I’m feeling a little nostalgic today since it’s the 24 year anniversary of the first full class that I taught. So I’m wondering, how did you decide to join the fitness industry, whether you do it for a hobby or as a career?
For me, I had been in gymnastics and drill team for years, including choreographing and teaching routines. When I got out of college, I bought a fancy membership at a women’s only gym and took a few classes. They weren’t fun. I found myself thinking of different things I would do if it were my class. Then I stopped going to classes, and no one had taught me how to use the weight machines. So, in order to keep healthy and to keep interested, I attended a several-week training that was being provided by a regional chain that was offering it to build up their instructor base. After our team teaching, I got a job at a club closer to home. That was in the day of leotards and tights, hi/lo, aerobic steps made out of wooden boxes, and cassette tapes that weren’t 32-beat mixed.
Here’s to another 24 years! What a ride it has been, and still is.
Until I got to college, I found all the previous coaching and instruction was pretty worthless. I had to teach myself how to do pretty much everything that I want to be physically good at before college. While I was in college I got a chance to make some extra money as a swimming instructor and qymnastics coach. I really wanted to be more help to the kids I was working with than the instructors who had simply told me to try harder.
I did these things all through college and really enjoyed it. I received two degrees over that time and had planned to be a dentist. There were no Exercise Science degrees at the time. And as all of the gym teachers I had previously been exposed to were pretty sad at actually teaching skills and the science behind it all, I never considered a Physical Education degree to be an option. I got out in the world and realized that I preferred coaching and made the decision to go back to doing that instead. Once I realized that I was good enough at coaching to make a serious living, I really made a commitment to learning and developing more scientific methods of training. I still study Exercise Physiology and all sorts of exercise science topics to this day. I just renewed all of my certs that I am keeping current and I already have enough CECs to recert again.
I will most likely train clients, teach CECs, and teach prospective fitness professionals to get certified for the rest of my life. Why stop doing what you love to do? I don’t plan on stopping swimming in the ocean, riding my bike all over the Big Island, resistance training, studying, or volunteering in my community either. Why would I? I don’t mind sitting still while watching the waves and the sunset at the end of the day. But even now, I am walking on a treadmill and answering questions because I don’t like to sit still very much and I love to educate others and myself.
Live, Learn, Aloha. That is my motto.