Owning one business is tough already; how much more if you have three? For Sandy Joy Weston, the right attitude is all it takes to get you through the tough times and succeed. Sandy is an International Keynote Speaker, Fitness Guru, Wellness Expert, Podcaster, and Joy Spreader. She also was the owner of Weston Fitness and currently has SJW Productions. In this episode, she talks about the ups and downs of being a female entrepreneur, how she managed as the owner of three gyms, and the attitude that carried her through the roughest times. Sandy Joy also shares the five angels that influenced her attitude: Stoner Pete, Sexy Debbie, Rock and Roll George, Heartthrob Billy, and Rough Them Up Tom. What is more, Sandy shares a 60-second journaling lesson, what she learned being a trainer for the Flyers and the time she was a dancer with the 76ers, and the meaning of mental toughness. From entrepreneurship to embracing life to the fullest, this conversation will inspire you to walk on our paths unapologetically who we are.
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A Female Entrepreneur’s Journey Navigating Through The Roughest Times With Sandy Joy Weston
I am so excited to bring some light into your life. We have the wonderful Sandy Joy Weston, who is a highly successful entrepreneur. She owned the Weston Fitness Center. We are going to talk to her a little bit about that. One of the coolest things she did was she became one of the first female trainers for the Philadelphia Flyers. Not to mention, also worked with the Philadelphia 76ers. I’m wondering if Dr. J was in her eyesight when she was doing that.
She was also on NBC10’s local news as their fitness expert. She now has SJW Productions, which focuses on boosting the morale of an individual, team, or company by providing them with the simple tools to develop and maintain a positive attitude. She has a book called Train Your Head & Your Body Will Follow, My 30-Day Reset Journal, and the Recess to Reset. Let’s get a little bit of the wonderful Sandy Joy on stage so you can get what’s getting ready to happen here in the next 30 minutes.
Sandy, we are so excited to have you and have you bring the light to our audience.
I did not know you were going to play that verse until now. Every time I see it, I go, “The things you do, Weston.”
Understand, hokey is good. I’m on the stage now. How you show up matters. Having a ritual. Motion creates emotion. That’s all you were doing. It’s unfortunate that 99% of the people, before they get out of bed, don’t do what you did. I applaud your courage to do that. It takes a little bit to get out there and do that.
It’s a new keynote that I have been doing in the last year and a half where I’m sharing more of my journey. I start with that and I must say, no one has thrown tomatoes at me. They are all like, “That just happened.”@SandyJoyWeston is guest on the LATEST episode of the Get Attitude Podcast with @GlennJbill at the @uofattitude. Produced by @JasonAaronPro Click To Tweet
Congratulations. That is your most recent keynote. This is stuff that you are doing right now from the platform.
For many years, I spoke on wellness. As you can imagine, I was the rah-rah girl. It was all about fitness, how to get motivated, and how to move. They would always bring me in to bring the team up. Recently, during a little setback where we couldn’t go out there and speak, I decided to take a course called Heroic Public Speaking to take my keynotes up to the next level. It was a year-long course. I had no idea how much I didn’t know. It was like starting from scratch. I’m like, “I have been speaking for twenty-some years,” but they are like, “No. If you want to be a visionary and make a huge impact on mental and physical well-being, where are you from? What’s your story?”
I was like, “I’m out. I’ll never tell my story. I’m good. Peace out, suckers.” They are like, “Okay,” then I thought about it. I thought, “I could do this. I can start telling some of my journey.” It took me about a year and a half to get it out because everyone just assumed a happy family, a wealthy family, and a great family. Otherwise, why would she be successful? They think life is grand, and they never asked me.
It took me a while, and then I got out there about 9 to 12 times with people I knew to see how it was received, and it did make a big impact. I wasn’t used to one thing though. They would cry at times. I was always like, “I’m going to make you happy. I’m going to make you joyful.” Everyone is going to get up and dance. They know that’s a given. You are going to create your celebration dance, but I had a rough time pulling in the other direction. The up and down, seeing them cry, and seeing them reflect upon their own lives. I realized if I wanted to change their mindset, I had to be more vulnerable and share my story with them.
Who did you reach out to for that training?
