I already had two degrees in human sciences (physiology, anatomy, etc. studies), basically premed and a DDS (dentist), when I realized that exercise and athletic performance were my really interests. But back then exercise instructors were considered to be psuedo-professionals. The world of exercise physiology/science was just starting. So:
1) I would have followed my interests and not tried to be the “scientist” of accepted professional studies.
2) I would have sought out the people that were creating the field of exercise science.
But now that I know what it is that makes me tick, I work hard at learning all I can. I learn and I teach, that is what makes me what I am. A fitness professional!!
The biggest thing I would have done differently would be to have switched halfway through graduate school from tax accounting over to physical therapy. I realized that PT and rehabilitation were my passion in my mid-20’s, but I was already halfway through a double masters in business and taxation. Now, some of the trainings I’m the most interested in are outside of my scope (i.e. there’s a training for reformer pilates that you have to have be a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or PTA to apply).
But you never know. We always assume the grass is greener and it might not have been. I’ve got great clients, great classes, and I’m making the differences in peoples’ lives I want to make.