It’s safe to say that many of us at some point in our lives have dreamed of becoming our own bosses, doing what we love, setting our own hours, and building an independent future, but it’s a risk that most won’t take. However, one South Floridian took that leap of faith.
Two years ago, Gina Tolon was a single mother of two working at a local company as a sales statistician and reporting analyst. Her dream was to start a business surrounding the fitness industry. Raised by her grandmother, who was an avid fitness enthusiast, Tolon was always active and attended the gym with her grandmother on a regular basis. It was the foundation that would later motivate Tolon to turn her dreams into a reality.
Following the birth of her second child, Tolon decided to go back to school at Florida International University to earn her degree in International Business & Management. Despite being a full-time mom and student, she still managed to find time to go to the gym, with kids in tow, just like her grandmother had taken her years earlier. It was there that she became friends with a group of women there who always made it a point to mention to Tolon how motivating she was and encouraged her to become a personal trainer.
Tolon’s son began playing little league football and she was left with little to no time to go to the gym so she started exercising at the park during her son’s practice in order to best maximize her time and maintain her fitness routine. Each week, she would see the other moms just sitting around watching their kids play so she decided to ask them if any of them wanted to join her. A few accepted the invitation and soon she was leading a small group of women in a weekly exercise program.
Soon after, she was approached by other people at the park who were curious as to what her training involved. The feedback was incredibly positive with the main praise being how motivating Tolon was and how great it felt to be empowered by other women who were striving for the same goal of getting back into shape.
Tolon eventually received her certification in personal training and CPR. She began doing personal training in local gyms. Within the initial group of women who started their journey with Tolon at the park, one lost 120 lbs in 10 months, and her testimony and praise through word of mouth quickly spread among friends and family and it was then that FIT with Ms. Gina was born. When she came up with the name FIT with Ms. Gina, the word FIT became an acronym for what she feels are the key factors in achieving your fitness goals.
Tolon eventually was able to leave her 9-5 and pursue her lifelong dream to help others achieve their fitness goals. She continued to do personal training at the gym as well as private, at-home training. Shortly after COVID-19 hit, the landscape of the fitness industry changed dramatically, forcing studios and gyms to close their doors. This didn’t stop Tolon. She quickly shifted focus on how to best serve her clients while in quarantine. She was also receiving support from her clients, who by then had become like family and developed a very special bond not only with Tolon but among themselves. They believed that Tolon needed to continue to empower and motivate not only them but other women as well, despite the quarantine and social distance restrictions.
Prior to the pandemic, Tolon had developed a 21-Day Online Challenge in order to expand her clientele. She had clients from Detroit all the way to Amsterdam. During COVID she was able to broaden the already popular program by incorporating Live Virtual Trainings. She also started her own line of activewear and fitness accessories. She has created an environment of encouragement, body positivity, and mindfulness and an authentic connection with her clients, or family as she calls them.
Although Tolon serves those from all walks of life, she has helped to transform the lives of hundreds of women in South Florida throughout her career and now she’s able to reach women worldwide. Tolon has had her share of life struggles and knows how difficult it can be to overcome life’s challenges. Women often get lost in the day-to-day responsibilities of motherhood, marriage, career, etc., and neglect the importance of self-care and personal mind and body restoration. Her approach to getting back to your best self is through healing the mind, body, and soul. She sends daily texts with words of affirmation to her clients and genuinely cares about their personal wellbeing.
Tolon is also dedicated to giving back to her community. She implemented a volunteer-based Fitness & Wellness Program for survivors of domestic violence at the Women In Distress Shelter of Broward County. Having experienced abuse and overcoming that chapter of her life, she finds it both essential and rewarding to work with these ladies and share her own testimony. Her goal is to help survivors of domestic violence get back to focusing on healing and caring for themselves by teaching them how to live healthier, happier, and active lives. She's working on building a community of mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong FIT individuals.
To find about more about Tolon, visit https://fitwithmsgina.com/