How It Happened, Part III

27 Jun

As I had written previously, I had started to take note of some of the personal trainers working with clients at the gym my wife and I now belonged to, and over time an idea started forming in my head: This was something I could see myself doing and really enjoying! I began by asking questions about the certification process, and about the industry as a whole, But true to my personality type (and there will be more on that in my next post, because it is very relevant to my story), I didn’t just jump into it. Instead, I found myself struggling internally: My heart really wanted to go for it, while the more cautious and pragmatic side of me held back, feeling safe and comfortable with a secure job that offered a steady paycheck and generous benefits. This conflict between my head and my heart took place over the course of what actually turned out to be several years. But what finally tipped the scales and convinced me to take the plunge was a very wise comment made by wife’s sister-in-law, who reminded me that at the very least, I could get certified for the sake of my own edification. Having been convinced to follow my heart, I ordered the necessary study materials from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (an organization that had been recommended to me by a trainer whom I had spoken to), and set about preparing to be certified. As I did so, I found that the process was much more than merely a means to an end: In fact, I found that studying exercise physiology and kinetic movement was intellectually stimulating and actually quite enjoyable. Cathy’s sister-in-law had been right: Whatever the destination may be, the journey in and of itself was well worth it!


Finally, after months of preparation, I drove down to Connecticutfor my certification workshop in October 2004. It was an intense weekend for sure, but I really enjoyed the learning experience, as well as the chance to interact with other people whose passion was every bit as deep-seated as mine. There was a written exam as well as a practical one, and while I was exhausted on the drive home that afternoon, I also felt exhilarated and confident. A few weeks later, I got the official word from AFAA: I had passed, and was now a certified personal trainer!


After the certification process was done, I took some time in order to attend to some household projects which had been put on the back burner in the meantime (including a complete resurfacing of the floor on our main living level, which took a lot of time and effort). But by 2006 I was ready and eager to put my certification to work! In June of that year I took my first job at a health club, and while I was cutting my teeth there I also added several group exercise formats to my repertoire. I’ve been working in the industry ever since, and it’s a decision I’ve never regretted: Not only have I had the privilege of getting paid to do something I absolutely love, but I’ve also met and befriended more truly amazing people than I could ever have dreamed possible when I first started thinking about entering the profession!


Thanks for being here and supporting me as I told the story of my transformation thus far– and even more importantly, thank you all for being part of my story! My transformation isn’t finished yet, because my career is still evolving – and with that in mind, I’ll be sure to keep you all very much in the loop as my path continues to unfold.


For the time being, however, I’d like to delve more deeply into the subject of why I felt compelled to make this transformation. More on that in my next installment…


One Response to “How It Happened, Part III”

  1. Miranda June 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    So great to hear this part of your inspiring story, Andy!

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