Friday, September 9, 2016

Spotlight on a Fitness Professional: Get to know me!

I love getting to know people, so it makes perfect sense that my favorite part of any IDEA Fitness Journal is the "spotlight a pro" column. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this magazine, it's a fitness magazine that comes with any IDEA membership or ACE personal trainer or group fitness certification. It's chock full of up-to-date studies, tips and tricks for us fitness professionals.

So it makes sense to feature fitness professionals within.

The "spotlight a pro" column is basically a page of questions and answers, and I thought it would be fun to replicate that here on Daily Dose. I'll be the pro, you be the question asker.


1) What inspired you to start a career in fitness?
People always tell you to pursue what you love, and with a Communications degree, I thought a career in advertising was it for me. And it was for quite awhile, but then one day, it wasn't. I hated my job, but I loved my workouts...and those workouts got me through some tough 8AM-5PM days. So I decided to pursue a personal training certification to use on the side. I was dishing out advice unofficially and loving every minute of it. Why not make it official? So when I eventually lost my advertising job, I decided to be honest with myself—I didn't want that life anymore. I wanted fitness, and I did everything I could to make that happen.

2) What do you love most about your job?
I have been working at the same gym for over six years. I started off as a personal trainer, added on group fitness classes, and I am now the Fitness Director. In addition to running the fitness department, I write a monthly column in a local paper, and work closely with upper management on various marketing and advertising initiatives. So I have come full-circle. I am literally working my dream job. But that's not why I love it. I love my job because I work in an environment that makes everyone happy. We have a diverse membership, so I see members of every age pursuing their health and fitness goals. Some of them are my clients and students, others are the friendly faces I pass on the fitness floor. All of them are my friends and fitness family. And I am better for knowing them. (Also, let's be honest, I work at a gym...which is essentially a glorified playground, so there's that, too.)

3) What is your specialty? What made you pursue it?
From a personal training perspective, I adore working with expecting and new mothers. I have two children, so with that first-hand experience and some additional education, prenatal and postpartum fitness instruction comes quite naturally. Fitness and pregnancy truly do go together, and I love helping other women embrace that. From a group fitness perspective, I am head over heels for PiYo Live. I teach a variety of formats, but this one never gets old to me. Plus, I sincerely believe in its ability to change the body. People light up when they try it. It's just a great format.

4) Do you have a favorite workout to do on your own?
Running. It's therapeutic, constantly challenging and always rewarding. And I can do it for me. Just me. I am not a trainer or an instructor when I am out clocking miles. I am just me, a girl who likes to run.

5) Do you have a favorite piece of workout clothing or gear?
Chaturanga tights from Athleta are all that and a protein bar, I swear. They fit like butter, wash wonderfully, and look super fabulous on. Plus, they always come in a wide variety of stylish colors and prints. Worth the price, for sure. I also can't live without my Saucony Kinvaras and my Garmin Forerunner 15—hands down, two pieces of fitness equipment that always go together. I can't run without them. When it comes to my clients, I love TRX workouts. Especially when I have them do it for the first time! Most assume they can't do it, but find that it's quite approachable and adjustable, which makes their faces light up.

6) What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My kids are my spare time, and they're the best. We hit the beach, library, children's museum...or we pretend to record YouTube videos and have dance parties. When they're not around, Daily Dose is my release, and nights out at quiet restaurants are special treats. Love trying new restaurants! I also like going to Target and TJ Maxx alone because who doesn't.

7) How would you describe yourself?
I'm generally pretty outgoing. I like to interact with people, and I like that interaction to be fun. I'm not afraid to be silly or goofy, but I am always professional and respectful. Even when I'm having a bad day and don't feel like doing or being any of the above. As a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I try to be approachable and welcoming. I do my best to bring the motivation and the education, so my clients and students walk away from our sessions and classes feeling empowered to pursue whatever is coming next.

8) Any recommendations to people who want to start a fitness career?
Follow your heart. If your heart takes you to the gym, do the research and figure out how a fitness career might fit into your life. It's fun, it's also hard—but it's worth all the sweat in the world if you can get a job in the fitness industry.

Question: Your turn! If there's something you'd like me to answer, use the comments section and I'll respond! If you are a fitness professional, I want to know what your specialty is!

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