Amy and Michael Port of Heroic Public Speaking. They are not far from me. They are in Lambertville, New Jersey. They come from all over the world. I was there right when we were allowed back out, and there were 40 to 50 people from around the world. I was lucky. I was driving an hour away. That would come there. Half of it was online because you were doing the writing part, which was the hard part, and then you’d go there 4 to 5 times for it.
We are talking down to where you stand and how you stand. It felt weird for me because I’m like, “I want to be genuine.” What I realized is because I rehearsed it so much, it did allow me to be more genuine and tell the story because there’s no way. If I hadn’t done it, I would have been sitting there going, “I can’t tell you the rest of the story.” I want to be able to get through it.
That’s great that you sought out a way to improve after twenty years. For the folks that are tuning in here, the question for them right now needs to be, “Who have I learned from?” “Am I living the same mine trap for the past twenty years that I have been doing?” This world is changing. It’s changing fast. Every time I talk to somebody 30, I can’t understand them because the world is freaking going crazy. For people like us, what do you do? Talk to me a little bit about this thing called attitude. I’d love to know what your definition of attitude is. Who do you think was the biggest attitude influencer in your life?
For me, attitude is everything. It’s all the thoughts and beliefs that twirl around your head. The magical thing for me is you get to decide every single day how you want to show up. Every single day, you can choose. I tell people, “If you got it going on and it’s served you well, then stay with those thoughts, but if not, you might want to change it slightly.” Change your morning routine or change something. Every single day before I get out of bed, I say, “Weston, how do you want to show up today? What’s your word?” I pick one word and then I focus on it. It’s not a lot. I’m a simple person, but it works.The magical thing is you get to decide every single day how you want to show up. Click To Tweet
What was your word today?
Power because I have some negotiations later with some people. They may be a little tough, but power is where I’m coming from.
I love that it’s everything. Everything that goes on in your thoughts and minds, when you look back on who created it, because I’m guessing you have always been like this. I don’t think anything has changed from you from what I have seen. Who would you say influenced your attitude or who is your first attitude coach the most?
There are five. I always thought I had five angels above and below. My five angels, I call my project peeps. They were my gang that I hung out on the benches because my house was all kinds of crazy and they were having struggles with life. My project peeps, there were five of them. There was Stoner Pete, Sexy Debbie, Rock and Roll George, who always came with his guitar. Heartthrob Billy, and Rough Them Up Tom.
It sounds like a motley crew, but these people were the only people that believed in me. The only ones. My counselors were like, “Be glad to graduate high school. Don’t think beyond waitressing and pumping gas.” I’m like, “It’s a good living, but I got other things in mind. My peeps are like, “We are counting on you.” I didn’t do drugs. I didn’t smoke or drink. They wouldn’t let me do anything but have popcorn on the bench because they said they were counting on me to get out there and change the attitude of project people. They were the best people in the entire world.
I want to go down that rabbit hole a little bit. Stoner Pete, is that who the number one was?
Stoner Pete. Have you smoked pot?
Yeah. Who doesn’t anymore? Here’s what I’d like you to try to do. When you think of Stoner Pete, in a sentence or two, what was his attitude? What was the attitude lesson that you garnered from him that sticks with you?
He taught me not to be ashamed of my family. I couldn’t change who they were, but I could change who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go. He helped me visualize and get inside where I want to be, how I want to get there, and then what I have to do to make that happen. I was a dancer, so I always would dance on the picnic tables. I would dance and then visualize where I wanted to go.
When we talk about the gap, we talk about bridging the gap from who you are to who you want to become, and from where you are to where you want to go. That’s what this show is about. This is why people tune into this. They may feel lost, abandoned, and undirected. We have amazing people like you sharing their stories of how they bridged the gap from who they were to who they became, and from where they were to where they are now. We appreciate Stoner Pete’s contribution to this show. What did you say he taught you?
Not to be ashamed of where I came from and my family. I was already in the projects, but they also had their reputation and it wasn’t a good one. I couldn’t change them, but I could change me.
Tell me about Sexy Debbie. What was her attitude mantra or what was the attitude lesson that she gave you that stuck with you?
She made a living off of turning tricks. She helped her family put food on the table. She had the biggest and kindest heart. She taught me this. When you look at someone, don’t just see, “Here they are.” You want to say there’s a prostitute and you already put a judgment seal on them. There’s way more depth and layers. This young lady made it work in a difficult environment to figure out a way to help her family have food for her four brothers and sisters, and I thought she had courage.
