Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owner Jodi Rund has always had a penchant for pushing others to realize their own power and potential.
It was this aptitude for teaching and helping people that has largely determined the course of Jodi’s own personal and professional life – from pursuing her degree in education, to finding new ways of motivating her combat unit in Iraq, to opening three Fit Body Boot Camp gym franchises in Palm Beach, Florida.
Jodi’s winding career path has taken many unexpected twists and turns, but throughout every endeavor, she has remained dedicated to her one guiding principle – doing everything in her power to guide individuals on their path to success and self-actualization.
Spending Her Senior Year Serving a Military Tour Overseas
Two years into pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jodi realized she was running out of financial aid. She enlisted in the U.S. National Guard to help offset the cost of her education.
Six months later, she would find herself thrown into active combat training, immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of Americans. Several months after that, during the second semester of her senior year, Jodi and her unit were deployed to Iraq.
“We were so early within the rotation that we didn’t even have some of the right armor, and being on the frontlines in weapons and artillery, our unit also experienced the highest number of casualties out of all transportation units in the entire war,” Jodi said. “We lost our first man within 24 hours of landing overseas and suffered a total of 39 casualties, 34 injured and five killed in action, including my best friend, a single mom who left behind her six-year-old daughter.”
While travailing through an unimaginable situation, facing near-impossible odds, Jodi stepped into her first leadership role.
“That was really my first experience with actual coaching and guidance because you really need to trust each other and lean on one another in those extremely trying situations,” Jodi said. “I was always looking for new ways to keep our team motivated and find different team-building exercises to help prevent any bitterness or animosity that can be so pervasive in a war.”
Taking a Leadership Role with Fit Body Boot Camp
Jodi spent a year in active combat before returning to the United States, where she married her college sweetheart and earned her Master’s degree in education.
Soon after, she and her husband, Thad, moved to Costa Rica. There, she taught and later built an elementary school from the ground up. Jodi also started a girls’ basketball team at a local high school.
“Teaching and fitness have always gone hand-in-hand as some of my greatest passions,” Jodi said.
While Jodi taught and managed the school, she also started a personal training business. And, when the Runds had to move back to the U.S. for Thad’s job, Jodi still wanted to continue her work in the fitness industry.
The couple relocated to Palm Beach, Fla., where Jodi discovered Fit Body Boot Camp. The fitness franchise concept aligned with her sensibilities so much that she decided to become a franchise owner almost immediately.
“For me, it’s always been about doing the most good, and I soon realized that Fit Body Boot Camp would help me reach the most people and change the most lives,” Jodi said. “I absolutely fell in love with the brand, and six months after first learning about the opportunity, I opened my first Fit Body Boot Camp.”
Jodi opened her doors with six employees, whose well-being and development she took just as seriously as the development of each of her clients.
“To this day, the most rewarding part of my career is helping create a strong environment for employees and clients alike, both for people who work at the gym, as well as those who work out at our gym,” Jodi said.
Demand Builds: Expanding Her Gym Franchise Footprint
Just a few months after the gym’s grand opening,community members began asking Jodi about the possibility of adding Fit Body Boot Camp locations in the area.
“The community response was absolutely amazing,” Jodi said. “People loved the concept, and demand was extremely high.”
The next year, in 2017, Jodi opened another location in North Palm Beach, followed by a third in nearby Delray Beach in March of this year.
From military boot camp and active combat, to encouraging active lifestyles with Fit Body Boot Camp, Jodi has dedicated her entire life to coaching others and leading them along the path to success.
“Owning my own businesses with Fit Body Boot Camp has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” Jodi said. “No matter how many hours I put in, it has never felt like work because I genuinely enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to help hundreds of people change their lives every day.”