I know what you're thinking. I have the title backwards, right? My part-time career wasn't my passion at first. For those of you, who aren't followers of my pf blog, I teach group exercise classes as my part-time job.
I had gone to the YMCA when I was home from school and during my work semesters. All I did was run on the track (Side note: I can't stress to you how much I despise running to this day. I can't tell you how many times I've attempted to get into it and gave up. I even tried running with a buddy.), do spin classes and swim. Looking back, it seemed as if I was training for a triathlon. Let me assure you, I definitely wasn't. I didn't work out too much at school. With all the weekly assignments, tests, and lab reports, I felt like there was never any time. The most exercise I got was biking to and from campus.
Post-graduation, my main reason for joining a gym was to avoid driving through rush hour traffic. I remember my first few group exercise classes and how nervous I was. I used the lightest weights and had a hard time keeping up with the moves. However, I admired the instructors. They always looked they were having fun. They made it look SO easy and their classes were always packed. I thought, hey, I can do that. I like to try new things.
So I signed up to get my fitness instructor specialist certification. I did the theory portion of the course and passed the exam. Then came the practical. In order to complete the certification, instructors need to send a video of themselves instructing a class. The gym I wanted to work for had their own specific programs, so I needed to complete that training as well in order to teach a certain program at that gym. So I thought I was pretty fit and that I could handle a weekend of boot camp. Wrong! I got my ass kicked big time.
Then came preparation for the video. It is one thing to FOLLOW an exercise class, but to LEAD an exercise class is a whole different ball game. You have to know the moves, cue what move is coming next, demonstrate strength and good technique. After all, you are their role model. You have to tell them how to achieve good technique and most of all, you have to motivate them because that's why they are at the gym in the first place. Yelling and exercising at the same time takes your fitness to a whole new level.
Then came the actual video. Have you ever noticed how much more self-conscious and nervous you feel when you are being filmed? That you're more prone to screw up? Oh and how the camera captures EVERYTHING? And I mean everything. Watching myself on video made me cringe. I shot my submission video several times and chose one that seemed the best out of all of them. A month and a bit later, I got an email saying that I had failed my video and needed to re-do in order to become certified. I was heartbroken and in tears. Imagine working so hard at something, putting almost all your free time and effort into it, only to find out you had failed at it. Being somewhat a perfectionist and overachiever in school, failure was not in my vocabulary. But determined was in my vocabulary.
I worked on what the assessors recommended. Taught several more times with certified instructors, shot my video and passed the second time. It took over a year and half for me to feel confident as an instructor. Going through the whole process of being certified was one of the most difficult things I've had to do thus far and left me mentally, emotionally and of course physically drained.
Early on in my teaching career, I still doubted myself as an instructor. During the training, I began to think why am I doing this. When I would teach classes, I would think is this right for me? Am I capable of doing this? Over time, the more I did it, the more comfortable I became being on stage and let my personality shine through.
Then I started having moments. My classes started to become packed. Members became regulars to my classes. They've told me I'm their favourite instructor and after class that it was a great workout. When I noticed how I was able to push them harder than they thought they could, that was when my part-time career became my passion.
About the Author
I'm a frugal and fit gal who blogs at MakintheBacon$, sharing my stories about my personal finances. I started reading personal finance blogs looking for ways to save more money when the bf and I decided to save/look for a house. When I'm not blogging, I'm baking, working out, reading, cycling, travelling or doing something else, but obviously not at the same time.
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