Pounding with a Purpose - Aurora woman said her obedience to God put her on the right path
Some people spend years trying to figure out their purpose. One Aurora woman said her obedience to God put her on the right path. She said because of that she is pounding her way through life’s journey.
Yolanda Dunn is an entrepreneur, personal trainer, certified nutrition coach and a POUND Master trainer.
POUND fitness was created by two female drummers from California. The workout incorporates drumsticks.
“That we use as our tools of mass destruction or percussion in our in our workout,” Dunn explained. “So, it is a weighted, strength-based workout as well. It's cardio, it’s hit, it has yoga and Pilate infused movements in there.”
Dunn didn’t always dream of becoming a fitness instructor. She said she started questioning her life’s objective at a young age. She received her master’s degree in business but said she still didn’t know what her purpose was.
“When I say purpose, I knew that I wasn't doing anything that I knew I was meant to do here. Where I was put here to help and to fulfill, what God had for me,” she added. “It was just a feeling.”
She started out in banking and did that for about 10 years. After that she worked in logistics for almost another 10 years. The owner of the logistics company wanted to move, and Dunn said that put her at a crossroads.
“I was just like, ‘you know what, I'm at a point where I do not want to work for anybody else.’ My husband and I started a pest control company. And that was his passion back in 2006. So, I've always been in the business of starting businesses, helping businesses grow, but not really operating in my purpose.”
She said her husband gifted her with personal training sessions for her birthday, shortly after she had her third child.
The trainer saw something in her that she didn’t see in herself. Around 2013, he asked her to lead a group fitness class at his studio. She agreed but she knew, in order to do that, she would have to become certified.
“As I started that journey of education and getting my certification in group fitness,” she said. “I just developed this passion for it. I was like ‘OK, I really like this.’”
She started with some of the trainers’ clients and recruited others. She started her own company called It’s Fit Time. She moved to different studios but in 2019 she moved into a 4200 square foot building.
“And we were thriving for our first time we were in there. COVID hit 2020 and I had to reinvent and went virtual,” Dunn said. “And virtual literally carried us through so we went from striving to surviving.”
The building’s lease was 2 years, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue the agreement. She said she continued to listen to God and let him direct her path. December of last year, she closed that venue and converted her basement to a home studio. She said this transition period helped her prepare for her next steps.
“I got my personal training certification,” she said. “I finished my credentials to become a POUND Master Trainer, which is something I absolutely love.”
Dunn recently led a POUND workout session at Crunch Fitness in Aurora. The class was filled with energy, which was ignited by a drummer.
Dionne Ruff was sweating it out that day. She said she learned about POUND Fitness through Dunn and has been doing the training for three years. She said POUND is her favorite type of workout.
“It gives you an opportunity to dance, drum and fellowship with like people," Ruff explained. "So, it's good to just be out and you know, we can act crazy, and we can have fun. Sometimes as adults we don't think we can play.”
Participants not only played they also encouraged one another by tapping each other’s drumsticks during breaks.
Andrea Dublin is a POUND Pro. She explained why people were doing this.
“That means good job. That's a high five. Instead of doing it with your hands, you hit each other’s sticks," she said.
Dunn said becoming a POUND Master trainer has helped her to not only fulfill her purpose locally, but it also allows her to support people in other states.
And in her hometown, she's doing additional things to stay in tune with her purpose. Dunn is taking part in different community events. One includes the African American Health Coalition heath fair. Details for this event and others can be found on her fitness Facebook page.
- Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.