She was resourceful. How old were you at that time?
When I moved to the projects and I got my life lessons, I was nine years old.
These people were older than you, but they let you hang out. That’s awesome.
They felt bad for me.
Let’s talk about the rock and roll guy.
Rock and Roll George. He would always play music to lift his spirit. He always had his guitar. Music changed the mood. When we’d be sad, Rock and Roll George wouldn’t have it. Their names are different. I’m protecting the innocent. George always had a song to lift the mood.
He’s great to look at. Heartthrob Billy. He was the sexiest dude ever and also the kindest dude ever. He’s kind and accepting of every shape and size.
Our last one was who?
Rough Them Up Tom. Everybody needs a bodyguard. You need to be protected. You got to have your peace. You mess with me, you are messing up with Rough Them Up Tom. You don’t mess with me.
The attitude lesson as we go through this, we have the ABCs of Attitude. We have the ten attitude boosters. We created what I call the five attitudes of the fantastic Joy, who’s on our show. Having no shame. If you are tuning in to this show, gauge yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 and say, “I have no shame. I am courageous and resourceful. I got to have rhythm and I got to have music.” There’s got to be energy flow, which you are going to talk about, but that ability to be kind and accepting.
To let somebody protect you or to protect others. All 5 or 6 of those traits would make for a great attitude. Maybe we help somebody today who’s out there floundering and wondering what’s the key. Maybe that’s the key. I want to talk about you becoming a female entrepreneur. You owned your gym. What I’d love to hear a little bit is what was the attitude that took you to open your freaking gym? That’s pretty awesome, and then to have it become so successful. Talk a little bit about that story in time.
I was very fortunate. I had three gyms, and I also had another company, which was a corporate wellness company that we competed against ourselves and ran corporate wellness programs. Everything I have ever done, I did with pure joy and to serve others. I started as an aerobic dance instructor because I was doing my internship in dance, and a lot of the members were so freaking thrilled that I taught the class for them.
My main concern was not just giving them a great workout, but I also wanted to entertain them. They would say to me, “You are so great at this. Come to my home and train me.” Back then, there weren’t any private trainers. I’m like, “Okay. If you want me to.” It was a mainline area and they had money and all that.
For many years, I went into people’s homes and worked them out. We got big. I then started a company Specialty Fit and set fifteen other trainers into home. Keep in mind that I don’t want to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be a dance instructor and teach kids to dance, and I was happy with it, but it kept falling in my lap and I never said no to anything.
The biggest thing because I mentor so many people is, “How did you get your first gym?” Someone said, “Do you want another gym?” I’m like, “Yeah.” “I will give you all the money and you will get 50%.” I’m like, “Okay.” Then another one would happen. It’s because whatever I did, I wanted to do it with love, peace, and joy in my heart, and do it the best I could.
Whether I was pumping gas or waitressing, which I did for many years, I wanted to put a smile on your face. My clients saw that because I had some of the biggest clients in the Philadelphia area, and they would say to me, “You don’t want anything from us.” I didn’t care that I had Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, Ed Snider, owner of Flyers, and Pat Croce, who owned the Sixers and multiple physical therapy companies. I didn’t care who they were. I wanted to be there for them.
If they didn’t get up in the morning, I’d be like, “I don’t want your money. I’m coming here and you are working out. I’m going to keep banging on your door.” They respected that. That built-in, “You should open a gym.” I’m like, “That sounds like a great idea.” Three years later, I opened a gym with some of their help. I opened the next one, then I opened the next one. Before I knew it, it was like, “This seemed like it happened overnight,” but what I realized, it was just me knowing that the one thing in life I wanted to do and my main mission was to spread joy and how can I serve you? I’m here for you. That’s it.
Did your parents name you Joy or is that self-given?
They named me Joy. My middle name is Joy, so Sandy Joy.
I’m wondering. Are you a Libra?
I’m a Sagittarian. My birthday is on Thanksgiving.
I had a feeling I was close. Owning three gyms sounds awesome and I get it, but there’s rent to pay. There are people to hire. Tell me about the time when you owned those gyms and when everybody might have looked and said, “She’s so successful and everything is perfect.” Can you tell me about a time when your attitude carried you through maybe in some of the roughest times when you owned those three gyms?
