We had the good fortune of connecting with Luz Mayberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luz, what do you attribute your success to?
I started MyCoachLuz because I was sick of seeing malnourished, eating disordered, white, straight women telling me how to exercise and eat. I identify as a Queer, Latinx, Jewish woman diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I love tacos and I proudly have a panza (belly). I wanted to work with like-minded people that don’t feel comfortable in a typical gym. My goal is to provide a healthy exercise alternative that focuses on marginalized bodies such as, women of color, curvy women, queer people, trans people, people with disabilities, people with older bodies. I try to empower my clients to learn to trust their instincts about what movements feel good and safe for them. I work hard to find a type of movement that gives them joy and appreciation for their body, whether it is salsa dancing, lifting weights, pole dancing, hiking, or cycling. Goals are not weight-related but about gaining energy, lowering cholesterol, sleeping better, feeling stronger, pain reduction, increased libido, increase in gratitude for the body, and less anxiety. My goal is to teach each person how to safely train their body and help them see exercise as a lifelong journey that can be fun while enjoying thier tacos.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my own Personal Training business (MyCoachLuz) a year ago. Before that I practiced Social Justice Law for 10 years. I loved engaging with my clients but ultimately the hustle, grind and frustrations with the legal system, started to take a toll on my soul. I had a hunch that my calling was Personal Training. For many years, I taught spin on the weekends for fun but I was too scared to dive head first into a new career. Starting all over is hard, especially when it means giving up your law degree. Then, when I finally worked up the nerve to jump off my cliff of comfort and pursue Personal Training full time, COVID hit. All the gyms shut down and everyone was stuck indoors to anxiously watch the news, worry and wait. I was crushed. Was my timing off? Did I wait too long to pursue my dream? Was this a sign? But I wouldn’t let COVID stop me. I realized I could not depend on someone else to hire me, I needed to become my own boss and start my own business. I started small by teaching a free community Bootcamp class to my neighbors. We were all trapped inside and felt the impending doom of those first weeks when COVID hit. I wanted folks to realize that even if they were trapped inside their homes, they were not alone. My neighbors loved the class and wanted to invite their friends. So, I quickly moved the classes to Zoom, which allowed people from all over the world (Israel, New York, England, Minnesota, Arizona, Mexico City) to attend. Although my bootcamp students are grateful for this class that gets them moving and out of their worried heads, I’ve also recieved so much hope from my student’s diligence and energy. The Bootcamp class turned into a tiny miracle during a dark time in our history. I continue to offer this class on a donation basis so anyone, regardless of income, can join. The Bootcamp class was a seed that grew into, a website, and several Personal Training Clients who were refered to me via Bootcamp or word of mouth. My business is growing and most of my clients are women of color, members of the LGBTQI community or over the age of 65, who have long felt unseen and uncomfortable in main stream fitness. My motto has always been that perfectionism is the enemy of progress, thus my class and sessions cater to every specific body type and embrace the uniqueness that is every client. Deep down I know that my calling is to be of service to marginalized voices and bodies. I did it with my law work for a decade. Now I want the world to know, your health is your greatest gift and there are millions of different ways to move your body. If you have had a bad experience with gyms/fitness keep looking for a coach that fits you. It’s not you it’s them!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Unfortunately, I would not be the one to ask about Los Angeles spots. I just moved to LA two years ago to be with my wife. One of my favorite things to do (before covid) was go to The Last Bookstore. I can spend hours searching for books and checking out the art installations. I would also spend a day walking around Huntington Botanical Gardens and having a tea in the Japanese Gardens. Finally, I would end the day at Big Ant’s BBQ in Glassel Park. They are family owned and operated and have the best beans, greens, cornbread and bbq chicken.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my mentor and friend, Alison Roessler owner of Truve gym in Oakland, California. She always makes time to help young trainers of color excel in this business. She pushed me to start teaching, to get my Personal Training certification, has given me the most wonderful references, and even fed me when I was too sick to take care of myself. She created a gym where each trainer can make a good living and be part of a larger community. She taught me that taking care of my community means caring for the mind, body, and soul of each person so that we are all strong enough to make this world a better place.