What I Learned From George Hyder, Master Trainer
As many of you know, our dear friend and colleague, George Hyder, passed away of a massive stroke on Wednesday, Jan. 25. He was only 37. Students and clients of Total Fitness will remember George as the head of Steel Ballet, perhaps the most well-established personal fitness training company in Atlanta. George subbed our yoga classes and taught with me at our 2000 Labor Day Yoga Retreat.
Although we could have viewed each other as competitors, we become not only friends but also personal coaches to each other. George Hyder taught me that the most important thing in life is to have a profound, positive impact on every person one encounters. Every day is an opportunity to touch a life in a positive way.
George lived his personal credo with total integrity. Often his mere presence would lighten up a room. He told me that on the way to his gym every morning, he would repeat the mantra to himself, “I have a profound, positive impact on everyone I meet.” He was totally focused on what he could provide for others. He called himself an old soul, and we swapped books about yoga philosophy, personal magneticism, leadership and spirituality.
I saw George on the Saturday and Sunday before he died. Although he hadn’t been feeling well, there was no sign of the finality of what was to come. As I look back on our last meetings, I have no regrets.
Both of us had already learned how to live life to the fullest. We told each other what mattered—including that we loved each other, and gave each other hugs. Nothing important remained unsaid. What a blessing it was for all of us to have known him. Now our only challenge is to live up to his example.
George Hyder, Expert on Attitude
The words of George Hyder: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, talent or skill. It will make or break an individual, business/ company. The wonderful thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will choose for that day. We cannot change our past. We can only predict our future by the attitude, not our aptitude, will determine our success for the future.
It’s a great day to get better!”
Water, Your Brain and Your Appetite
Because George Hyder’s kidneys failed shortly before he died, I am asking all my clients to remember to drink more water.
Many people don’t realize that all their neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals you need to feel alert and happy, are dependent on water. If you are dehydrated, your neurotransmitters won’t work as well, according to Sue Maes, the specialized kinesiologist with whom I have been studying in London, Ontario.
That’s important for all those who are wanting to control their appetites and overcome depression.
When your level of serotonin is low, you have very poor control over your appetite. Rats with low serotonin will eat forever.
I tell all my clients that if they don’t do anything I ask them other than drink more water, they will get better.
Adequate hydration is important not only for neurotransmitter function but also to maintain the digestive system, detoxify the body and lose weight. Body builders have learned the secret—many will drink as much as two gallons of day to slim down.
Water is the cheapest and healthiest appetite suppressant. It is also free and has no side effects!.
To Lose Weight, Monitor Your Fat Intake
Don’t be so concerned about your protein intake that you forget an indisputable fact: the body stores fat unbelievably efficiently.
Nutritionists recommend that you consume no more than 30 percent of your total calories from all sources of fat, and only 15 percent of total calories from saturated fat.
One gram of fat is equal to nine calories. That compares to 4 calories for each gram of protein or carbohydrates you consume.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for maintaining healthy cell walls, normal cholesterol metabolism and in the formation of important cell regulators called prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds involved in blood pressure and blood coagulation. But saturated fats and trans-fatty acids are the bad guys!
1,200 calories—Maximum 40 fat grams 1,500 calories—Maximum 50 fat grams 1,800 calories—Maximum 60 fat grams 2,000 calories—Maximum 66.6 fat grams
Trans Fatty Acids:
To Lower Your Cholesterol, Hold the Twinkies
It’s the truth: Butter is better for you than margarine. Why? Because research at Harvard has shown that trans fatty acids, which are formed when liquid fats are hardened via a process called hydrogenation, may cause even more damage than saturated fat because they lower the “good” cholesterol, HDL (high density lipoproteins).
Read your labels and avoid hydrogenated fats in processed foods as much as possible.
Butter is still not off the hook, however, because many Americans exceed the recommendations of 15 percent of daily calories from saturated fat.
Nutritionists recommend that you replace margarine with mono– and polyunsaturated oils, like sunflower, safflower and soybean oils.
Is this the same George Hyder mentioned in your article that also lived in Virginia Beach and played football for South Carolina?
Hi Jerrel, Thanks so much for reaching out to me. George definitely grew up in South Carolina. He was a very loved person during his lifetime. He spent time in the army, I believe. Where did you get to know him? Love and light, Catherine Carrigan
Yes,he played for the Ganecocks and his ex-wife was from Virginia . We were all close friends and I miss him, I last saw him in Atlanta
Hi Will, It’s remarkable how people can still make an impact on our lives even years after they have gone. Thanks so much for reading my blog! Sending you love and light from Atlanta, Georgia. Catherine Carrigan
I always wondered what happened to my old roommate, George. George lived with me in Virginia Beach, VA when he was the lead trainer at Bally’s Holiday Health and Fitness there. I have fond memories of George and great stories about his passion and attitude: That was in 1996/97.