There were a lot of rough times. I remember my business partner was like, “We got to figure something out. We are spending more money than we make it.” I’m like, “Plug in holes.” I had my first one for ten years before I had an opportunity, so I was very fortunate. A few years into it, one of my members said, “I’d like to open a gym.” We opened the second one. We sold that after 2 or 3 years, and then my one downtown had a twenty-year lease on it, but we sold it. The landlord wanted to buy me out, and we sold it in 2019. Thank you, God. I didn’t want to go years early, but there were so many times you had to go out there and go, “Showtime,” and you are wondering how you are paying your employees.
Should you discount the membership? Shouldn’t you discount the membership? Everything looks hunky dory, but you have to put on that face. Every time the elevator doors would open up in my gym in Center City, I would do the same thing going, “It’s showtime. You have to leave it out there, and you are there for them.” I told my whole staff that.
I go, “I will give you one shot if I hear you complaining to the members,” because trainers can do that. I don’t care. Here’s the line. When you cross here, this is where your attitude is for them. I want it to be like Disney’s fitness clubs. This, we can talk about later afterward, but that’s how I felt every single time, every single class, and every single member.
I would tell my members that, by the way. “Here’s the attitude adjustment. When you walk in here, there is no politics. There is no religion. I don’t care about it. You cross this line, you do a mind shift.” I always had a word. They would focus on the word and a power statement, kettlebell class, and spin class, they had to focus on. I’d say in every single class, “What’s the good news?” They’d say, “Somebody says good news or she won’t start a class.” Can you tell I’m big into attitude?
Yes. As entrepreneurs tune in to this, and especially in today’s world, there are a lot of people struggling to keep their businesses afloat.
I brought in a business partner who had been with me since the time he was nineteen. He was a trainer and he worked his way up. By the time he was 35, he was my partner. I brought him in to help me with the separation of stay in my lane, what I do well, but make sure that we are making money. That was my secret. I was great at creating new ideas. I can create a party and theme. To make sure the profit, not that I couldn’t do them, but I knew I had someone going, “Where are we going with this? Are we going to be a nonprofit or are we for profit?” My secret was having him who knew where I wanted to be in the world but could balance me out.
Believe me, there were plenty of times that we would sit and go, “How the hell are we getting out of this one?” He had my mindset. I’m a journaling freak. We journal everything. We write down the impossible. I’m a firm believer in a higher power. I call him Neil. Me and Neil would talk and chat. My partner believed the same way. The staff would come in, and whatever their belief system is, we all journal. We all came from a positive mindset. They weren’t allowed to bitch and complain, and that’s how the magical answers happen. I know it sounds like wackadoo, but that’s how I ran the company and that’s how I came into business all those years.
I love it and most successful companies are authentic, and they are a bit wackadoo. I think that’s what attracts people. For those who don’t journal, I love that you journal and you know the importance of it. Give us a 60-second how-to-start journaling lesson. The person that’s out there going, “Crap, journaling. I don’t believe in journaling,” give us a 60-second sales pitch or whatever. Speak to that person who hasn’t journaled and how it could change their life if they do steps 1, 2, and 3, if you get where I’m coming from.
If your life is going the way you want it and everything you set out to get happens, kumbaya, whatever you are doing, it’s working. If not, you might want to consider writing it down because when you see it, you are more likely to make it happen. Yes, there are studies, 40%, but the truth is you remind yourself, “That’s what Glen was going after today.”
My theme on everything is it only takes 1 to 3 minutes. I don’t have a long attention span. You need to wake up in the morning. How do you want to show up? Pick your word, and reflect on it throughout the day. If it’s joy, power, ease, and flow, what can you do to get back there? Then write a small thing about what you want to go after even just for that day. Start small. That’s it. That’s all I want you to do and see what happens for the next 30 days.
Let’s talk about the attitude of Philly. You are a Philly girl. Do you know Jeffrey Gitomer? He wrote the number one sales book in the history of the world called The Little Red Book of Selling. He loves Philly. You need to check out Jeffrey. He’d written about eleven New York Times bestselling books. He’s a Hall of Fame speaker and a dear friend. He was also a guest on my show. He’s the one who taught me how to do the podcast.
I went to him and he said, “You need to do a podcast.” Here we are 150 episodes later. You are a Philly girl. What’s the attitude of Philly? You can feel it. The Phillies, the 76ers, the Flyers, and the Eagles. I’m a big Eagle fan right now because I bought them at the beginning of the season, so that’s awesome. People from Philly are a little different. There’s a lot of pride there. I want to know the attitude of Philly and what that’s all about.
