We had the good fortune of connecting with Sher Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sher, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
The fitness business is a very difficult business to be in. For me, I asked God to heal my body from a difficult surgery and if he did, I would commit myself to helping others to stay healthy. When I started out, my manager who was my husband at the time, suggested that we open our business on the other side of town. He felt that “those” women would come out, participate and pay for a workout. Fitness at that time was a new fling, and he was right. It went well. I had a good group to come out and participate, and the business grew. One day, I had an encounter with God and He insisted that my music be more gospel and my message more encouraging. I was also encouraged to seek those that looked like me to participate. When I approached my manager with this news, he did not agree. He felt that bringing “church” into the equation was a recipe for disaster. I understood very clearly what he implied, but I felt compelled to move in the direction that I was commanded to go. My current group said they had no problem with my selection change, but my numbers begin to fall off. I found a new facility and started building my participants all over again. I struggled for years getting my business back into the black. After my divorce, I moved to a new city and began all over again. With a new vision and a new determination to succeed, I was able to develop a successful company, with the help and support of other instructors. We went out as a team into the community and offered programming designed with their body in mind. It took several years but, God has blessed us mightily and we have been able to lift up and encourage so many. In helping others to get healthy, we must continue to encourage ourselves to stay healthy. The same demons that attack our clients, attacks us. Depression, worry, stress, our jobs all takes it toll out on us making it difficult to look like what we talk about. Keeping ourselves up, healthy and positive is a full time job. To stand before the people with a positive attitude and a healthy physique year after year takes much work. We seek your prayers for our continued strength. My message is to not give up hope. To believe in what God has given you, and to pursue it relentlessly. There is strength in numbers. This year has been like no other we have ever experienced. Our business has been closed for over 8 months, but God has continued to give us ideas to keep us before the people. As we prepare for the next year, know that God is still with us. He said he would never leave us, nor forsake us. Our miracle season is right around the corner. Thank you for your prayers, and we look forward to coming together in 2021 for a pep rally in fitness. Hope to see you, there!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I am asked about my “profession” my usual response was, “I am just a housewife”. I started my business as a way to help others to get up and get back to living again. I had no idea then, that this desire would grow to a full time business and that it would become a career. I see myself in every person that comes into our facility. We all experience a time of loss, of depression and then a real desire for change. I strive to have the kind of business that people feel comfortable coming in. Where they are greeted with love and compassion and feel a real environment of fellowship. I want to treat people the way I want to be treated when I come into a fitness environment. I strive to have people around me that look like me. People who struggle with the same things that I struggle with. That gives us a feeling of commradery that every person can feel upon entry, I am so proud to be a fitness business that stands on positivity and encouragement. A fitness business that talks about loving one another, caring for one another and being Christian based.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am from Chicago and my favorite place to eat is in Douglasville at Sharberry’s Kitchen. True, authentic polish sausage and Italian beef sandwiches. And, on on the weekend there is soul food Sundays with the best pork chops and oxtails in the city. I also love Just Like Mamas for a family type dinner buffet style. Having a full time job and a full time fitness business does not leave me much time to enjoy some of the activities of the city outside of eating. On Sunday there is Word of Faith for a church service like no other. We would dine on the Word and fellowship with a congregation of caring Christians.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our Boot Camp instructor, “Sarge” Derrick Streeter. All of our participants in class who gave of their time to come out and workout with us while encouraging the person next to them to keep on keeping on.