Aaron Seaton was tired. And not in the fulfilling, gratifying kind of way.
It was 2016 and he was working a job in architecture that took him to all corners of New York City, and then back home to New Jersey.
After a better life, Seaton risked it all. He walked away from his stable career to open a personal training business, TailorMade Bodiez , with no guarantee of success.
It's been two years since Seaton took the leap of faith, and his business is rapidly expanding across Bergen County, most recently to a newly-renovated studio in Englewood.
And yeah, he's still tired -- especially with a new baby at home. But these days, it's in a totally different type of way.
"When I put my head down on the pillow at night I feel vindicated," said the new dad, who runs TailorMade Bodiez alongside his wife, Dana Seaton.
"We operate on our own terms and sinking or swimming is contingent upon our own work ethic.
"The scales can be tipped at any given point. It could plummet, and we'd be responsible or it will flourish, and we'd be able to say that the sweat equity made sense."
Seaton was competing in the men's bodybuilding circuit up and down the East Coast from 2014 to 2016 -- at the same time feeling trapped in a job he hated.
The gym was often the highlight of his day, although he often felt too tired for even that.
"I was overworked and underpaid at my job," Seaton said. "It took its toll on me and wasn't conducive to getting anything done."
Switching gears toward fitness seemed to make the most sense for Seaton.
With encouragement from Dana, the athlete turned his dream of being a fitness professional into a reality -- but only after months of more hard work.
"I started super humbly just knocking on doors," the trainer said. "I would talk to anyone who would listen about health and wellness."
He trained people for free. He went to conferences and began building relationships with others in the fitness industry.
Seaton was building the foundation of what TailorMade Bodiez stands on today.
"It was a slow-rolling ball and at first and emotions were high," the trainer said. "We had a lot on the line -- a wedding we were planning.
"But with this I knew that this would allow me to make a real change."
For himself and others.
After eight months, Seaton had more than 40 clients. And if he wanted to continue training them, he'd have to open his own space.
In Winter 2016, he opened a TailorMade Bodiez facility in Edgewater (and later relocated to Cliffside Park). He opened the newly-renovated Englewood studio in late 2018.
Seaton of Fort Lee attributes his success to the personal touch TailorMade Bodiez gives its clients.
“In order to manifest the kind of culture that we envision," said Seaton, "we obsess over our clients and turn them into raving fans.”
The idea was to make it feel like a family. And then it actually became one.
"They all go out for dinner and drinks together now," Seaton said. "It's amazing what it's become."
Although not many of Seaton's clients know his story, he aims to inspire them every day to strive for what they truly want in life -- whether it's a better body, job or overall happiness.
"Where you sit on the bus in life matters," Seaton said. "There are people okay with sitting in the back and not looking to advance to the front. There are people fine with working 9-to-5 hours.
"But that's not what I want out of life. I want to do more."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.