by John Stapleton
Dallas was the No. 1 TV show, and Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean was topping the music charts when Nay Demps was born in Flint, Michigan. The youngest of five, Demps grew up in a poverty stricken neighborhood where healthy options weren’t always available.
“Hot dogs and canned food definitely was more affordable than fresh food,” Demps says. “My father was a diabetic but didn’t care for himself at all.”
Demps says physical health was not the only thing neglected; the household was also abusive. She describes her father as not a mentally well person. However, her mother loved him unconditionally, passing on a mental strength to Demps.
“Watching my mom go through the abuse gave me strength,” Demps says. She was a strong woman; don’t even believe she understood her strength and power. That same strength she passed to me, but I didn’t realize it ‘til much later in life.”
Her father passed away when Demps was 11. Strength would indeed be needed just as much as she entered adulthood, even if it often appeared as a lack of discipline.
She says she was kicked out of every high school in the area and eventually dropped out. By 17, she left home. Demps became homeless, living out of her car. She was relentless, though, working until she saved enough for a diminutive apartment. It was enough space for her and the roaches.
“I remember opening the refrigerator in the apartment when an army of roaches came crawling from the refrigerator!” says Demps, “but it was home for me.”
By 18, she received her GED while working every odd job possible. However, the ups and down would remain persistent. She would fall into homelessness again even while pregnant with her first son.
That became another turning point as Demps says she began to realize she had to make a different life for him. She enrolled in college. She would graduate with a degree in criminal justice while holding her son in the other arm.
Demps would go on to get married, have three more children. She also discovered the gym. Called “The Source” in Flint it was hardcore, gritty, free-weight workouts, and she was one of two females who worked out there.
It wasn’t long before the transformation began to take place, not just physically, but emotionally. Demps says she found her peace zone, a place where she could put everything in perspective, a place where she could tear down past trauma and rebuild from the inside out. Eventually, she got to a place where she could compete with her “no quit attitude.”
In 2008, Demps and her family made a big decision and relocated to Arizona. She started working with kids in Maricopa’s Head Start program, also working with autistic children. She then became a security guard at the high school, working with kids who very much mirrored herself in her younger days. Despite moving in a forward direction professionally, her marriage ended and she became a single mother raising her four children.
The “no quit attitude” and the inner strength she inherited from her mother pushed her to return to pursue a dream to become a police officer. In 2018, Demps completely flipped the script on her childhood behavior, graduated from the police academy and became Officer Demps, City of Maricopa.
She also had became a certified fitness trainer, starting her TRU2U program, which focuses on women’s health and taps into their inner strength. TRU2U is the acronym for “Train to Remain Undefeated.”
“Many women give so much of themselves, along the way always giving and forgetting about their own needs,” Demps says. “Society has put this vision of beauty in our heads. I want to help women tap into their true beauty, which I believe starts with self-love. Taking care of your self, what we eat and exercise is a big contributing factor in mental health and overall wellness. Exercise is proven to help with depression, anxiety and stress.
“Looking at yourself, saying ‘I’m beautiful I’m enough’ is so powerful. My goal for the women I train is for each of them to become the best version of themselves and not someone else’s version.”
Demps also says she is lucky to have found love again with someone who is not just supportive of her health and fitness goals, but someone she can workout with, with equal intensity.
During the pandemic, Demps has held weekly boot camps at a local park pushing women to their limits. She also trains in limited groups out of her gym in the garage, keeping it gritty and intense like the workouts at “The Source.”
Her next goal is to open a facility, which judging by her track record, it is only a matter of time.
To visit TRU2U go to www.Tru2ufit.net