Blind, albino personal trainer Jason Nakhla quits due to ‘lack of clients’

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A legally blind, albino personal trainer has shared a tragic clip revealing he has been forced to leave the industry due to a “lack of clients”.

Melbourne-based PT and bodybuilding champion Jason Nakhla, 48, made the tough announcement on TikTok in February.

“I’ve officially resigned from Goodlife (gym) so it means I’m officially unemployed as of now, and due to lack of clients it’s unlikely that I am going to be a PT,” Mr Nakhla said.

“It’s so strange, I’ve been a PT for so many years of my life and it’s what I’m most passionate about. The thought of not being a PT is actually causing me a fair bit of depression at the moment.”

Mr Nakhla told news.com.au he had lost 10 regular clients through their personal issues such as divorce and relocation over the last year and had struggled to replace them.

“Last year was just a financial loss and it was a really bad year,” he explained.

“I always live my life thinking if you follow what you’re passionate about then you don’t really worry about the money, the money will come because you’re doing something you love … but last year was different.”

In his announcement video, the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation (IFBB) Australian Lightweight Champion said despite his experience and expertise, the industry had changed.

“It’s so strange because I’ve got over 30 years training experience … I’ve worked with the best in the business and the best exercise physiologists in Australia, and all of this apparently amounts to nothing as people would rather go to a 20-year-old who has just finished their course and is charging 10 bucks less,” Mr Nakhla said in the video.

“It’s really hard to be cheerful right now, life is tough and honestly I don’t feel life myself. “Without any work, without any income, without any purpose, it’s a tough time right now.”

Since posting the video in mid-February Mr Nakhla has received an outpouring of support from people inspired by his story, including colleagues, friends, and strangers from other countries.

“It kind of surprised me, just like the endless amounts of comments and feedback from people reaching out and stuff like that … it’s nice to know that people are there,” he said.

“I didn’t really want to post it and I was going to delete it pretty soon because normally I’m a very positive person and I don’t really like negative stuff.

“But you know, I’ve also always been really honest and upfront with my clients and my followers.”

The former social worker has openly shared his inspiring story on TikTok, having been born with albinism and a condition known as nystagmus, which causes the eyes to make repetitive, uncontrolled movements. As a result, Nakhla is legally blind. He was also diagnosed with Scheuermann’s disease as a teenager and has suffered from nerve pain across 90 per cent of his body.

The 48-year-old explained that albinism means the hair and skin lack pigment, as opposed to the “people who think I’m like a grandpa on steroids”.

“Everyone’s a bit too sensitive and ‘you can’t say this and you can’t say that’. I have albinism. It is what it is,” he said about the condition.

“It doesn’t matter what you call it and how nice you can make it sound.

“Obviously, I don’t like having the condition but that’s what I have, I can’t I can’t run away from it.”

From an early age, Mr Nakhla said he looked up to superheroes like He-Man and the Incredible Hulk and started training in his garage as a teenager.

The decision to get serious about lifting and bodybuilding came later on when a client wanted to get into the sport.

“I was just honest, and I said well, I’ve actually never seen a show. I have no idea what they do so I can’t really help you, and I practice what I preach, so I can’t really teach you.

“(But) we sort of made a deal and I said I’d do one competition and learn what I could from it, and then I could help her.”

Mr Nakhla’s said his passion for personal training has motivated him through multiple surgeries and setbacks.

He told news.com.au he hoped to move further into Melbourne’s inner-city and continue working as a PT where his knowledge and experience will be more appreciated.

“I just need to go where I know my value is,” he said.

“You know, it was just a joy to wake up in the morning and be excited to help as many people as I could.

“It always felt good to help change people’s lives and not just the physical – because the physical is the easy part.”