Sophomore Athlete Trains Peers

It was never enough just being an athlete. Practice was helpful, but her yearning was to make people happy.

Dieldra Clark, 19, a second-year broadcast journalism student from Pensacola, decided to start her own personal training service. But Clark didn’t begin with personal training. She built athleticism through running track and cross-country during her freshman year at FAMU.

“I ran last year, and began to see potential in myself in college that I didn’t see in high school,” said Clark. “I preferred personal training over athletics because I didn’t see myself going into the Olympics.”

When Clark came to FAMU, she saw her former roommates were out of shape and in need of fitness assistance.

“I saw a change in their attitudes. It was not so much physical,” said Clark.

Their attitudes changed so drastically that they would prepare to workout before Clark advised them.

Clark started posting her training services on Facebook. Many people contacted her for advice, eating tips and workout plans. She established steady clientele and began to train people.

Clark’s first client, Tiffany Johnson from Pensacola, contacted her through Facebook. Johnson, after childbirth, had much to say about Clark’s training.

“She’s a motivator,” said Johnson. “She actually tells you what you need to do.”

Johnson said her eating habits were bad, with weekly intakes of mostly burgers and junk food. Within about three weeks of working out with Clark, Johnson lost her baby fat and saw her eating habits change.

“I still eat healthy,” Johnson said. “Though working out is a struggle, I can say that Dieldra took her time with me.”

Clark continued to train people, including one of her three main clients, 38-year old Marianne Byrd.

Before Clark, Byrd was with Weightwatchers. Byrd lost eight pounds in two weeks after training with Clark, and she soon left Weightwatchers.

Clark charges about $100 for her services, but she said she is more concerned with seeing change than making money.

“Even if you don’t have the money, I’ll still train you,” said Clark.

Clark works out every day around seven o’clock in the morning.

Clark said physical fitness is very important, and watching what you eat is keys. No fried foods or soda.

Yero Smith, a graduate assistant strength conditioning coach at FAMU, has worked with Clark and various athletes.

“Physical fitness improves your immune system, and you are less likely to develop diabetes,” said Smith. “Dieldra never complains, and always finishes her workouts.”

Clark is now striving for her certification to train people professionally, and hopes to have her own workout show.