Three years ago, Paul Lambert took a leap of faith and landed in the sunny west coast city of San Diego. At 23, he was a small town boy who wanted to find peace to accept who he was and courage to become who he always wanted to be.
Lambert found peace and courage at a local gym in San Diego called Evolve Yoga and Movement. It was also there that he discovered his passion for fitness.
“I probably spent three to four hours a day in studio classes because I worked for trade, meaning I would work the front desk and then I got classes unlimited,” Lambert explained.
A Clinton native, Lambert is currently teaching four different classes four days a week at Forrest Fitness in Benson and teaching one class at the Coats location. He teaches body sculpt, boot camp, buns and guns and spinning.
“My class is about so much more than just a workout. It’s about life giving life. When people leave my 60-minute classes, I honestly feel like it’s been my opportunity to bring them life through the life I’ve been given.”
Lambert gives credit to Evolve Yoga and Movement owner Anna Spalding for inspiring him.
“She’s the best of the best — like I’ve never seen anything like it. We actually laugh about it,” he said. “We say that we’re spirit animals because we both have that energy and we have that love for people.”
However, life for Lambert wasn’t always about training schedules and motivating people to be healthy. He struggled with something much bigger than himself that prompted him to leave North Carolina.
“I’m very open with people about my struggles. I actually had been in recovery from substance abuse and so it was out there in California I went through rehabilitation. I’m all about celebrating recovery,” he shared.
Focusing on truly finding inner peace and becoming a whole human being again was the driving force behind his transformation.
“Fitness has allowed me to find inner peace and to work on bettering myself. It’s not just about the biceps or triceps or the push-ups or burpees. It’s about bettering yourself and realizing that you are stronger than you believe you are,” he imparted.
When Lambert isn’t teaching a group fitness class, he is working in floral design at Dewayne’s in Selma, working on seasonal designs for wreaths and as well as a training Miss North Carolina contestants.
A man who was once 118 pounds in high school is now inspiring people every night to become a better version of themselves.
“I want people to leave here feeling like they accomplished something. So many times in life we get knocked down or people try to bring us down and tear us apart that we need something to build us up,” he said.
Lambert hopes to one day open his own fitness studio or maybe even take his classes and techniques global with television specials and workout plans. But one thing is for sure — regardless of what it is, it’s important to try, Lambert attested.
“You have to put effort forth just like with anything. Then you find something that works for you, whether its group classes or a private trainer,” he said. “It’s about starting somewhere and taking it from there.”