I’m going to tell you what Philly is like. My son is a freshman at Tyler Art, which is at Temple’s campus in Philly. He’s home for the weekend. I’m driving him down there. As we are driving past the Temple Hospital, I see some people on the street, a female. She’s standing there waiting for the bus and this is what she’s doing. She’s shadowboxing with a smile on her face. She boxes a little more, and that’s Philly. They have an attitude. We are a little rough around the edges. The energy and the camaraderie, there’s nothing like it. I live in the suburbs, but I worked in the city for many years. I still go there all the time.
Camaraderie, I like that. That’s very apropos for sure.
I feel it. I feel the energy right now because we do it like that. We beat the Cowboys. I love sports and I love sporting events. In Philly, there’s nothing like them.
Let’s talk about the attitude lesson you learned being a trainer for the Flyers. Who was the most influential? When you think about attitude in the Flyers organization, whether it be a player or an exec, who taught you an attitude lesson there?
It’s going to have to be a tie between Pat Croce and Ed Snider. Pat Croce was their trainer and he brought me in. Pat Croce is high energy and feels good. He’s written tons of books on it. Besides that, he had successful physical therapy companies. He owned a piece of the Sixers and he was close with Ed Snider who also was a client.
The two of them were so different in their style, but Croce was very much Sandy. Don’t ever back down from who you are. You are loud. You are out there. Don’t ever apologize for it because it’s going to get you a lot of places. Snider taught me business and that you had to make sure you tuned out all the negative chatter that people were saying about you because 90% of it isn’t true, and you don’t let him see you sweat because all the stuff they said about him, I’m like, “You can’t.”
I remember one time I opened another club and somebody I cared about stole all my plans and my staffing and all this other stuff. She was spreading a lot of rumors. He said, “You go in there with your head all high. You don’t justify them. You walk through those doors,” because everyone loved this person and they were not going to not believe her. They’d go, “Sandy, we heard this and this. What do you think?” He goes, “Tell them it’s all true and you are having the time of your life and just keep walking.” “It’s all true. Everything you said and then some. Now, can we get down to business?” It shut them right up. It’s a valuable lesson. I love it.
What’s the most memorable Flyers game you ever were at?
I was fortunate enough to train Eric Lindros. That’s why I was brought in because my team and seven other trainers were brought in to train the players who kept getting injured. One of my most memorable, I was dancing on top of my spin bike to entertain the troops. I had a porno spin class, they called it. That’s another podcast. I was dancing to entertain the spin class. I fell and knocked my front teeth out. I had a playoff game and I had to go to the box. I’m training the trainers. I had to go to the game without my front teeth. They thought I did it and was blackened out for the team. I remember Ed Snider going, “You got balls, Weston.”
Let’s talk about the time with the 76ers. You were a dancer.
At the time, Croce was one of the owners, and Brian Roberts. The city of Philadelphia was the fattest city in the world they said. It was claimed. It probably was. We love our cheesesteaks. I decided that I had an idea. I was going to storm one of the city meetings and tell them what the city needed. Finally, after months of sitting out there, I got in a meeting and they were like, “I have an idea.” All their ideas were boring. Memo and eat this and do that and work out this. They kept sending memos. I’m like, “No one is reading your dumb memos.” I remember sitting there like, “Do you have a better idea?” “I didn’t,” but then I popped up and went, “I know what the city needs. The city needs a line dance.”
They go, “A line dance.” I’m like, “Yeah.” They are like, “You have a line dance?” “Yeah. Let me tweak it.” I didn’t know line dance. I went back and came up with a dance. I showed and presented it. The next thing I know it went all over Philadelphia. We were doing it on the streets. I closed down Market Street. We were doing it on top of firetrucks. Everyone was doing this line dance.
My vision was I always wanted to dance in front of 24,000 people out of a Sixers game. I approached the dance team and they were like, “You are a little old.” I’m 40. I’m like, “I will put a lot of makeup on. I can do things.” Anyhow, I created the dance for them and I got to perform it at one of the games in front of 24,000 people at 40 years old. Even Croce said, “You can’t be doing that. I can’t get you in that door. You are little.” You are never too old to have one of your dreams come true. It was so much fun.You are never too old to have one of your dreams come true. Click To Tweet
It’s such a great attitude lesson. I love that. Let’s talk a little bit now about your new manifestation of you, your company, and your keynote. What’s going on with you? Do you have any online courses? What’s a great way for people to see you? Tell us what your mission is. What’s going on with you right now?