Hi Mario, George was a remarkable human being. I still miss his unshakeable enthusiasm. He was a leader of men unlike any human I had ever met before. Thank you so much for reading my article. Sending you love and light, Catherine Carrigan
I will never forget my friend and trainer George Hyder. I met him on a stair master at a gym in Marietta, Georgia. That was the beginning of a long friendship. He would leave inspirational messages every day for me. I always loved “it’s a great day for gravity”. It makes me smile to say it out loud and know he’s listening. I think of George often and how he is missed by so many people.
Hi Cathy, Isn’t that fabulous, to remember the positive impact someone made? George Hyder was an example to us all. I remember he used the mantra, “I make a profound positive impact on everybody I meet.” No truer statement was ever made! I miss George and wish he was still with us. Thank you so much for reading my article! Love and light, Catherine Carrigan
He changed my life. Now Im only 4 years younger than he was when he passed. Last week on my 33rd Birthday, I had “It’s a great day to get better.” tattooed on my arm. I’ve carried George in my heart and mind, and now I see his words daily to remind md of who he saw in me and who he thought I could be. What I would give to be able to see him just 1 more time, or 1000.
Hi Calloway, George Hyder is a great example why none of us should take our lives or our influence for granted. Even now, years later, you and I remember the positive impact he had not only on us but on many other people around him. Let’s set our intention to uplift everybody around us through our thoughts, words and deeds. Thank you so much for reading my blog! Catherine Carrigan
So amazing to see people still blogging about George! I grew up with him, attending Westside High and USC and I’m proud to say we were like brothers. Such an amazing character, full of life and love for others (a gift from his mother) and as mentally tough as anyone I have ever met (from George Sr. of course!). The memories are endless, but what sticks with me most was his inspiring projection of energy, and his ability to rise above life’s challenges, something I will never forget. I, too, think of George often and know all too well the impact he had on so many people. I do feel his spirit sometimes, hovering, yelling at me to pick myself up when the chips are down. Yes, he is dearly missed, and it is with gratitude that I digest all of your thoughtful comments about our dear friend George.
Dear Stan, Yes, I wish George Hyder was still among us! We lost him way too soon. George showed me how one man can make a tremendously profound impact on so many people. We can all emulate his example, spreading sunshine where ever we go! Sending you love and light, Catherine Carrigan
George was an amazing individual, I ran the peachtree RD race with him a couple of times, we dressed in uniform with his logo “cadence corps” “steel ballet”, I met him at Main event fitness in Marietta. He would have a very commanding presence when he entered a room. “GOOOOOOD MOOOORNING, HOOOOOOW YOU DOING!!!??” he would say with his deep voice.
I was part of the video he wanted to release, we trained that day with a group for hours with other fitness buddies that trained with him, the plan was to make a workout video, but he passed before this came to pass, it was out side, we trained with rocks, metal bars, body weight exercises, this guy had very cool and tough workout.
Very fond memories, you are missed George.
Dear Frank, We all miss George very much. Isn’t it amazing how one man still makes such a difference even years after he passed? George Hyder never got to complete his exercise video but we all remember his workouts, his enthusiasm and the inspiration he gave so freely. Love and light, Catherine Carrigan
George was larger then life. He was my friend.
Hi Ed, I miss George also. If he were here at this time, George would make us all laugh and cry. He would still be leading the way for all of us! He has indeed made a profound, positive impact. Sending you love and light, Catherine Carrigan
I played football with George at South Carolina. He walked on at South Carolina and spent his first two years toiling on the scout team. Through his work ethic, Coach Morrison awarded him a scholarship and he spent his last two years as a scholarship athlete. It is a rare occurrence for a walk on to earn a scholarship. A lot of players at South Carolina had more natural talent than George but no one out worked him. He was quite a character and we had some good times. It saddens me to no end to know he has been gone for more than twenty years. Godspeed George.
I’m so grateful to see that others remember George, just as I do! He was a great trainer and a great human being! When my husband was murdered in 1991 I worked out at the gym where George was on Powers Ferry Road in Marietta. I used to run 15 miles a day and after my husband was killed I just kind of shut the world out. George would not stand for that very long… He would call me on the phone and in his bellowing jungle voice say “get up let’s go let’s get going”… my heart and my head were not ready. But the day that I decided to get out of the door I called him and said I will be passing the gym in about 15 minutes and my running shoes will be on my feet. As I came up on the gym he was standing on the sidewalk running in place waiting and he ran that 15 miles with me. I moved away a few years later and always miss his larger-than-life presence! When I did move back to the Atlanta area I wanted to get in touch with him and was devastated to find out that he had passed. Thanks George!
I still remember George from the early 90’s at the gym in Marietta. He had a real presence & infectious positive attitude. He has been missed ever since his passing at a Way Too Young age.
A sign of a life well lived – your impact lives on for decades beyond your passing. I know there are many of us who wish George Hyde was still with us to make us smile and keep us super fit! Love and light, Catherine Carrigan