At 46, I changed my career focus from the software industry to the fitness industry; specifically Personal Training. This massive professional and lifestyle change began when at age 40; I was diagnosed with severe narcolepsy. Over the next few years, my condition worsened to the point where I was having a difficult time keeping a job. Shortly after I lost my last “software” job, I discovered something incredible“when I exercised for long periods of time at high intensity my narcolepsy symptoms would go away and stay away for a couple of hours after I stop exercising. I knew at that point I must be physically active a good portion of each day and I know being a personal trainer would provide me with the opportunity to not only help myself but to help others as well. I switched from software to fitness and have never looked back. I know how difficult lifestyle changes can be, and I want to help my clients be successful with their fitness related lifestyle changes. I want to help my clients train in way that does not make them dependent on me as a trainer or dependent on the equipment we use. I want my clients to be able to take control of their lifestyle changes like I took control of mine.
Thank you Bill for sharing your story. I know that your clients feel your dedication every day and are so lucky to have you as a trainer.
I asked a tough question and feel like I should probably put myself on out on the line too. Growing up, my parents didn’t make very good lifestyle choices for our family and as a consequence I was very unhealthy into my twenties. I got a wake up call when I became ill and the doctor’s said basically it was my own fault. That’s when I started working out, eating a healthy diet and my outlook on life completely changed. Everybody kept asking me for tips and how did I do it so I started looking into ACE’s website and at the same time also certified in Spinning.
I know what it’s like to be down on yourself and I remember that every time I meet a new client. It’s my number one priority to make sure they succeed in their goals of lifestyle change.
My motivation to sustain this healthy lifestyle? My mom due to her past lifestyle is now at home in the hospice program with end stage COPD and lung cancer.
I suppose for a truly honest answer you’d need to ask my clients and colleagues this question. However, from what I’ve been told:
-I have a great capacity for breaking down complex ideas or movements into meaningful chunks
-My good mood and energy are infectious
-I’m good at keeping the “personal” in personal training
-I’m able to successfully handle the “difficult” clients:)
I’m not sure fitness is my passion; movement and physical activity sure are! So, I guess in this context fitness and all it entails is my passion to the degree to which I can pass on my love for it to others.
I’m good at what I do because I genuinely care for my clients. Some may say I become a little too involved in my clients’ lives, but I believe to be most effective, I need more than just the physical body.
Many of my clients come to me for overall health and not just weight loss. Since the focus in many cases is activities of daily living, having a regimented workout plan is not as necessary and we can “play” a bit more. It’s not unusual for me to create a workout as the session progresses. As long as we do things in a balanced manner and ultimately meet my clients’ goals, we keep things mixed up. It helps maintain interest and reduces boredom.
Fitness has been a passion of mine for longer than I had realized. I initially went to college for business and never found a job that truly suited my personality and interests. Finally, seven years ago, I had enough support to take a leap and give up the “9 to 5” job to pursue my fitness career. I love my “job” and I love my clients. It’s a rewarding experience I never anticipated.
I began dieting as a young girl and dieted myself right into morbid obesity. At 51 years of age, I found myself 2 pounds away from 300 pounds, with diabetes and hypertension, and becoming immobile. Several years back I had resigned myself to being obese because I had tried diet and exercise, pills and potions, but nothing worked. Something clicked and I knew I had to start on a lifetime journey but things had to be different. No diet! So I began slowly changing my eating habits until I felt good enough to add on a little exercise. After losing 50 pounds I came to a standstill, so I sought out a trainer at the urging of my chiropractor. It was the best thing to happen to me. Under his supreme guidance I lost half my body weight, becoming fit in the process. Having always been overweight/obese, I was never athletic. Now I was skydiving, winning my age group in 5K’s, half marathons, open water swim, and triathlons. I came ALIVE!
The journey was tough. It’s very hard for an obese person to enter a gym and stick with it. You are uncoordinated and it’s hard to “hide” the fat while weight lifting. People snicker, etc. And you’re starting with the defiict of already painful joints, etc. But the transformation that happened both inside (it must come from the inside) and out was such a gift to me that I knew I needed to pay it forward, so I became a PFT and later an RYT. I have a passion for helping those who have given up, for those who thinks it’s too late or not possible to become fit and healthy, for those with limitations and “issues”, for those that need a total overhaul on the inside. I love to watch the light bulb go off and the inside transformations to begin which spark the outside transformations. I love to facilitate their engaging in life and doing things they never dreamed they could do. And that desire to help and guide shows. They see my dedication to staying fit which makes them believe it’s possible, and they feel my dedication to their reaching their own personal goals. I can relate to them because I know what they’re thinking, and they relate to that. So many times, they will ask me how I know them so well or if I was secretly filming their every move! And since I understand their limitations they feel safe in trying the things I ask them to do. And the younguns will kill themselves trying to do something I’ve demonstrated for them because if “the old lady can do” I will definitely try it with all I’ve got!