Personal Trainer Meet Big City Trainers

I live in this big city, I took a jump and landed a job with a studio that caters to wealthier people in the surrounding area. I never really doubted myself when it came to programming because I was good at doing it on the fly (I had to be) and I thought I was good at being a trainer, but working for this company has me second guessing my 6 years of experience —

Truthfully, I didn’t start questioning myself up until now when I am working along 4 other trainers who are younger than myself but seem to have such a way with writing programs that it just falls into place; on the other hand, I find myself getting frustrated when creating workouts, because I don’t know these clients very well, I seem to be creating exercises that some of the trainers don’t know or even heard of it, and I fall short when I am creating programs for those who I don’t train very often — not my fault necessarily but when I see the face of another trainer who is looking at my programs because they are going to administer the workout to the specific client; the facial expression says it all. Not to mention, when an exercise gets changed and they explain in the notes why or when they don’t fulfill my workouts because it isn’t what they want to do with the client. Seems my small town didn’t prepare me for this harsh reality: I NEED TO STEP UP MY GAME! and I need to do more time researching, studying, doing more CECs and bettering myself in this field or I won’t make it past this job, I won’t make it to my end goal in this career, and I won’t have the confidence that is needed to prove I am worthy of meeting my expectations and more.

I have hit a brick wall that has given me a reason to think things over with my career. I am nearing the age of 30 and my game-plan could have already been working had I paid more attention to detail, focused on more important priorities, made a better decision in the path I am taking, and had I really stayed focused these last few years and now it is finally catching up to me — I find myself falling behind in the spectrum of “good” trainers and I don’t have a plan B — I just have a plan A with many bullet points underneath, it will get me motivated to start this new chapter with a new phase , but I should have, could have, would have… & that’s that! I tell clients not to start Monday, but to start “now” and honestly, I need to use my own advice and start now and build myself, build my own empire and grow, find mentors, create networks, build a network of people and make connections that help me better myself. I don’t want this mundane personal training job for the rest of my life, I want a personal training job / strength coach job that will put me in a higher % of trainers whom people recommend, people look to, people read about and feel inspired by. I want to make a salary that pays my bills, and allows me to live a lifestyle that meets my needs/wants, I want to be better than I thought I could ever be and I want to know how far I can go in this career; along with blogging professionally and podcasting. These things mean the world to me, my passion , my drive and I deserve to be where I see myself by 30, so I am going to be a small two year plan for myself then break it down into 1 year plans, quarterly plans/goals, monthly, weekly, daily… and I want to make the list obtainable but meaningful as well.

If this is what I want, nobody is going to give it to me. Not in this lifetime, so I have to work for it and pay my dues and make the sacrifices needed. Here I am, challenging myself to do better, be better, and learn more.

Happy FRIDAY!

Part Three.

Long story short, I ended up packing up and moving to Columbus officially June 24th of 2020, My first apartment I moved into on my own and it ended up being a bad decision, so I was having to hire a lawyer to help me out of my lease — never had to do this before, it was scary, it was mentally fatiguing and very upsetting that I had to get to this point after moving with only a few items and then having to move again assuming I would win the case (Which I did). I had visited Columbus many times for events, festivals, etc, but never knew the areas very well in order to choose where I should live and I was trying to rush order moving because my bosses were hounding me about it (while also trying to help me find places) but I am very cautious because I obviously wanted to make sure I could afford my living comfortably and at the time safety was on the list but not very high. The first apartment I ended up moving into had many difficulties:

