During my last trip to Martinique in the West Indies, visiting my father Guy Ignace who runs a gym there, I had the opportunity to share my knowledge, my passion for my sport with young kids.
That gym still features the equipment that I started training with when I was 15 years old. Looking the kids train there was awesome for me. My father has always been very adamant on giving back and sharing his knowledge with younger generations. The pillar are train, educate yourself, mens sana in corpore sano. He actually asks the kids every night randomly as a teacher would do, so that they understand why they are here, and what the objectives are.
He gave me the exact same base to start building my own body, and my personality. The extraordinary thing that is happening here twice a week, is that the doors are opened for 100 kids, from 6pm to 8pm, just for them. They have a clear training program that my father has prepared for them, they know what they have to do and rotate in small groups. It all starts with 5 series of 15 pull ups, with two pull up bars installed outside of the gym so that everyone can warm up all together.
To understand how strict my father is, the gym is next to the church, twice a week you can see in the dark ( west indies the sun goes down early) a line of 100 boys and girls, waiting for the 6pm bells to ring to enter the gym. No one is allowed before, and no one is allowed late…The notion of respect is real there, as an example, you don’t train inside with your outside shoes, you change yourself, and you respect that tomorrow there will be an abs/glutes class where people lay on the floor.
I had the pleasure to talk to them to share my journey from Morocco to the USA, my love for my sport, and that you need to believe in your dream and work hard to get there.