Parker Egerton: Balancing Family & Fitness
November 30, 2017
Most of us have enough trouble keeping track of everything going on in our own lives. Now imagine adding a spouse, a six year old and thousands of clients. That’s the reality of Team BPI athlete, Parker Egerton.
We sat down with the online personal trainer, husband and father to figure out how he manages to do it all.
BPI: How did you originally get into fitness?
Parker: I’ve been into sports my entire life. I grew up playing ice hockey and football, so I was just always playing sports. When I was younger, we didn’t have iPads and iPhones. My parents actually made me go outside and stay outside. So I got home from school, and it was immediately homework, and then after that, you go outside. There was no playing video games, watching TV – it was go outside! Go play sports! So once sports was over, I still needed that fix, per say, and that’s where the gym came in. And I love it.
BPI: How old were you at the time?
P: I started working out and going to the gym when I was 15. I remember because my mom didn’t want me to start lifting weights. She wanted me to be active, but not to lift weights in the gym, so she told me if I wanted to lift weights I had to take myself to the gym. So I had to ride my bike to the rec center every time I wanted to work out.
BPI: Why didn’t she want you to lift weights?
P: She was just being a mom and trying to be cautious. She thought lifting weights would stunt my growth or that I’d get injured. One of those reasons. Obviously I didn’t listen and got my rec center membership and I was just riding my bicycle to work out.
BPI: About how old were you when you stopped playing sports and started to focus solely on the gym?
P: After college, so I’d say I was about 22 to 23. I really started focusing more on the gym, and then when my son was born in 2011, that’s when the light switch kind of came on and I really started taking it seriously. Prior to my son being born, my wife and I were bartenders. So everything was a party. Once he was born, the partying stopped. Being hungover and having a screaming baby isn’t fun. So I stopped partying and started to focus more on fitness. I stopped bartending, and started working at a Gold’s Gym as a personal trainer. When I became a Fitness Director, I realized that I was bringing in so much money for a company that didn’t value me. I branched off and started taking clients on my own, and ever since then I’ve been doing it by myself.
BPI: Did you and your wife meet as bartenders?
P: I actually met Ashley at a bar. Ironically enough, we lived next to each other for awhile. I didn’t know who she was because I was in a relationship, but she knew who I was. We bartended across the street from one another, so I was going in there to her work, not really knowing who she was. Then I broke up with the girlfriend I had at the time and went out and saw Ashley at a bar and we just hit it off. Then she got pregnant and now we’re married!
BPI: Is your son your only child?
P: Yes. Parker the Fifth. I come from a long line of Parkers! He’ll be 7 in May, and he’s my everything.
BPI: Is Ashley into fitness as well?
P: She is! She actually runs the back end of my personal training program. I’m “the face” of business, and try to sign as many potential clients as possible. Once they join, I let them know that my wife and I are actually a team. She does all of my nutrition. A lot of people these days who offer online personal training have a team that actually creates their programs. It’s not really that individual. Since this is the norm nowadays, I get a lot of questions from people wanting to know if they’re actually going to be working with me. The answer is yes. My clients work directly with my wife and me. I don’t have a separate team. You’re not going to be emailing a stranger. It’s just us.
BPI: How many clients have you worked with?
P: In a little over three years, we’ve had over 6,000 clients. I try to find 10 new clients a day. That’s one of the things I like a lot about social media and online training. When I was doing one-on-one personal training, I felt like I was hitting that glass ceiling. There were only so many hours in the day that I could work. Now, with social media, I have such a large reach and I can help a lot more people and focus more on doing their plans instead of just one-on-one with one client per hour.
BPI: With all of those clients, and a family, do you ever find it difficult to strike that balance between your personal and professional life?
P: Sometimes. Yesterday my wife wasn’t feeling too good, for example, so she spent most of the day in bed trying to get better. Being a mom and not feeling well is difficult, so we got a little behind on our emails. Some people messaged us and I just had to apologize and explain that my wife was sick, so I was on Daddy duty. Nine times out of 10 our clients are perfectly understanding. Very rarely will I have a client get mad when I’m honest about what’s going on.
BPI: How does your wife help you find that balance, outside of the business?
P: Ashley helps me so much. Don’t let her know I said this, but I couldn’t do it without her. She makes four out of the six meals I eat a day, but I’m really good at making my protein smoothies!
BPI: Are your meals ever similar to your clients’?
P: Oh yeah! Obviously my macros will be different than my typical client because our goals are different, but basically yes. I give my clients a long grocery list of “approved” foods that they can pick from. So a protein section, a carbohydrate section, a fats section. That way they’re not stuck eating the same meal every day, over and over and over. That can get very boring.
BPI: Do you provide tips for the preparation as well?
P: Yes, Ashley includes all of that in the program. We’ll throw in “approved” seasonings, like Flavor God, for example. But when they ask us about Ranch, we have to shut them down. No Ranch! I wish we didn’t have to… I love Ranch! I miss Ranch!
BPI: Last question – Do you have any advice for anyone who feels like they are struggling to strike the balance between family and fitness?
P: I’ve had so many clients ask me this. It’s honestly difficult, in my situation, to answer that because this is my life. This is my career. Ashley and I have our own gym, so I can bring my son with me to the gym. He’s always around us. And I am so fortunate to have Ashley with all that she does for me. A lot of our clients actually join us as a couple because Ashley and I are a couple, and a family. They say, “We see you doing it, so we think we can do it.” Of course, anybody can if they’re dedicated and focused. What I always end up asking my clients is, “How bad do you want it?” We can all make time. Whether you do or not is determined by how badly you really want to achieve your goal. Of course, you’re going to have to prioritize other things as well. Family comes first for me, but you have to find a balance. If you really want to dedicate yourself to the gym; live a better, healthier life; look your best and reach your goals, you have to make that a priority as well.