  1. I had to take a virtual tour of the apartment I would be staying in, so had to go off pictures and the sales agent in order to determine.
  2. I was told I would have upgraded appliances but the day I moved in, I didn’t. This really upset me considering I was basing it off their leasing agents word.
  3. I wasn’t sold on the access point to my front door, it was going down many flights of stairs in an alley and at night it would be perfect for someone to take advantage of me, although I did like my private entrance and patio section.
  4. When I told the leasing agent about the appliances not being upgraded after signing the lease (not realizing until the day I moved in) .. she basically told me she would have her manager get a hold of me about the issue. Which was a red flag.
  5. Of course the manager calls and I am telling her the details of the situation and she mentions how my particular apartment wouldn’t come with upgraded appliances and the walls that I saw on the video tour that were white … aren’t supposed to be white but tan. She makes a huge deal out of the fact that I want nice things and makes a “deal” that she would have new black appliances delivered to me in a couple of weeks BUT would tack on an extra $75.00 to my rent each month. I literally could not believe this bullcrap but agreed to it.
  6. Soon after that we had some rain, and my bedroom was leaking from the celling (small drips to start with) then as time progressed more drips with bigger wet spots were happening. I put in an emergency call to maintenance that same evening and nobody came out that day or the next. It was literally toward the end of the week before they shown up & when they did, they said they would need the roofer to come out because nothing they could do about it (didn’t even offer to give me a tarp or anything to keep the water from falling on my new carpet or bedroom items [ I was using all my bath towels] and while we waited a week for the roofer to show up, mold was growing on my ceiling in the bedroom and spreading fast. I took pictures daily just to have as proof. It was supposed to be fixed when the roofer stopped by but it wasn’t. He fixed the holes in the roof that he could find (which he said were a lot] but soon after that… maintenance basically found there was more damage and they had to tear out my whole bedroom ceiling and I was expected to live out my days in the living room until the process was over (it tooks days on days).
  7. All the while I am speaking with a lawyer that was recommended to me from a client from my gym, I decide I would put in a complain to the BBB about this apartment and my situation. It was handled within days, because soon after I get a call from management talking about how they seen my complaint and heard from the BBB about my situation and offered to terminate my lease without penalty and give me 30days to find a new place to live. I agreed of course and shared the news with my lawyer, who was shocked.
  8. If that wasn’t enough, I go to do dishes in my sink and my water floods the whole kitchen from underneather due to bad plumbing, at that point, I was livid and thankfully a coworker who also got hired at the same time as me who was having issues finding a place to live — well he found a place and it was on the north side of the city (very nice area) and told me about it and I decided to set out and put in an application for their one bedroom and got an in person tour of the exact apartment I would be staying in, I took some time to look at other places in the area and finally after 3 days of thinking it over, agreed to sign the lease and move in. I was moving within July 8th to my new apartment. It took me hours (even though I don’t have a lot of furniture, or fire items, my car is small and so it was a lot of back and forth driving 25 minutes back and forth if not longer due to traffic) I was moved out by the end of the day July 8th, had all my services transferred.
  9. The management team from the previous apartment was trying to offer me to their sister apartments but of course, I ignored that. My lawyer continued to work with me because the next obstacle was getting my deposit from them and since they have 30 days to do so, I wanted to make sure I got it back because I hadn’t even lived their long enough to buy furniture or even settle in.
  10. My bed was ordered but would be another month before I got it, at the time seemed long but thankfully it worked out that it was delivered while living in the new apartment.
  11. I received my deposit in a timely manner and was thrilled, now I am focusing on furnishing my new space and really just figuring out what like and styles. I have colors picked out in my head and I have bought new dishes, pots, pans, knife set, bathroom stuff — all the smaller items, but need to invest in bigger items and lighting. I also have a patio I would like to add some things to for next summer perhaps.

I do like my new place and the area is nice, feels safe and my coworker lives in the same area as me, which makes me feel very comfortable. I have had family visit once or twice, and a friend or two visit. I still haven’t met too many people and my work schedule is tough most weeks because I am up extremely early or leaving fairly late at night. I make enough to pay bills and live comfortably and I was blessed to have a nice savings built up as well prior to moving. To say that I want to work my job for the long term would be a stretch, I am always looking to better myself in opportunities that arise, so if something better makes an appearance or if I do my research and find something that interest me, I am going to take it. I strive for the best career and life for myself… small steps got me here , and those small steps will get me further if I continue to work hard and network, make connections and look for ways to develop myself as a trainer and person. I have so much I want to do and take advantage of, I just need to not rush the process and take my time along this new chapter of my life.

I workout still .. and plan to still compete in my powerlifting events. The gym I chose for myself was recommended and it gives me separation from my job; which I love. Hopefully as time goes on, I will have more positive news and more exploring to talk about. I plan on sharing tons of things and places I have visited since moving here but I also plan on getting back to the basics of talking about fitness/wellness/health/mental health… etc because that is why I created the blog. My dream of a book and podcast will happen, I need to do more research and find out how I want to go about those things but I want to make them happen for sure. I don’t know what my blog schedule will look like, but I plan on getting back into the swing of things as often as possible when I have the time and I plan on making this a profession as well like I had always wanted — but again will be another thing to research once more and really make a priority, so small steps. I have two blogs, and I haven’t yet started on the second one yet, but I might get to that one in due time as well. Anyways, this has been a short piece of my journey, plenty left to talk about…

so look out for more blog post about my life in the big city, and more fitness/health topics.

