Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles in the Humans of Wausau series, which is funded in part through a grant from the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. Follow the Humans of Wausau Facebook page here.

By Kelli Oligney for Wausau Pilot and Review

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Jared Boye, 26

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: Marshfield. My wife grew up in Wausau. She’s from Marshfield, but she moved to Wausau in elementary school. We met in our college years and decided to move back here.

What do you do for a living and how did you decide that path?

I am a personal trainer and help people get healthier, lose weight, and feel good about themselves again. While going to college, I fell in love with working out and was originally an Accounting major. I enjoyed it so much that I switched to an athletic training/physical therapy route. When talking to others in that profession, it helped me decide to start my own personal training business and move to Wausau to do it. I get a lot of enjoyment out of fitness and helping others. In addition to personal training, I learned about corporate wellness programs at local businesses. My opinion was that a lot of them weren’t going to work at making people healthier and lower healthcare costs for the company. I ended up getting together with a business partner, John Kelly, to piece together different corporate wellness programs. In short, we meet face to face with the company’s employees that wish to do the program for six months. On the back end, there’s a nutrition app we use where the employee can learn how to eat slower, eat more vegetables, as well as other goals. This helps with interaction between me and the employees rather than only the weekly group sessions. We aim for the employee to reach a weight loss of 5-7% over a six month period and a sustained activity level of 150 minutes. Research has proven those factors help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by 51-72%.

What has been one of the most memorable moments of your career?

It was about a year and a half into my personal training career and I had a husband and wife finish their 12 weeks. When we did their measurements to see how their bodies changed, the wife broke down in tears because she had her life back and happy she was healthy again. Fast forward a year and a half after that and she ended up doing a body building show. In a two year time, she made a lot of life changes and watching that was really great.

What was one of the hardest moments of your life?

When I was 15 and my best friend passed away in our sophomore year of high school. I got a phone call on a Sunday morning that my buddy, his dad, and his brother were in a plane crash and they weren’t going to be around anymore. It was a smaller plane; it might have been a six seater. They were coming home from a hockey tournament. It was a hard time and so were some years to follow.

How did you get through that time?

Friends, family, and the surrounding support from others. We were all there for each other as it was a big hit to the community of Marshfield. I’m still very close with his mom and brothers as they are a family to me. Also, having the support from others helped a lot.

What did you learn about yourself from those struggles?

Things are always going to happen that you can’t prevent. For myself, I realized I’m strong enough that I can get through it. I now know when to reach out for help. Reaching out is important as things can be hard to do on your own. Always remember to believe in yourself, stay strong, stay positive, and you will get through hard times.

If you had advice to give, what would it be?

Don’t stress about the things you cannot change. There’s a lot of things that happen and you can’t change the outcome no matter what you do, so don’t stress over it and let it ride.

What’s your favorite memory of living in Wausau?

I like Wausau and have met a lot of great people here. I enjoy that it’s larger than Marshfield, but still has a small town vibe to it. My wedding in Wausau was very exciting. We got married here July 28, 2018.

What changes would you like to see in the community in the next five years?

I’d like to see business growth to help the community. I’ve heard downtown is going to make some good changes in growth that I’m excited for. I want to see more young people living here. I feel a lot of people my age overlook Wausau, but it has a lot to offer for jobs.

What’s your favorite quote?

“If it is meant to be, it’s up to me.” The first time I heard that I thought, “That makes a lot of sense.” It says you shouldn’t rely on others to accomplish goals for yourself and if you want something you have to go get it.

What’s a hidden talent of yours?

I haven’t done it in a couple years, but I’d say wakeboarding. Also, a lot of people are surprised that I golf.

What was a moment that changed you as a person?

There were two times of my life that changed me. One would be the death of my friend because at a young age, I learned to not take things for granted and you never know when someone or something could be taken away from you. The second was when I started my training business. At the time, I was managing a supplement store and decided I needed to make a change. I quit and went in full time to training and started with only two clients. I realized I either had to make it work or I wasn’t going to make rent. That changed me in a way to learn not to procrastinate, be more structured, and I gained more focus. I felt like I had a purpose.

What’s your background from college?

I have my Kinesiology degree and Movement Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I also received my nutrition certificate from Precision Nutrition after school.

What are positive and negative aspects about your career?

My biggest positive is seeing the enjoyment of others when they get the results they’re looking for. It’s a win-win for myself and the client. Negatives would include getting up early. I typically start my day at 4 a.m., but start with clients at 5 a.m. It is very early, but I’m learning to enjoy it as time goes on. This job can also be hard because of where we live. Winters can be brutal and people typically lose motivation and it makes the job challenging. The Midwest food we are accustomed to eating is also a factor. Unfortunately, beer and cheese curds don’t help people get healthy. Many also find it hard to get healthy and lead a social life. Usually, I am able to help the client push through to make it work

What keeps you in the area?

I like Wausau as it has the ski hill and lakes. There aren’t a lot of places in the Midwest that offer both. There’s a lot of outdoor activities and it’s a bigger city for the Central Wisconsin area, but with the small town vibe. Everyone here is friendly and I’m excited to be here for a long time and raise a family.