Why I work in fitness: 6 years ago vs. today
I'm switching it up this week with a more personal post for you about why I work in fitness and how my "why" has changed over the years.
This is the first time I'm writing about my real life thoughts and reflections on my career. I think you might find this interesting if you're an aspiring fitness professional or simply want to learn more about how I got started. I'm excited to dive in, and I hope you like it :)
As you you may have found in your own career path, your reason for doing what you do has likely changed a bit since day 1. At least for me it certainly has!
In this post, I'm going to share my why for being a fitness professional and how my views on the industry have changed for better... and for worse.
I've always been an athlete. Growing up I played volleyball and softball through high school and eventually went on to play collegiate volleyball. Being active was a huge part of my life.
When I was a freshmen in college I thought I wanted to be a Physical Therapist, I loved to study the way the body moved. I double majored in Exercise Science and Pre-Physical Therapy for the first few years.
After I got some job shadow experience in Physical Therapy, I realized that it was more about treating injuries/limitations brought on by preventable lifestyle choices (not every case, but a good amount). For example, I might work with an overweight client to rehabilitate their knee problems. The problem for me was that it wasn't focused on fixing the unhealthy lifestyle choices that brought them there in the first place.
3 years into my Pre-Physical Therapy program, I decided to drop that major and just focus on Exercise Science (there was a minor lapse of judgement where I almost switched my major to PR, lol, but we won't go there).
6 Years Ago: My top 3 reasons for working in fitness
1. I loved to study the way the body worked
Guys. Anatomy and physiology was my JAM, and is something I still love to learn about today. I had some pretty amazing professors in college who inspired me and taught me how important movement is not only for your physical appearance, but for your internal systems, hormone levels, mental state, and prevention of chronic conditions. Learning how the body functions based on what you eat and how you move will forever be my nerdy guilty pleasure.
2. Fitness was much more FUN that other careers
We're the happy people! Why wouldn't I want that for my career? I worked in corporate fitness as my first job (and still work in the industry) which means I worked in a worksite fitness center meant only for the associates of the company. People came to see us to start their day off right, escape the desk, or just de-stress. Forming relationships with these people and being the "best" part of someone's day is a big responsibility, and I loved it (still do, btw).
3. To help people get in a great workout
From the beginning, I also took on odd jobs teaching classes and personal training on the side. It gave me a great feeling of accomplishment to run someone through a great workout, push them out of their comfort zone, and see them leave a stronger person.
Today: My top 3 reasons for working in fitness
1. To help bring more credibility to the fitness industry
It's hard to believe, but just 6 years ago the main social media platform was Facebook. Instagram and Twitter were just gaining steam. As I've used Instagram more and more to promote my blog and fitness coaching, it's made me more aware of the bajillions (that's a number in this case) of people who claim they are fitness professionals, but have no real background. It's scary to see that so many people LOOK UP to these influencers that may not have any scientific background or knowledge of the body. They may have gotten good results, but that does not qualify them to teach others what's right for their body.
I hope to bring ACTIONABLE, SCIENCE-BASED, LIFESTYLE approaches to fitness and overall well-being that can break through the noise, lies, and unsafe practices.
Related Post: 7 fitness truths you need to know about
2. Show people that being healthy doesn't have to be complicated
Honestly, being healthy does not have to be as hard as it looks. And that's what I want to show people! In the days of social media, it may seem like there are a hundred different ways to workout, eat, and spend your time. "Should I run or should I HIIT train? Should I eat keto or should I intermittent fast?"
I'm here to help people get back to the basics, make fitness fun, and weave it into your unique lifestyle. After all, research shows that adherence, or consistency, is one of the top factors of success.
3. Help people live their strongest, happiest life
My mission transformed from a fascination with the just the human body to now the human body AND mind. I've come to find that writing a good fitness plan or coaching someone in their nutrition is only good if they are mentally ready for it and willing to overcome barriers (I've even experience this first-hand with my own unhealthy eating patterns).
There's so much to gain in your life from having a solid fitness routine, eating healthy, and actually putting action behind your goals. I believe that 3 things - fitness, nutrition, and personal growth - actually lay the foundation of your life. If you get a good balance with those, your confidence increases, your mood improves, which also influence better relationships and career.
That's the definition of living a strong, happy life and that's what I stand for.
How my whole perspective shifted
Just like with any career, as you gain experience, your perspective is shaped. That's what happened in my case. At first, studying Exercise Science was a natural transition from being a life-long athlete but it grew into so much more.
I hope you will take a step back to take inventory of how your career is serving you and in what ways your "why" has changed since the start.
Thanks so much for reading as I shared my career journey :) I'm happy to answer any questions in the comments or at my contact page.
Keep moving XX,