By Diane Lofshult
Group fitness instructors reveal the businessrelated purchases that gave them the biggest bang for their buck in terms of career success.
It has been said that the rich just keep getting richer. Witness, for example, the way celebrities are rewarded with fabulous "goodie bags" at Hollywood award ceremonies or are routinely comped for fourcourse meals at pricey restaurants. While these superstars may have paid their dues on the way up, they are clearly reaping the rewards now. But what about less fortunate workers who toil outside of the celebrity limelight? Are there things you could be doing today to further your earning power in the years to come? What, if any, is the financial payback for money you invest today to further your career in the years to come? We asked a panel of group fitness instructors to disclose the investments that have paid dividends over the course of their careers. Here's what they consider the best money they ever spent in terms of the ultimate return on investment. in Mammoth Lakes, California. "Back in the early 1980s, before most people got certified, it was a free-for-all. People were uncontrollably swinging their legs every which way. The `pelvic-tilt era' darn near threw all of our backs out, and shin splints were epidemic! We needed order. Certification meant learning to teach more safely, and instructors ultimately acquired professional ethics in the process." Being certified had an immediate impact on Nottingham's earning power. "Getting certified back in 1985 enabled me to pick up 10 fitness classes a week instead of the five classes I was teaching!" Nottingham was not the only group instructor in the vanguard to prosper from being certified. Tina Anderson, group fitness instructor at 24 Hour Fitness Sport and Total Woman Gym and Day Spa in Mission Viejo, California, says her fitness career has flourished since she earned certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. "Early on, these two certifications, along with specialized Pilates, yoga and indoor cycling certifications, were money well spent," she says. "Having several indoor cycling certifications was critical to my career when I was a master trainer for the Precision Cycling Team, which had been a dream of mine and proved to be a huge
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