Part Two.

So…

While out of work, not workinocig out, we are now going into April and Covid is still an issue. Our governor of Ohio was on TV everyday making new adjustments to the plan, where I was living, the numbers were EXTREMELY low, but in bigger surrounding cities, the numbers were growing exponentially. The only states that were making the news at the time was New York and Florida, because they had a bigger widespread of the virus and a lot more cases where people were dying or getting really sick from it. We didn’t totally shut down, we still were able to leave the house for groceries, go for a walk, get essentials; whereas, other states were shutting all the way down and making rules to keep people from traveling outside of their own homes (understandably) – so I can’t complain. When May came around, I was still on leave from one job, and my gym was starting to open back up (but I knew most if not all my clients would still be on edge before returning) so pretty much I didn’t have to work, and my other job was allowing only so many to return in spurts but something told me I would be called back in eventually (dreading that day) although should be happy I had a job that I could collect unemployment from because so many people lost their jobs, were struggling to find work and were suffering financially within their households. So thinking back, I was blessed to say the least.

Gyms opened back up in Ohio in May after some gym owners took it upon themselves to sue because they were going broke and losing money because they had to be closed down (locally owned gyms in Columbus) and I was happy to see them rise and fight and come out winners. It didn’t necessarily help me, but made me happy for them. When my gym opened back up, I was so very happy about the opportunity to lift again, but so very upset with how adly my body looked in the mirror — even after realizing so many others felt the same way, it was just hard for me to even come to terms with myself. During this time, I was looking over my resume and decided to revamp things, and put in some applications in Columbus — my pool of opportunity was small but still had some places to choose from or consider. In the meantime, none of my clients returned and it turns out my manager at the time had informed me that while we were on shut down, I could have been utilizing the gym the whole time …YET, nobody took the time to even make mention of this to me — talk about pissed off (I was very pissed off) and it didn’t shock me because this whole time working for this new management team, I was being treated unfairly anyways. Since they hired the club director’s son to be a trainer, she basically made sure all the potential clients were referred to her son. It was sad, annoying and even one my clients took notice, which made it embarrassing. I basically was more than ready to leave this gym and move on in life.

It wasn’t until the beginning of June when I received a phone call from a studio wanting me to meet with them for an interview in Columbus. I was nervous, ecstatic, and eager all at once. I agreed to the interview (didn’t tell anyone of this interview). I made the interview for the same week I got the call, made a trip to Columbus and found myself in Upper Arlington at my destination. It was small, a privately owned studio in a nice area, it had a small cardio section when you walked through the front doors, I had a kid around my age greet me at the door- he seemed pleasant at first glance. It wasn’t too long before I greeted by the owners husband and he gave me a tour of the entire building (3 separate private workout rooms, one bathroom, a shower room, lockers and their office) condensed space but very organized, and had free weights, medicine balls, smith machine, barbells. When the tour was over, I waited another 5-6 minutes and the owner introduced herself and we sat down for the interview. Overall, they asked me questions relevant to the job, at the end had me demonstrate one of my favorite exercises for the lower body and discuss how I would train a client if they were learning this particular exercise ( by accident I said a cuss word while demonstrating the movements and discussing technique, but they understood why and weren’t bothered by it) P.S their 11 year old daughter was also sitting in on the interview. LOL. They asked if I had any questions, of course I asked payment/salary/hourly rate to get an understanding of how things worked and what I could expect so when I would start searching for apartments I could make decisions based on my pay. They answered, asked if I had any other questions, and I left. The very next day, they called me to inform me of how they enjoyed me and really would have loved for me to work for their company BUT since I couldn’t be move down there within a few days (plus I don’t know anyone I could stay with in that area) they were going to take other candidates but mentioned how they would keep me on the list in case another job position became available — I was happy to hear that. we said our goodbyes. I got off the phone thinking, I should start looking at apartments just in case I do get a job. It was another week before they contacted me again via phone call letting me know they wanted to hire me on. Supposedly the other candidate didn’t meet their needs and they really liked me enough to give me 3 weeks to find a place and in the meantime I would be driving 3-4 days a week up to Columbus to start my training (keep in mind, it was a hour and half both ways) I was driving back and forth 4 days a week unless I was working back to back then I would stay in a hotel and go back home after my shift the next day. During this time, I was nervous about where to find a place to live, I was looking at all my options, and still hadn’t put in notice at either job during this time because I didn’t know if I would like the job/environment/people and wanted to give it time. I told my family soon after accepting the position and nobody could believe it, it was giving my mom anxiety (especially since it was random, during covid and late notice; seeing as I had to be moved down there within 3 weeks).