My mission still is to spread pure joy, and I do it with what my side gig was. I always was doing speaking engagements. I have been podcasting for fifteen years. I called it radio, and books and journals. I took that and made it my main gig. The big shift is more mental fitness. I’m going into colleges, high schools, and corporations, teaching them mental strength and conditioning programs.
My main thing is I got asked to go into some high-risk schools and teach them a six-week program for mental strength and mental conditioning. I had to take a lot of time to think, “Do I want to do that? How can I change the programs?” When I went in to meet them, it was great. It was so awesome. I do my keynotes, which I love. I have been doing that. My goal is I want to keep up with one big one a month. I do a workshop for schools and corporations besides my podcast. I wrote the book Recess to Reset for middle school kids, but now I’m writing one for high school kids and I love it all.
People say, “You have to pick a niche,” but I don’t want to do that. I love my keynotes. I love being on the big stage, but I also like going into the schools and working either with the teachers or the kids. It’s been rewarding, especially for me. To go back in there to the high schools and tell, “What do you want?” I’m like, “Let me tell you what I got.” All of a sudden, I can get them to listen to me.
Let’s talk about mental toughness. We had Mark Zannetti called Wrestling Mindset. He’s one of our podcasts. He’s a mental toughness coach. It’s called Wrestling Mindset. He was on Joe Rogan. A freaking great guy. Check that one out. You will like it. “I’m sitting here tuning in to the show. I don’t feel mentally tough. I’m feeling weak. I’m feeling like I’m overwhelmed,” what is your 1, 2, 3? I know we can’t go into it all. Guys, you can go to her website and you can take her course, but hopefully, she’s going to give us 2 or 3 things that can help the person tuning in today. What can you do to become more mentally tough or what does it mean to be mentally tough? What do we need to be telling people about this?
Here’s my big thing. Stop making a big hairy deal over things. I mean that. I get it. If I feel like I walk outside and if I go into a coffee house, I can feel the anxiousness of people. It’s okay. You are going to have thoughts that serve you well and thoughts that don’t. They are not good. They are not bad. They are not right or wrong. They are just thoughts. Embrace those thoughts. Don’t run from them, “It’s okay that I feel this way,” but now what?
What’s the one simple thing that you could do to lift your spirits? For many people, it’s breathing. Taking deep breaths in and out and walking outside. Every single freaking hour, I get up and do a dance reset. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s like I said with journaling. Before you get out of bed every morning, for a few seconds, I know you are busy. We don’t want to take up a lot of your time. Just say, “How do I want to show up in the world?”
Ask for guidance for whatever you embrace and come down. Put that word down, and what could you do to get there? There are little things over time. There are so many books about it, but I truly believe that we over-analyze it. What works for you? What do you enjoy doing? I talk to trees. It works for me. I hug. I don’t meditate sitting still. I mountain bike and meditate. Find your way to feel even just for a minute.
I think we helped some people with that. Not political or anything, but I was thinking about the hostages that were taken a month ago, and how shitty their day must be right now. For us to even think that anything is that big of a deal compared to where those people are, the lord knows where they are, in a tunnel or whatever. I’m like, “Things aren’t that big of a deal.”
GAPers, trust me, whatever is bringing you down, it’s not that big of a freaking deal. Spoken by our fantastic guest, Sandy Joy Weston. Sandy, we are going to close our show like we always do with my little interview technique called Knowledge Through the Decades. That means I’m going to have you go through your life and tell me the attitude lesson from each age that I give you. I want you to go back and think because what’s great is our people get to know you, but they also go back through their life and they replay. Maybe that’s something I would do. We always like to start with birth. You said you had kids. I don’t know if you remember being born or not, but what do you think the attitude lesson is of the birth or of being born or starting a life?
It’s one amazing miracle, and you have this freaking awesome life. When you look at a newborn, tell them how amazing the world is going to be for them.
Isn’t that great? It’s such a positive way to do it.
One freaking great and awesome life, and let’s not blow it.
