I’m sharing with you a great article this week that discusses the topic of getting into the fitness field as a career. It offers some great insight from a fitness professional who I’ve really enjoyed taking workshops from for over 15 years. His name is Jay Blahnik and he has truly stood the test of time with the diversity of various types of fitness avenues he is involved in from Personal Training to various kinds of group fitness to presenting at conferences and videos. He’s a true professional too as well as being very authentic – not “over the top” like some leader’s in the industry can be. If you’re thinking of delving into the diverse career of fitness either part time or full time because you like the idea of helping others to lead healthier lives, click here for the article. Contact me if you are looking for more insight. I believe mentoring is a great way to “give back” and “pay it forward” to those who have been great teachers to me over the years. This is very important to me as I know it’s good karma and helps me to also attract more positive energy in my life. You don’t just start teaching group fitness or being a Personal Trainer and are automatically up to the high expectations standards clients have. Like anything else, it takes practice!
It’s also very important to me to mentor new instructors as one of my first experiences teaching group fitness was not so positive (at all!!) People were dropping out of the class like flies!! Not because it was too difficult, but because I just didn’t meet their expectations – I wasn’t good enough and I was being “thrown to the wolves” filling in as a last minute sub on my first class as the Scarborough Racquet Club. The day before, nonetheless, I had auditioned for an Squafitness instructor position and was given the job. I was 18 yrs old at the time and there was no certification back then. I had just attended my first fitness conference called “Branching Out” which consisted of a couple of workshops including David Snively’s (from “The Caribbean Workout” TV show) choreography-based workshop. I’d learned how to vary a step touch by adding direction and number of repetitions…translation: single step touch was “varied” by taking it to a double step touch and then we traveled forward and back…for about half of the 60 min workshop. I loved David and his energy. This is no disrespect. It just shows you how limited educational opportunities were back then and shows how far we’ve come – David for sure and myself also!
Getting back to my first fitness class at a “real gym”…I’d had about 1 yr of teaching under my belt at a church basement for a little fitness duo called “D & L Funfit”. Myself and one other instructor got together every 8 weeks to learn a routine which we had in front of us. I’d dragged my Mom and sister Karen along and they brought their friends and that’s when I realized how social fitness could be and made me realize how much fun it could be and we were all getting healthier at the same time! This therefore was a very positive experience. It didn’t do much unfortunately to prepare me for teaching at a fitness club setting! After barely making it through that first class I taught in the late 80’s, with my pop up binder of notes I had used to taped music of Billy Ocean’s “Get out of My Dreams & Into My Car”, I realized after a good cry to my boyfriend, now husband, Terry that I had two choices at that time, to learn everything I could to be the best instructor I could be at that time or I could quit. Well, quitting has never been in my nature especially when I have a passion for something, so the rest as they say is history!
Fast forward about 28 years and I’m really looking forward to my upcoming Tabata Bootcamp workshop. I believe it’s really important to always be learning to keep the fire burning while staying current and fresh in this ever-changing industry. I took this same training last year and as one of the great perks is I can attend every year for no charge. Hats off to Mindy Mylrea, founder of a great fitness tool, the Gliding Discs and co-owner of Savvierfitness.com. Here’s a little sneak peak of the type of creative and functional exercises Mindy comes up with! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x2J9K2YsWY & https://youtu.be/zsG30CjCD1I Both are under 1 min so check them out. Watch for my blog next week which will summarize my Tabata Bootcamp retraining workshop and will highlight some of my favourite take homes including a video of me demo’ing some exercises you can do from home.