Friday, July 18, 2014

My journey from desk job to Personal Trainer

I've been a personal trainer now for almost 2 years. However, I have not always been fit, working 7 years behind a desk and many years of education. I married the love of my life and we got caught up with working and entertaining without exercising regularly. Seems like all of a sudden, I was not happy with my body and finally after years of still no activity, I decided enough was enough and I got off the couch. 

First, I joined a gym with two of my female coworkers, but only went in and did cardio 3x/week. I gained 7lbs. and canceled my membership. I remember vividly one Monday evening picking my husband up from work, feeling like my pants were busing at the seams. I cried while waiting for him. Two things I learned about myself are 1.) I need consistency and 2.) I need a partner. With those two things I know I can be successful so I asked him to commit to something easy: running 1 mile with me, 3x/week for 5 weeks. He said yes! So we started THAT NIGHT! 

Setting out on a jog, I made it 2 blocks before I had to slow to a walk and catch my breath. It took me 18 minutes to complete that first mile. This was going to take a while, but we got in the rhythm and after the 5 weeks of initial commitment, we continued! At some point I was able to jog the entire mile and then we increased our distance to 1.5 miles, then 2, then 3 then 6 and a year later we ran the San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. We finished it in 1h 30m 18s together, holding hands across the finish line! Yet, I still wasn't what I considered "fit".

We kept running and I was also doing yoga twice a week. Then we moved to London, UK so my husband could take a 1 year work assignment. I tried running outside our flat along The Thames river, but it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as through the wide, empty streets of Palo Alto and I needed to make some friends. 

Time Out had this awesome write up of the hippest gyms in London. The description alone sounded so exciting, I made an appointment for a tour. That's when my fitness life changed forever because instead of getting a membership, I ended up getting an interview on the sales team! One of the things we needed to education our members on was the benefit of Personal Training. I had no idea what it was like, so I started training with one and wow, he blew my mind! 

After a few months of our training, I asked our husband down to the gym in our flat building to workout. I wanted to show him some of the cool stuff I'm learning. He said yes, so I wrote out a little program and took him through it. He is not a gym-goer, so I had to explain all of the exercises and demonstrate them to him. To my surprise, I really liked it and he said that for once he could really see the passion in my eyes and knew that this is what I was suppose to do with my life - be a Personal Trainer! In shock, I said I'd think about it. It was several months later, but I finally decided to go for it, so I called NASM and they sent my studying material all the way to London where I began studying immediately. 

Right before our move back to the states and only after a few months of studying, I sat for the NASM exam. I was unsuccessful in my first attempt. After reading the questions, I clearly did not know the material like I thought I did. I remember feeling so embarrassed and tried so hard to keep myself together as I took the hour long tube ride back home. It was a packed train that goes from Heathrow Airport so it's packed and everyone is excited to either get home or start their vacation...and there I am in tears. It took me a month to pick up my study materials again. 

After our time in London was up, we moved back to the Bay Area, but this time in San Francisco. I mystery shopped a bunch of gyms to see where I'd like to train and eventually work. I found an awesome trainer at Crunch and immediately got started with him, but didn't tell him my background. The training style was different, the city was different and I went through a time of being angry and frustrated because change is hard. I finally told my trainer I was studying and he was so excited for me, thought I'd be great at it, and offered to help me study! WOW! I passed my exam the same week of my interview at Crunch and got the job offer. 

I was a Personal Trainer at a large chain gym in SF for about a year. I got to meet so many awesome people and learned many valuable skills. After a year, I decided to leave and start my own businesses. This is where I started re:Fit Body. I work mainly out of Alex Fitness on Market and run a Saturday morning Full Body Fit (Better than Bootcamp) in Duboce Park. It's been a few months now and my excitement for fitness is growing and I'm starting to seek new challenges in my fitness goals, my clients fitness goals and also spread the word of fitness, coming from a regular person that's fitness minded.

My certifications are NASM CPT, NASM PES, TRX, TRX Rip Trainer, dotFit, RockTape & Poliquin's BioSignature Modulation, however my passion is much more personal than that.