Shoutout to Max. My fifth grandchild was born two weeks ago. Max, this episode is for you. Sandy Joy hooked it up. It’s a miracle. Life is a miracle. That is the attitude lesson. With so many people, when we talk about showing up, we are not amazed by the miracle that works for us every day. It’s pretty crazy. You gave us a little bit of insight, but I want you to go back to when you were ten years old. That’s 3rd or 4th grade. Was there something that occurred in your life at ten that was an attitude lesson for you? Whether it be bullying, getting in trouble, or doing something great. At ten, what was your attitude lesson?
My mom has had many demons. She spent about 50% of her life in mental institutions and not the well-funded ones. When I would go, my brother who was a year and a half older than me had a rough time with it. I’d say, “Don’t worry. I’m going to get in trouble and look like a fool. They like that to entertain people.”
What I would do is I would bring a little boombox and my tap shoes when I would go. I always wanted to go when they were gathering for their medicine. Keep in mind, I probably was nine and a half at the time when I started going. I’d walk around to each one of them, I’d say, “You don’t need that medicine. Just watch me. I will bring you joy.”
I quickly throw on my tap shoes before I get in trouble, push the boombox, and I would start dancing away. Talk about attitude. You could see, for that one brief moment, the smiles. They would laugh and have such a good time. I realized back then that this was what I was going to do. In just a minute, I could shift their life. I don’t know what happened long term, but I knew that every time I went and tap danced, I felt like they had hope. It probably brought me hope, but instantly they went from feeling so depressed to laughing and smiling. The best thing ever.
That is so powerful and I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t work today. If there’s some little girl out there who wants to try that, she should do it. We have seen it as we do work in old folks’ homes. We will take young kids in and those old people light up. It lights them up. It’s so cool. How many siblings do you have?
I have an older brother.
Just one. Now I want you to think about when you were twenty. You are a sophomore or junior in college, This must have been good. I can’t wait to hear about her when she was twenty.
Dance Major in college, third year, I fell in love and got pregnant. I have no judgment here, but everybody wanted me to have an abortion because I had a full scholarship to college. Dance and no money. That helps. Here I am. What am I going to do? My friend was like, “You are having an abortion.” Third year in college. It wasn’t right for me.
I lost my scholarship. I quit school. I went to the House of His Creation, which was for college kids who were thinking about adoption in Coatesville, PA. My family had other things. They didn’t even know where I was, but everyone thought I was touring and dancing. My friends from school disowned me because I thought I was throwing my life away. I had Mandy my daughter whom I’m now in contact with when she became 18, who’s now 40.
That road looked like, “Have you lost your mind?” I didn’t listen to anyone because it was the right path for me, and that path took me to another college where the dance was in their Health and Phys Ed department, which took me to a house that took me in for two years to get back on my feet, and then took me to the dance student, which took me to aerobics and took me to the most beautiful life I could ever imagine. Yes, I worked three jobs and hitchhike to get back to school. There is that, but it was right for me. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever done in my life because I trusted and listened to myself. That was one. That’s probably not what you expected, but that was what happened.
If you looked at it, you’d say, “You are an insane human.” I don’t believe anything is right or wrong for anyone. I just knew. Even when they came around to say, “Here’s the adoptive family,” because it was a closed adoption back then. This family and this family. I had this vision in my head of what the family would look like and I kept saying, “No.” They are like, “You are going to have the baby. You better pick up a family.” What happened is I had this vision every single night that there was a broken swing set in the backyard, and that would be the family. Finally, they came and I was like, “What does the backyard look like?” They are like, “There’s some stupid broken swing set.” I’m like, “We have a winner.”
No wonder your life’s calling has come out of that time. Without adversity, you can never be a person of perseverance. Sometimes it’s always darkest before the dawn. Your story aligns with mine. I was a college football player and I had the same circumstance. I kept her. I’m still married to the same woman that we started with, but my daughter had her fifth baby.
Here I am younger than you, and that one child that you decided, “This is what’s right for us,” has now given me five grandkids. Think about that. If you are out there and you are going, “What the hell did I do with my life?” If you are in the same situation that Sandy Joy found herself in, you have to trust yourself. Don’t let somebody else make that choice because you have to live with it. You have to live with your decision. Awesome story. Let’s go to 30 years old. Do you remember where you were when you were 30? Do you remember your 30th birthday? What was your attitude lesson at 30?
