Tonya Martin is no stranger to sharing her story. In fact, being open about her most private and challenging journey is the foundation of her success – both personal and professional.
Over the course of almost a decade, Tonya built her career in law enforcement. She married while she was in the police academy, became pregnant the next year, and continued to push toward her goals. She was seeing consistent success in her professional life in spite of the challenges of balancing motherhood, family life, and climbing the ranks in a male-dominated field. But, while Tonya appeared to have it all together, she was quietly struggling with the pressure on a very personal level. “I was succeeding in my career, but internally, I was falling to pieces,” Tonya recalls. She eventually turned to alcohol as a coping tool. “It was a gradual thing, but it got to a point that I knew wasn’t OK for me.”
Toward the pinnacle of her law-enforcement career, Tonya was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. At home, she was struggling through a divorce and battling depression. She eventually decided to step back from her career to re-evaluate while working a second job as a part-time personal trainer. It didn’t take long for Tonya to realize that working out with others was the one time she felt most at peace. “When I was training, I was a different person. I was supporting other people, I was teaching a healthy lifestyle, and I was starting to see some of these positive things reflected in my own life.” Soon, Tonya reclaimed her life through her work with others.
Feeding off the momentum and positivity of her own health transformation, Tonya began thinking of how she could pay that victory forward. With the help of her current husband, they took steps toward creating a safe environment for ordinary people to take control of their lives and be inspired to teach others to do the same. “I said, ‘I need to be transparent about what I’ve been through, so I can be a beacon for the women who are suffering in silence like I had,’” Tonya recalls.
Tonya and her husband founded B.U.S.Y. Body Fitness in 2009 to reach out, specifically, to women in need of support, encouragement, and motivation. “It’s great to have a tribe of people to do life with,” she emphasizes. Whether her members are going through times in their life where the stakes are high, through great tragedy, or through great success, Tonya’s goal is the same, “We don’t let them run away when life hits them hard. We tell them, ‘You aren’t leaving. Not today. Today we work,’ and we might cry on the floor together when it’s over, but they’re proud that they finished.”
Tonya is a Cooper Institute Premier Personal Trainer and pursuing more certifications every day. She is a proponent of exercise therapy and encourages local women on a daily basis. Drawing strength from her experiences, she guides those that seek help “from a place of fear to a place of faith,” on the way to their own health transformations.
Above Photo By Rich Smith Photography