We all have experienced our fair share of bittersweet moments in our lives. Those moments usually come at a time when something you love ends, but the road ahead is an exciting one. That came full circle for me on Friday night.
I have been working at Anytime Fitness for nearly three years (February 15th). Never in a million years did I think I would find a career in a gym. My degree is in broadcast/journalism so I figured this would be a stepping stone after I was canned from my previous employment.
Boy, was I wrong! I found a home here. Toward the middle of 2016, I wanted something more. Something bigger and something better. I get complacent very easily and always seek new challenges. Monotony bores me. So I always search new beginnings. I wanted to test my chops in personal training. I began working toward my certification around July. By December (actually a year ago today), I became a certified personal trainer.
Around March, I signed up my first client. You have probably already read about her. It was my friend, Brandy. If you haven’t, check out here story how a fear of the gym turned into success and a healthier lifestyle.
I began accumulating some clients to work with on the side of managing the office for the club. With a baby on the way, I definitely needed the extra money and I thirsted for something more in my career.
September rolled around and we were doing our annual three month lifestyle competition, September Slimdown. This was a rebranded version of March Meltdown, which I had participated in. Doing the competition is what sparked me to become a personal trainer.
The competition is centered around weight loss, body composition, strength, endurance and healthy habits. It is a competition designed to help people break unhealthy habits and push themselves to the next level at living healthier lives.
This was going to be my first crack at this as a trainer. By this point, I had a pretty full workload of clients with the limited training schedule I had. In fact, I convinced three of my clients to participate in this.
Now let’s fast forward the clock to Friday night. Remember that bittersweet moment I talked about? This was it. It is bittersweet for a number of reasons. Our competition came to a close as we crowned our winners. Even though only a few received the silver plates, one of our other trainers said it best, you are all winners.
This was a hell of a way to cap off what has been a fun journey these last 10 months. It was a hell of a way to cap off my 2017. I found out a few weeks ago that I will be shutting the door on personal training. To be honest, because of the work volume I was burning myself out. However, it sucks to leave something that is so rewarding and fun. I want to take a second to reflect on the last 10 months.
I have witnessed people cry, vomit, hit lows, hit highs and everything under the sun. There is nothing like a client coming up to you and saying that they did a push up for the first time or they hit a new PR on the scale. Whatever the success, big or small, it is all part of the journey and something to be proud of. I can’t thank the people I have trained enough for that. You guys have been amazing. It truly sucks to leave it all behind. I wish I could continue to help my clients continue on their journeys. These people have become more than clients to me. They are my friends. They have let me in to their lives as much as I have let them in to mine. The emotional connection I have made with every one of them is something I cherish.
For my Slimdown team, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on them (with their permission of course).
Man, you and Simon are two great friends that I am truly blessed to have in my life both inside and outside the walls of that gym. What you have been able to accomplish in the last year is extraordinary. Although, Zach is your primary trainer, I am thrilled he lent me you for Slimdown. Physical goals aside, I love that you are working toward the goal of becoming a personal trainer yourself and I think you will be a total rockstar. I saw you take several members and fellow Ducks under your wing to help them lead healthier lives. You are a natural leader, which I think is going to make you a great fitness coach and trainer one day. You are an amazing person inside and out and I can’t wait to watch your journey continue given where you came from. Keep that positive and influential spirit!
Oh man Carla! You are just an absolute peach. I remember when you asked me about joining and I told you how happy I was you asked because I was going to call you and not take no for an answer anyway. You are a walking argument for age just being a number. Age doesn’t put a stranglehold on the mind, heart and spirit. I promise, you have the make up of a warrior and champion. Despite having two bad knees and wear and tear on your body, I never heard you once say “I can’t.” If I said we were doing something, you never even asked for an alternate. By the grace of God, you were going to try whatever I threw your way and I freaking love that about you. We went from barely being able to do one push up in a minute to 18 in one minute. It was an absolute pleasure to watch you improve everywhere. Don’t worry, we will get those sit ups one day! Keep working. I am so damn proud of you. You are truly an inspiration.
You already know how much I care about you. I remember walking into bodyblow when I was just starting to workout and you were super supportive after every class telling me how good I did despite looking like a fish out of the water. Although, your schedule prevented you from getting the full effect of the competition, it wasn’t because a lack of effort. I loved having you in my group because when you came, you were ready to give 150% and that is all you can ask out of people. Keep being awesome fam!
Oh good ole Connie. Your dry sense of humor cracks me up. I still can’t tell whether you’re joking or not most of the time. You definitely made me laugh in the group. I loved that I would tell you to do one workout and then I would look over trying to figure out where the hell you got what you were doing from. For every “Hey Connie, whatcha doing?” it made me laugh. Strength and comfortability are two areas I saw a huge improvement from you and I am thrilled to have been part of that journey. You did awesome and I hope you enjoyed the competition as much as I did.
Holy shit man. I thought I was a high energy person. You put me to shame. I just love your willingness to try anything. I remember approaching you about Slimdown during one of our sessions and you said “shit yeah man, I’m in.” I’m just sitting there thinking to myself, that seemed too easy. Given your past and what you’ve gone through, for you to have the personality and spirit you have is incredible. I have known you for a long time because of school and it is disappointing we never talked back then. But hey, glad we are friends now. You’re awesome, plain and simple. Never forget, “that was the best one yet!” Keep grinding brotha!
When Amanda told me you were joining the Ducks, I was totally confused by it. I would always see you pumping the free weights with Simon’s brother and we would always say hi to each other. Never in a million years did I think you would do September Slimdown. I remember day one, we were talking and you were like what the hell did I get myself into? Here we are three months later and you placed first for the guys after crushing it losing weight and body composition. I am glad you did it because you ran your first 5K and crushed that as well. It has been awesome getting to know you and I hope you continue down the path you’re on. Keep crushing it my man!
I am understanding how easy it is to fall off the wagon when little kids come into the equation. You didn’t let that stop you from finding your way back. I am glad you decided to do the competition. I remember telling you before it started that based on the shape you were in from day one, I didn’t expect to see a huge change in the first month, but I thought you were really going to notice a difference in the month two and three. Sure enough, that change came. I respect the hell out of the effort you put in to every workout. Because of that, physically, you are light years ahead of where you were when we started in September. Your body composition is off the charts as a result. Awesome, awesome job!
Because of these amazing stories and people, this is the tough part of leaving it all behind. However, here comes the sweet part.
Even though I have to give up training, I was offered a golden opportunity to do something else I love. With our gym family expanding, my employers have enough faith in me to hand the title of Social Media Director, meaning I control all content and take responsibility for running all of the social media marketing for all of the clubs, which is pretty damn cool. Finally get to use my degree for something, whoop whoop!
While it sucks to leave behind my clients, I am excited for the new opportunity and journey in my career at Anytime Fitness. Here is to new friends and new beginnings…DILLY DILLY! To all my clients, thank you for an amazing run! Remember to keep pushing, don’t stop because this is only the beginning of your fitness journeys.