Pedram Etebari, personal trainer and owner of FiTrain, LLC in Valparaiso, grew up with a deep love for the sport of soccer. At the age of only 13, Etebari became the youngest professional soccer player in his entire program.
“Growing up, my life was always surrounded by soccer – practice, games, everything. In high school, I would wake up at 4 a.m. for practice, then go to school. After school, my dad would pick me up, I would eat dinner in the car and go to another practice until 8 or 9 in the evening.” He said.
Etebari was born and raised in Kerman, Iran. His family was always close and extremely supportive of all his endeavors, especially soccer because of Etebari’s dedication to the sport.
He had the chance to move to the United States to attend Valparaiso University for Exercise Science, earning his degree in 2018. “I came here to study English and ended up really falling in love with the community.” He said.
Etebari described Valparaiso as one-of-a-kind, friendly, and welcoming.
“It’s very difficult to be from Iran living in America because people tend to judge you right away, but I never got that feeling from anyone around here. People have been nothing but amazing.” He said.
Etebari’s sincere love for the community lead him to open his own personal training business, FiTrain, LLC, about 19 months ago.
“FiTrain is a family-owned business. I believe that with my international background, I am able to have a different perspective than a lot of my friends and colleagues and that makes me feel like I can help the community and our members in a unique, special way.” He said.
He has been working as a personal trainer for over three years. Etebari’s mother has worked as a health and fitness instructor for the last 15-20 years and because he was always in that environment, becoming a personal trainer was his first choice for an occupation. In addition to his career, Etebari has had 13 fitness-related works published in Iran and two in the U.S.
Etebari’s fondness for personal training also came from a combination of his love for working with and helping people, along his natural want to make an impact on his clients lives.
“I work with so many kinds of people with different lifestyles and skills. All their goals become important to me and I feel good inside when they reach those goals. I am truly a blessed man.” He said.
When it comes to advice, Etebari said for those looking to start their health and fitness journey, he recommends being patient with yourself as the progress is gradual.
“Try not to get discouraged, stick with a solid plan, and seek professional guidance from a personal trainer or fitness coach if you feel lost or overwhelmed.” He said.
Encouragement and motivation are a large part of Etebari’s everyday life. Because of this, he makes it a point to often set short-term and long-term goals for himself to keep himself on track. An example of one of these goals is for the month of June, he has committed to spending at least half an hour each day exercising.
Along with this, Etebari also strives to spend as much time as possible being active with his wife, Rachel, and 19-month old son. It’s the support from his family that keeps Etebari pushing every single day to help others become the best versions of themselves.
“My wife, above anyone else, has always been my biggest supporter. I don’t know where I would be without her because her inspiring me to become a better person has increased my motivation to help others more and more every day." He said.
“My ultimate goal to be happy and healthy is to keep eating well and exercising and to help other around me do the same. I want everyone around me to feel as healthy and good about themselves as possible!” He said.