Lots of money spent, lots of mental fatigue looking for a place, lots of overall stress during that time, and this where I will leave off for now, but I plan on starting Part 3 tomorrow.

I’m Declaring.. I am Back. Officially. Part One

I don’t know where to start, because I have no idea where I left off on this blog and I am sure it was sometime last year — the one thing I loved and made a routine of, was the one thing I strayed from for a long time; writing. It seemed things were always coming up and I never sat down and made time for writing anymore. Well, that is changing .. I am making time for blogging and I plan on making it a full time profession/career (along with the career I am doing). It will be a grueling process to catch everyone up on my life since; but I will. Today will be the beginning. BEFORE, my blog starts back up on “Fitness/wellness/mental health, etc”, I want to give you guys a chronicle of my life since FEB/MARCH when covid started … leading up to today/now. Today will be part one.

Part one.

When covid hit, I was still home and it was all over the news about people getting sickly, it was sending people into a downward spiral. Stores were constantly out of toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer (I didn’t even realize it until I was doing my normal everyday shopping). Thankfully, I had enough for myself (thinking it would pass in a week or two) – boy was I wrong! None of my family members were panicking really, neither did I. I guess because we have had so many outbreaks of flues, diseases, that I didn’t think too much about it. It wasn’t until my job at the gym was closing down, that it really hit me. Soon after that, my second job (warehouse) was offering a certain # of employees ‘leave of absence’ for what they predicted would only be for 4 weeks and it was explained to us we could collect on unemployment/ and get the extra $600 the government was giving due to the covid epidemic. I raised my hand to take leave; I didn’t like my job and at the time a co-worker was constantly going out of her way to basically workplace bully me and make my life harder … all due to an incident she created on her own but was upset at me about it and due to the fact she didn’t know how to mind her own business and got involved in an incident that was between me and another co-worker (long story but really wasn’t that drastic). Even worse, my own friends at this warehouse turned on me after the whole situation went down, it was almost too stupid for me to even believe.

It was another week when my job announced who all got picked to take ‘leave of absence’, I was named, I was excited! I was looking forward to being away from work. During this time, my gym was also closed and I had no way of working out or training my clients… I made attempts at training one of my younger clients outside at the park or high school track just so we could keep up with their cardio and try to find bodyweight exercises to help with strength (plus it also helped me because I would workout alongside her) but it was short lived most weeks, because the weather was cold or raining.. eventually causing us to put a halt to the workouts and me not even trying any longer to workout. I could tell my body was taking a downward spiral because I started waking up with pain in my ankles every morning, I had gained so much weight, lost so much muscle and toneness. I couldn’t even train for my powerlifting meet because they pushed back the dates over and over and over again. I was eating out a lot – take out. I wasn’t so worried about the lack of socializing because to be honest, I was still visiting my family members and still having get-togethers with my friends that I didn’t feel the effects of the lack of socialization. If anything, I wanted this to slow down my socialization so I had time for myself but the time I was spending was on video games, laying in bed, not doing much moving around and collecting pounds. Losing access to the gym was my kryptonite! My self awareness wasn’t there, I was ignoring my body, ignoring my unhealthy habits and creating an unhealthy space for myself thinking when the gym opens, it will all go away. I didn’t realize that 4 weeks from work would turn into another 4 weeks and the gym being closed for 4 weeks would be another month. I wasn’t prepared for it , I literally had no routine anymore, nothing to work for, nothing to do, and every goal I was once fighting to achieve was on the back-burner for another month. My social life was still flourishing and my finances were fine, I wasn’t struggling by any means — when they sent out the stimulus check, I proceeded to add it to my savings account. I was making smart financial moves the whole time while out of work, I nearly saved so much money because I didn’t have to spend it doing anything because everything was closed. On the other hand many of my friends were working and my mom was still working, along with one of siblings, everyone was essential.

