How Working Out Helped This Entrepreneur Survive Unthinkable Tragedy

How Working Out Helped This Entrepreneur Survive Unthinkable Tragedy

For Caprice O’Bryant, the journey to entrepreneurship was littered with real-life bumps in the road. Here, the fitness founder shares—in her own words—how working out helped her recover from two car accidents that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, and retrograde amnesia, and how working out can give all entrepreneurs the focus they need to overcome challenges like the coronavirus pandemic:  

To say there have been challenges as an entrepreneur in this time is an understatement. There have been days where it has felt like I was on American Ninja Warrior trying to leap over certain obstacles in my business! However, I am no stranger to overcoming obstacles.

As a brain injury survivor, epilepsy warrior, and being graced to make it through two major car accidents, I just know that I am built for this! I will win even in the uncertainty of this crisis because I have trained myself to get back up even when life has grabbed the rug from underneath my feet.

I’d love to share how working out has helped me stay focused and have a winner’s mindset to overcome challenges during this pandemic!

We all know that entrepreneurship isn’t pretty or for punks. When you add a chronic illness or condition to that the first word I think of is focus! I can focus on what I can’t do or I can focus on what I can do!

In 2007 and 2010, God chose me to fight and win these battles with car accidents. The first accident, we went head-on into a tree, the roof caved into my head, and I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. The second accident led to a three-car collision and we went head-on into a pick up truck; from there I started having seizures, which was later diagnosed as epilepsy.

My focus became to recover. Through a long road with physical therapy I stayed focused on what I could do, not what I couldn’t. Then in 2012, I went on to have a seizure in college that wiped my memory, leaving me with retrograde amnesia: meaning I do not remember the first nineteen years of my life. In the blink of an eye everything changed. Just like that second weekend in March right? When all of sudden we’re quarantined and everything is closed? I didn’t have time to tell people to write things down just in case I had a seizure and hit my head and didn’t remember anything!

After I lost my memory, I was confused, angry, and depressed. I started working out and it was like you couldn’t tell me anything!! I felt powerful. Like my life had purpose. Yes, I was still having seizures but I could exercise so I kept my focus there and celebrated it. Everyone is dealt a certain hand in life. I had to look at my cards every day and decide that I am going to win regardless!

I’m sure we’d like to give COVID-19 back for some different cards.

But let’s get into these workouts so you can fix your focus!!

Of course the trainer is advocating for exercise, but seriously it’s more than that. Exercise boosts your brainpower, mental dexterity, and productivity. So many entrepreneurs are still trying to perfect their pivot right now. The first key is to take care of you. If there is no you, there is no business and no customer to serve. Everything we do begins with our physical body. And when I do not take the time to shut things down and get my minimum 30 minutes in, my business suffers.

Start with the basics that boost your mood: walking, squats, planks, lunges, high knees, step-ups, etc. When we are well rested and energized we can show up as our authentic self and look at problems like a boss. When you are not panicking, you can move in clarity not chaos.

The mindset of a winner is that by any means necessary you are going to do what it takes to fulfill your mission! But what this does not mean is draining yourself in the process. I choose to operate in a “holy hustle.” I no longer subscribe to the sun up, sun down mentality as a business owner. Know that you can slow down, but you cannot quit! I apply this to my health, my workouts, and my life as an entrepreneur!

We are all in this together and collectively trying to figure this out. I believe that I will win with the hand that I am dealt! So will YOU! Even now, in the middle of a pandemic!

Caprice O’Bryant is the founder of Excuse Free Fitness, an online fitness company that provides virtual classes, training, and online programs with nutrition coaching to ensure that nothing gets in the way of wellness! Follow them on Instagram at @excusefreefitness_