family (in fitness/business)?
A: My biggest motivation outside of my family for business would have to equally be Kevin Hart and Steve Harvey. They are operating at high levels and successfully executing various projects at one time. They are using their God given gifts to inspire, educate, and empower the masses. My fitness motivator would be Massy Arias, for her constant uplift of women and proving that strong is BEAUTIFUL.
Q5: How did you locate the strength to move forward after relearning of your past traumas?
A: I chose to get over myself. The pity parties changed absolutely nothing. The strength came from accepting what I could not change. I couldn’t change the fact that I didn’t remember the first 19 years of my life. I couldn’t change the fact that I had epilepsy. But I was strong enough to realize that I could change my perspective. I chose to be happy instead of depressed. I was strong enough to realize that the best years of my life were ahead of me!
Q6: What is your favorite class to teach?
A: My favorite class to teach is “Tank Top Tuesday”!! I named my body sculpting class this almost a year before I even opened my studio. “Tank Top Tuesday” is the class that really allowed me to get my name out there and build my business. It is always packed and everyone always has a ton of energy! Even if I have a rough day, I am always hyped when it’s time for Tank Top Tuesday.
Q7: What are your goals moving forward, do you hope to expand your business?
A: My main goal is to positively impact millions of lives around the world through my ministry of health and wellness. I want to first expand Excuse Free Fitness across the Chicago land and soon after across the nation with multiple locations teaching the same principles of a no-excuse mindset.
Q8: If you could leave the readers with one piece of advice what would it be?
A: Never give up on yourself. Ever. No matter what it is that you are pressing through in life right now you must remain calm and confident. Because I was told, “If you’re going through hell you should keep going!”
Instagram, click here
Facebook, click here