Memphian Tyronza Crawford savoring her dream as a rising fitness trainer

WONDER WOMAN --- Memphian Tyronza Crawford is a former college basketball player who always had lofty aspirations of becoming a fitness trainer. Today, she fulfilling her dream after years of battling to get her weight down. (Photos by Tevin Lucus)

WONDER WOMAN — Memphian Tyronza Crawford is a former college basketball player who always had lofty aspirations of becoming a certified fitness trainer. Today, she fulfilling her dream after years of battling to get her weight down. (Photos by Tevin Lucus)

Children have a unique way of getting their parents’ attention.

No doubt, Tyronza Crawford can attest to this notion.

As Crawford recalls, she was taking her baby daughter, Kristen, a bath a year ago. Suddenly, a funny thing happened before Crawford removed her child from the tub.

“I bent over in my daughter’s tub and she was like, ‘Mama, you’re fat,’” Crawford said with a grin. And my defense was, ‘I’m not fat. I’m trying to lose weight.’ That hurt my feelings. And, at that point, I knew it was time to do something different.”

Ever since what seemingly was a bizarre, gut-checking occurrence that prompted Crawford to take a thorough assessment of her health, she developed a strong commitment to reconnect with that about which she has been passionate.

“I’ve always had a passion and liking for fitness,” said Crawford, a former college basketball player who starred two seasons at Walter State Community College in Morristown, Tenn. before being re-recruited and finishing her college eligibility at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tenn. “And I’ve always been very competitive.”

To her credit, Crawford, 30, not only has managed to overcome the disheartening struggles generated through being overweight, but the native Memphian is starting to reap the benefits of the “competitive” drive she embraced years ago when she first began playing pickup basketball games in Germany.

Today, Crawford is a fledging certified fitness trainer, an occupation she assumed just late last year, let alone a dream that, given her rapid success in such a brief timeframe, is starting to come full circle.

“I just recently started back working out,” Crawford said. “It definitely builds (my confidence), knowing I overcame obstacles and I can help others overcome the very things I was battling with as far as confidence and self-esteem.”

Long before Crawford realized the significance of staying in shape, she endured what she described as arguably the most tumultuous encounter of her life.

Months after graduating from Tusculum, Crawford and her family were met by some disturbing news when they learned her oldest brother, Zweldon Watkins, was diagnosed with heart disease, an illness that is the No. 1 killer for Americans according to an April 2013 report by the American Heart Association at www.heart.org. Consequently, doctors had discovered that Watkins who, for years, had struggled immensely with his weight, was also battling congestive heart failure, an ailment that ultimately cut his life short five years later.

On Dec. 12, 2008, Watkins died at the age of 30.

HUGE IMPACT---Roughly one month removed from having started regular personal workout sessions, a number of individuals have reached out to Crawford about her services as a personal trainer.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT—Roughly one month removed from having started regular personal workout sessions, a number of individuals have reached out to Crawford to inquire about her services as a personal trainer.

“That was definitely heartbreaking and devastating, considering he was the only male figure in my life at the time,” Crawford explained. “After his death, I struggled with my weight. That was a consistent struggle. I wasn’t really conscious of what I was eating. And you know, it wasn’t so much of I didn’t know what to do to get (my weight) down. It was just a matter of me making the time.”

Years later, following the demise of her brother, Crawford sensed it was time she make some immediate changes in her life. Among the essential modifications was to concentrate on eliminating her excess body weight.

“I have a son who wants to play football and he conscious of his weight,” Crawford said. “He has to be under a certain weight to play. So how can I enforce and encourage him to work out if I’m not doing it.”

Though Crawford recently devised a regular schedule for partaking in personal workout sessions, her admiration for health and fitness hasn’t gone unnoticed. Besides being assigned to oversee the weekly “Wonder Women” fitness class for Rock Church Memphis in Southeast Memphis, Crawford was chosen by longtime Memphis-area fitness specialist Juanita Barber to serve as the trainer for the “Faith And Fitness For Life Women’s Challenge,” an assortment of informative sessions aimed toward promoting health and fitness to women who are over 200 pounds and battling obesity.

The sessions are scheduled to run from Feb. 1 through Aug. 2.

As an up-and-coming fitness trainer, it appears Crawford has tackled her newfound craft head on. While she is only weeks removed from having obtained her certification, a number of individuals have already contacted her to inquire about her services as a personal trainer. Fortunately for Crawford, such a trend essentially has made what was an embarrassing moment while bathing her baby daughter one year ago a distant memory today.

“My confidence is definitely at an all-time high,” a much slimmer Crawford said with a smile. Even when I was going through the battles of getting my weight down, there were negative thoughts about getting my weight down. So it certainly shows you can do anything you put your mind to.”

Which is, after all, the message about which her daughter was trying to send a year ago.

For more information about obtaining a personal trainer, call Tyronza Crawford at 901-340-3898 or send email to: robustfitness.ronnie@gmail.com . Also, follow her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/tyronza.watkins.92

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. To reach Johnson, email him at andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist

Comments

  1. I am very interested in getting involved with working out. Phatrnc@gmail.com

  2. I’m so proud of you lil sis! Stay the course and continue grinding!

  3. Ann Butler says:

    I’m a proud to be your cousin!!!! Your Journey have just begun.. Continue keeping God first and everything else will fall in place:-) LOVE YOU..

  4. Tyronza (Ronnie) says:

    Hi Verlee, my contact information is located above. I look forward to speaking with you and seeing how I can further assist you with your health goals. Thanks.

  5. Tyronza (Ronnie) says:

    Thanks Big Sis. I can truely say “It’s GOD”….. he’s working in my favor!

  6. Jamesia Jordan says:

    Great job cousin keep up the good work.

  7. Deborah Gunn says:

    Alright Ronnie, keep me moving!!! You are a fantastic trainer and so proud to have you at Rock Church Memphis!!

  8. Michelle Smith says:

    Go Tyronza! You are an inspiration!

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