#WhyWeTrain – Or at least why I do. . .
By Julie Loeffler
September 11, 2015
I suppose today is as good as any other day to explain my story. Everyone’s got a back story, right? But what got me started thinking about penning why I do what I do came from listening to the radio while driving into work this morning.
Today marks the 14th anniversary of the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil: 9/11. It forever changed my perspective on, well, just about everything. I think, for at least a couple of weeks maybe even a month following the attack, most Americans had a similar feeling. Unfortunately, for many that was a fleeting moment and they simply slipped back into their comfort zone of daily routine, forgetting how vulnerable we are each day.
But it wasn’t just one event that forever changed my life or gave me the desire to train and instruct others. Looking back, it was more like a string of events that molded me into a person that was willing to devote her life to making sure people had the opportunity to become better educated and more self-sufficient in their personal safety.
It began September 1990, my freshman year of college, when I was raped within the first couple of months of my first quarter of school. I learned then about the feeling of helplessness, being frightened as I’d never been before, and not knowing what to do to get away from that evil. I hid it from my family for six years. I didn’t call the police. I didn’t prosecute. Shame, embarrassment and guilt wore heavy on my shoulders for years. At the time I didn’t understand it wasn’t my fault.
My evolution continued in the late 90’s through my first marriage during the bouts of emotional abuse. I didn’t understand exactly what was happening at first. Realizing the controls being placed on me was a big discovery, and then having the courage to walk away from it was both incredibly difficult and liberating simultaneously. I learned that I can overcome just about anything, and no one has the right to impose their will upon me like that ever again.
My next growth moment occurred on November 13, 2010 at 9am when I lost my sister in a head-on collision while another car was driving on the wrong side of the highway and struck her minivan before she could steer out of the way. She was only 41. I learned then that our time on Earth is incredibly limited, and we never know when ours is over. I also learned to make the most of that time, make your own decisions, don’t wait to do what you really want to do, and don’t let anyone stand in your way. It was almost a culmination of all of my life events coming together, shaking me by the shoulders and saying, “Wake up and DO something with your life! Stop treading water and wandering the corridors without a purpose!”
So I did. January 2011 I formed my LLC and began my journey teaching others how to be confident, what personal defense really means and how to use it in everyday life, to see their worth, and to invest in their most precious asset; themselves. It has been a very difficult and exciting journey so far, and not without pitfalls. But with every opportunity and/or pitfall, I’ve learned, grown, regrouped, and found my own way.
My teaching stems from a very organic place. I didn’t read how to do this in a book, or take a class on teaching the latest and greatest widget, put out my shingle and immediately call myself an expert. I’ve got background in certain areas, and yes I have credentials if anyone wants to see them. But I’m still learning; every day. And the more I learn, the more I’m able to help people. At least that’s how I view it. I want people to see me as the person next door who just happens to know some skills they might like to learn. I want people to understand you don’t have to be immersed in some sort of lifestyle, living and breathing it every day, to step into a class and get some good information on how to have a more safety-conscious viewpoint. Everyone’s cup is going to hit the fill line at different intervals. And because I think about that before every class, I feel a deep obligation to give 120% to my students. If this is their ‘one and done’ class, it must be the best I have to offer – Nothing less.
There are other smaller events, other reasons and / or people that have shaped my viewpoints and training, but sometimes there are just those big moments that stand out and you know you are forever changed. It’s really difficult for me to share this with “everyone”. Now people I don’t even know have a birds-eye view into my inner self. I’ve been very private about this for a very long time, but my hope in sharing this with you is that there is a better understanding of me, my classes, my intentions, and WHY I do what I do today, tomorrow and for as long as I am able to wake up and see the sunrise.
Stay Safe –
#WhyWeTrain – Or at least why I do. . .