WEEK #17: NIKE CHARLES
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nike Charles and I currently work as an Insurance Claims Manager full time and I own a fitness studio called Just2sweat where I work as a certified personal trainer and bootcamp instructor. I’m an athlete who played basketball in California from 1997-2001. I love and enjoy playing all sports but basketball is my favourite.
Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced?
At a young age I was labeled as having behavioral issues and I was placed in a behavioral program/class throughout middle school. I carried that label and anger into high school.
Growing up in the Lawrence Heights (often referred to as the “Jungle”) and the Jane and Finch area in Toronto, high school was where I learned the true meaning of struggles and challenges.
My life started to spiral out of control. I ended up getting expelled from two local high schools and eventually ended up attending Westview Centennial where my life continued to spiral. It was in Westview that I got charged with assault and my boyfriend was murdered. Little did I know that my struggles would be the pathway that led to my successes.
How did you overcome that barrier? What skills did you develop in sport that helped you overcome your barrier?
While attending Westview I learned that my so-called “behavioral issues” were actually leadership characteristics that in turn were brought out on the basketball court. I then began to see myself as a leader and my then mindset shifted. I started focusing all my energy on being the best me possible and inspiring those around me. After I completed high school, I received a scholarship to play basketball in California where I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Sports Medicine. After graduating I moved back home in 2002 and worked as a Kinesiologist in the Jane and Finch area (back to where I grew up).
Presently I work as a full-time Insurance Injury Claims Manager and own a fitness company where I work as a Personal Trainer/coach and mentor females.
I have been married to my soul mate for 15 years and together we have a 13-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son. I believe that shifting your mindset, setting goals and looking beyond your boundaries can bring you to a place of purpose, whereby you can live out your destiny.