Hello! I'm Taylor Michael but everyone calls me T.J. I am a personal trainer who has been certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I was born and raised throughout the Willamette Valley, spending most of my time in Salem, Corvallis, and the Portland metro area. I spent my childhood as your typical computer geek. I played a lot of video games, built computers, and went to LAN parties with my friends. Exercise and fitness was the last thing on my mind.
I went to college at OSU where I majored in Computer Science. I soon got caught up in the party scene and my grades started to suffer. I managed to graduate with a GPA of 3.5 in 2013, but my mental health was suffering. Halfway through college I ended up getting addicted to Adderall and amphetamines. I managed to quit right before graduation though I would fall back into it a few times over the next few years. When I quit I weighed 170 pounds which is the lightest I've ever been as an adult. I quickly ballooned up to 240 pounds over the course of a year. I had replaced one addiction with another.
In 2015 I went through the worst breakup of my life. At this time I was living in Hillsboro and working in healthcare technology as a software engineer. The breakup made me take a good hard look at myself, I decided I wanted to live a healthier life. The apartment complex I lived at had a gym for the residents. I would go there twice a day and workout, usually just cardio. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, but it made me feel so much better that I just kept doing it. I did this for a few months before I got stuck and didn’t see myself improving anymore. That's when I reached out for a personal trainer of my own.
I met Tiffany Stafford and trained with her on and off for the last 5 years. It was a bumpy road, but both my physical and mental health started to improve. Through therapy and a recovery program I learned how to control addictive urges. These last five years of my life have had such an impact on me that I’ve decided to change careers from software engineering into personal training. In August of 2020 I quit my software engineering job and shortly after began studying for my personal training certification. By December 2020 I was fully certified and ready to start my own journey in the fitness world!
My mission is to provide the same support to others that was given to me. I struggled with addiction and binge eating for years and without the support of some key people in my life I would not have gotten to where I am today. Now I want to help others in the same way that I was helped. If you struggle with addiction or have trouble controlling your appetite, I KNOW that struggle, I’ve lived it, can relate to it, and can 100% empathise with it. I’m the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers, but I will stand by your side and support you through whatever it is you're struggling with. The path to a healthier life is often filled with a lot of pain and discomfort, but it's that same pain and discomfort that helps us grow as individuals.
I truly believe the power of consistent exercise can make remarkable changes in our lives. Consistent exercise is one of the best forms of self love you can do for yourself, it works amazingly well and will positively impact almost every other area of your life. The ability to set a goal, work towards it, and accomplish it boosts self confidence like no other. It really is an amazing feeling that I want everyone to experience.