I sure remember it. I had my first health club and they threw me a surprise party, and they flew my friends in from all over the country, and they had a limo pulled out. My staff showed me how much they appreciated me. It was amazing how my clients and my staff did bring in a male dancer into one of my classes. I was so embarrassed about that, but it’s everyone. I felt like Philadelphia’s favorite daughter. They made me feel so special.
You told us your attitude lesson at 40. You dance for 24,000 people, but if there’s another attitude lesson you want to give us on 40, please do so or we can move on.
You are never too old. I don’t care if one more person says, “Why?” “Because I want to. That’s why.“
Are you 50 yet?
I’m going to be 64 on Thanksgiving.
We have two more to go then. Talk to me about turning 50, what it means for a woman to turn 50 or anyone to turn 50. What was the attitude lesson? Where were you on your 50th? What did you learn? What was your attitude lesson when you hit the big 50?
The staff and the members at the other gym threw big parties and had big posters blown up all over the place. They went to town for me. They took me to New York City. It was telling people to embrace every single year because I never cared that I was getting older. I would be loud. They’re like, “How old are you though? Don’t tell.” I don’t care. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to embrace each and every year. Every year to me was a blessing. I got excited. I never got depressed. I’m like, “I’m excited that I’m 50.”Live life to the fullest. Embrace every single year. Click To Tweet
Embrace it. Four years ago you hit the big 60. My sister Molly loves you. Sorry, I told everybody in our audience that. She’s a redhead and has a lot of spunk like you. What was it like? What was your thought or your attitude lesson at 60? What were you thinking?
Do you remember I told you about the project peeps, the five of them? There was a young lady that now and then showed up. We called her Gypsy Gina, and she said she was a palm reader. I think she was just completely tripping out of her mind. I was nine and she read my palm. Gypsy Gina said, “Let me read your palm.”
I can remember it still to this day. She’s like, “Sorry, sweetie. You are going to have a very short life.” I was nine years old. My teacher was like, “Don’t worry about her. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” Ever since she said that to me, I thought, “I may not have much time.” Every time I reach one, I’m like, “Gypsy Gina was wrong.” At 60, I think I’m safe now. Gypsy Gina might have been tripping out of her mind.
I hope you had fun with us on the show. We always like to let you get on your platform, even though you are sitting in your living room. Just simply think about or try to channel that person who’s in their car who’s crying, walking on the beach, and all alone, or somebody who came to this show to bridge the gap from who they are to who they want to become, and from where they are to where they want to go. Could you give them a message of hope and a couple of closing thoughts on attitude and the message of hope for them?
Somebody asked me, “What would be the gift if there were no limitations on what you would want to give to society?” It took me a while to think about it. I would want every single person to know, no matter what is going on in their life or their heads, that they are a unique gift to the world. Whatever way their brain works, it’s supposed to work that way. The more that they show up, the way they are with no apologies, and they shine bright with everything about them, they will not only be a blessing to the world but they will be a blessing to themselves. I want to send them so much peace, love, and joy every single day. Tap in and listen to the peace, love, and joy that you innately came on earth for.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is the amazing Sandy Joy Weston on the show. We will see you next episode of The Gap.
- Sandy Joy Weston
- Train Your Head & Your Body Will Follow
- My 30-Day Reset Journal
- Recess to Reset
- The Little Red Book of Selling
- Wrestling Mindset
About Sandy Joy Weston
My name is Sandy Joy Weston, I owned the highly successful Weston Fitness in Center City Philadelphia for over a decade. Early in my career I had the honor of becoming the first female trainer for the Philadelphia Flyers, and working with the Philadelphia 76ers dance team, choreographing and performing a half-time routine. I also spent many years as Philadelphia NBC10’s Fitness Expert where I hosted fitness segments with the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and the 76ers. Currently, I am focusing on my company, SJW Productions, which focuses on boosting the moral of the individual, team or company by providing them with simple tools to develop and maintain a positive headspace that serves not only the individual, but others they communicate with. I have also been promoting my books “Train Your Head & Your Body Will Follow”, “My 30-Day Reset Journal” and “Recess to Reset”, speaking both internationally and nationally, giving virtual and live workshops, coaching individuals and groups, and recording my podcasts “Let’s Keep It Real”, “Positive Power Lady” and my new YouTube show, Overcoming The Weekend. My mission to spread the joy and positivity in the world.