Paul Gray is a ‘glass-half-full’ type of guy.
Despite being diagnosed with Rhabdomyosacroma (a rare form of cancer usually found in children) upon starting his PFT program at MRU Continuing Education, he persevered and graduated the program this last spring.
But that’s not where his journey started.
His first career was as a consulting accountant in the oil and gas industry. “Oil companies employ a huge number of accountants,” he quantifies, “25% of their workforce.” A self-described accounting problem solver, Gray was involved in a start-up company with a friend. “I was the accountant. So, I did everything – all revenue, production, financial statements… you name it.”
He was good with numbers, but his calling came from elsewhere. “My ultimate dream was to get into outdoor pursuits.” Feeling the winds of change, he faced his reality, “I would have stayed in that career if I could do it for three days a week, but they kept hiring younger.” Answering the call, “I registered for the Personal Fitness Trainer Program.”
Both Gray’s process of learning and his road to recovery were elevated by the culture of camaraderie within the program. “The support I received from my fellow students both in the year I started and the year I finished was exceptional.” he admits. “I am so appreciative for this program, the knowledge base, the instructors, the MRU facility and my fellow students that I feel it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
After chemotherapy, radiation and surgery on his affected leg, Gray’s tumour has been removed and he is three-years cancer free. All the while, he has been forwarding his next career.
As a personal fitness trainer, he is now focused on supporting others’ adventures and fitness goals, while he continues to train and heal. “I had an idea for a business,” Gray declares, “Kachina Fitness, named after the Hopi kachinas which are the spirits that represent all the essences of life.”
Kachina Fitness is focused on helping others plan and train for their adventures. “My target demographic all along was my friends, the aging baby-boomers, who are not getting their regular exercise.”
Gray has a lot of goals and a lot of optimism that he (and his clients) will achieve them. At age 55, and rebuilding his endurance in his leg, he admits, “I feel accomplished for me. My success is just thankfulness and gratitude to be alive and with hopes and dreams of skiing, climbing and hiking across the Grand Canyon again.”
A new career is a new journey and, as Gray reminds us, the saying goes, “every journey starts with a single step.” Paul Gray coaches those making similar transitions to reframe their success. “Life now is – don’t look at what I can’t do – look at what I can do.” Measure it not by what has been lost or taken away, but what you can do with what you have left. “I want to measure my life on how many times I visit the Grand Canyon.”
Start your own adventure here.
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