What failure, hardwork, and determination taught me about myself…

I dropped out of college when I was 18 years old. I moved to Texas to live with my uncle and worked at Walmart. I joined the military and was discharged for medical reasons. I came back home with nothing to show for it.

I started cleaning pools and coaching wrestling. It was there I learned the power of the title “coach”. Now 22 years old, I had kids 16-18 years old looking up to me. I couldn’t screw this up. Having those kids look up to me wanted me to be better. Robert Bowe, the head wrestling coach at the time insisted I go back to college. I didn’t want to. To get him off my back I decided to sign up for a class at the local community college.

Something was different this time. I was more focused and determined to succeed.

Next semester, I went full time. Then a good friend of mine asked If I’d tag along with him while he went to visit the University of Florida to look for an apartment for his Fall semester. I thought what a great road trip opportunity. I ended up signing a lease with him! I transferred to the community college up there. Next semester I was accepted to UF. By that time I became a certified personal trainer. At UF I applied and was hired on as a personal trainer at the Rec Center. It’s there I learned about CrossFit. The rest is history.

I say all that because people look at me and think how easy I got it as a business owner. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve worked and continue to work tremendously hard to be where I am today. I’m still not where I envision my life to be but I’m much better off from where I once was. It is my desire as a coach and human being to help people become the best version of themselves they can possibly be. The trust those kids gave me as the title of “coach” is something I will never forget.

Just remember, FAILING is not the end, HARD WORK will get you far in life, and DETERMINATION is the thing that keeps your dreams alive.

About Mario Ashley

Mario Ashley is the owner of Naples Strength & Conditioning. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida. He has certifications in the following CrossFit Courses: Mobility, Gymnastics, Football, Kids, Goal Setting, Endurance and Level 2 Certificate. He is also the creator of where he helps gym owners professionalize the warehouse gym one lesson at a time. He also has created an Ebook that fitness professionals can use to help improve their clients flexibility and reduce the likelihood of injury called

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