I remember leading up to this covid epidemic, I was constantly praying in my car before work about finding a job in the big city and starting over, starting a new chapter and exploring new places — this will all make sense later in my writing. March was my birthday month and it definitely wasn’t the same, but I had a small get-together at a friend’s house outside and it was fine, nothing huge but it felt huge to me. It was the thought that counted and the people who made it to celebrate my special day. I’ll never forget them, or the moment. Stores were still out of toilet paper, and other essentials, many times, I would have to buy the really cheap toilet paper that tears when you wipe (ugh) but it was all they had most of the time if anything. Even ordering off of Amazon was impossible because people were buying uhauls full of toilet paper and sadly, some people were being robbed of their essential items, even more sad, the ones who had a great amount of supplies were trying to sell them for twice what someone would pay at the grocery stores (including baby formula) .. the economy was taking a HUGE hit, and small businesses were falling apart because they had no financial means to keep them going. All the major fast food restaurants were having a coin shortage, were running low on certain menu items (so they condensed their menu and made rules of how much you could order of that specific item); Wendy’s was out of hamburgers for the longest time. The sad part is all these fast food businesses were still open but my gym was closed, and it made no sense to shut down a gym that provides physical wellness, as well as mental wellness for some but to leave open fast food chains — it was literally smack in the face when the govt made that decision. The whole world was crumbling underneath our feets and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Nothing.

This is where I will leave off today, but I will continue this story… hopefully tomorrow. I don’t know how many parts I will end up creating, but I am thinking it might end up being a 3-4 part story until we get to my now life.

Finding the Right Gym Partner

Fitness Friend

In a world where we need motivation & willpower to accomplish goals, meet deadlines and manage our lives without giving up, I would say having social support is important because it offers the motivation, ignites some willpower within you and for some reason creates a purpose to keep going when they want to give up.

Now, I am a lone wolf when it comes to working out at the gym and always have been; it doesn’t bother me and I enjoy being on my own during my workouts — but with this means I have to be my own motivation, be my own reason and have to embark on a journey that is hard because I don’t have someone cheering me on in my corner, or someone to keep me accountable– but it has made me stronger and has given me a bigger meaning to my health/wellness. However, some people prefer and need the social support when trekking on their fitness adventure (especially those who are new at the gym) because it can be intimidating and when someone isn’t sure of themselves, they grow impatient and give up. 

This post is going to list some things to look for if you are looking at adding a best friend to your workouts — or need to find a class/group of people to workout with. Keep in mind, everyone has their own needs; so the list is generic but it will give you an idea on how to choose someone.

  1. Find someone on a similar journey as yourself (weight loss, gaining muscle, endurance athlete, etc) you want to bond with someone who matches what goal you have in mind for yourself — it will be easier to connect with the persons
  2. Find someone who is wanting to give it their all — you might not be someone who is good with being consistent so find someone who will be and who won’t give up half way 
  3. Look for someone who is empathetic, understanding, a good listener and builds you and vice versa. You don’t want a negative Nancy partner or someone who thinks they are better or a know it all — everyone should be trying to better themselves — LAST thing you need is someone holding you back from your true potential because they are negative. 
  4. Look for someone who has a similar schedule as yourself, the point is to have them be your workout partner — they need to be held accountable and so do you, so if your schedules don’t align then it will create issues and make it harder to keep each other accountable. 
  5. Find someone with a membership to your gym or get a membership to their gym OR better yet, find a common area to workout where both are pleased with the environment. The experience should be comfortable and offer a sense of productivity, if you cant decide where to exercise, then how can you get started?
  6. Find someone close to your fitness level, not because you can’t stay up with the best of them BUT because ensures that you won’t feel insecure around someone who YOU perceive better than you, you won’t feel intimidated and the workouts can be done together & nobody should feel hindered. this seems to be a problem when people find workout partners because too many times it turns into a competition of who is stronger, faster, etc instead of just boosting each other and being on the same level. 
  7. Look for someone who you have something in common with besides fitness/health, so conversation isn’t awkward — fitness can be fun and one way to make it fun with your friend is to talk about life, hobbies, etc, and continue to build upon that bond in a deeper way —  so that it becomes more than a gym partner but someone who helps make you better and vice versa. 
 
I hope this list was helpful, feel free to add your own tips/advice in the comments. 
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