My Fitness Career

Happy Friday! If you haven’t entered the KIND Snacks Trick or Treat giveaway- you’ve still got plenty of time! Go do it!

And now, a little rambling (or as I like to call it: reflection).

When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I was a full-time high school teacher that taught Spinning classes twice a week. A few months later, I became a certified Bodypump instructor and started subbing for those classes until I was able to get my own weekly classes in the spring. A new branch of the health club that I work at opened in April, and all of the sudden I was teaching four weekly Spinning and two Bodypump classes, all while still teaching high school full-time. I had been wanting to leave my teaching job for years, and realized that it was finally time to focus on pursuing my dream job as a personal trainer.

After the school year ended, I happily closed that chapter of my life (of being a teacher) and started focusing on the next big thing. I took on another weekly class and also subbed (on average) a few classes a week. After a few months of that, my body started letting me know that I was doing too much (sometimes teaching fifteen or more classes a week- and up to three a day), so I ended up dropping a few classes and not always agreeing to cover anytime someone needed it. While the money is nice, and I love teaching, I really need to listen to my body and get adequate rest.

I’m now teaching three Spinning and three Bodypump classes each week, as well as one Core Strength class (which is directly after my Tuesday early morning Spinning class- and offers a really nice follow up to the high intensity cardio with core work and deep stretching). I don’t have any regular classes scheduled on Thursday and Saturday- and that’s been really nice. I feel good with my teaching schedule, and that I have just the right amount of classes.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my journey to becoming a personal trainer, so I’m not going to just try to repeat the same thing here. I recently got hired as a personal trainer at the northern branch of the health club chain that I teach at. I thought a lot about what would be the best option for me, and weighed the pros and cons. You can definitely make a lot more money as an independent trainer vs. working for a health club. The hours you work are up to you, as well as the clients you take on. However, as an independent trainer, you must find a space to train at and have equipment to use. You also must get insurance and figure out everything for taxes, which I plan on doing eventually. I decided that for right now, the best option was to train for a health club. It certainly doesn’t pay a lot- but, it gives me the experience that I really need to become a strong and diverse trainer. I don’t have to seek out clients- the personal training director does that for me (and she is awesome!). I can also be selective to a degree, and have the option of focusing more on a specific demographic if I want. My health club has had a big boom in personal training sales lately, so I was lucky to really come into at the right time. I’m learning a lot every day, and am really excited about what I will continue to learn. I also have been training a client in-home for the last 2 months, and will continue to do that, because I really enjoy working with her. I may even take on just one or two more independently- but it’s not going to become my main gig for now.

(New work uniform)

I’ve been a member of this particular health club for over nine years. I worked at the front desk when I was in graduate school, and have been an exercise instructor there for four years. I know a lot of the members and most of the staff, and have even made a lot of close friends that I’ve met there. Simply put- it feels like home. And I only recently realized just how much I value the club that I work out.

Last week I auditioned for an instructor position at a new health club that’s opening up on the north side of town. This new club is huge- at least twice as big as either club that I teach at. I wanted to take on a class or two at the new club so that I could branch out more and seize other opportunities, and had no intentions of leaving the club that I’m already at.

(Lance and I like to pose.)

I was offered a position as an instructor at the new club, and went over to do a tour and talk about scheduling in the middle of this week. The new club is pretty much a gym-goer’s dream. It has state-of-the art equipment, beautiful group exercise and cycling studios and there’s even a pool! I don’t know why, but something in my gut just told me that it wasn’t right for me right now. Plus, I really got the feeling that they wanted me to leave the club that I already work at and just teach at the new club exclusively. I have so much loyalty and love for my gym- leaving there just isn’t even an option for me right now. I thought about the reality of working at three different gyms… and it just sounds like too much. I ended up turning the position down, which wasn’t an easy choice- but I feel really good about it.

Sometimes you just need to trust your gut- it usually ends up being the right thing to do.

When’s the last time you trusted your gut? How did it work out?


  1. Side note: I like your new header!

    Anyways, I don’t know if you remember, but I’m a teacher and have recently been thinking about my career and how I’m very passionate about health and fitness. So far, I’ve taken the step to pursue a certification as a health coach. We’ll see where it goes from there. But your story is very inspiring! So amazing . . . . good for you! :)

  2. I like your trainer jacket!! :) So happy you have been diving into a career you love and making balanced choices!

  3. Thanks for some inspiration!

  4. Awww girl. I am proud of you! I think it’s awesome you trusted your gut. This actually happened to me a few weeks ago, I auditioned for a gym that is another chain-and big, and nice, but I just did not like the vibe at all, or the fitness boss. So I joined as an instructor elsewhere. I teach all over, but I actually kinda like it- it keeps me happily busy (my husband is so busy, so I don’t want to get bored), i get to do what I love, and I get something new all the time. It works for me :)

  5. Smart move doing the personal trainer gig at your gym! Word of mouth is the best advertising and this will definitely get your personal training name out there!

  6. Congrats on being offered the job! But also congrats on knowing what is best for YOU. :) The last time I trusted my gut? Does spontaneously driving up to visit you count????

  7. Congrats on getting the position but understandable that you turned it down–thats a lot of places to work at! Trusting your gut is definitely the best decision and it looks like everything is working out for you (said with a twinge of jealousy while I work in cubicleland as I see your pictures of food and dogs around 10am in the morning :) )and continues to work out.

    The best decision I ever made was to quit my job in Charlotte and evaluate where I wanted to be in life….geographically, professionally, spiritually, etc. I am not where I want to be professionally just yet but hoping I get there one of these days.

    PS–Love love love that you and the Lancer are poses. I am totally imagining you all working it on the cat walk to “I’m too sexy” by Right Said Fred!

  8. I’m so excited for you as a trainer! I would so let you train me. :) I’m glad that you listened to your gut instinct. I’m so bad at that, and then I end up regretting it.

  9. You definitely need to trust your gut when it’s telling you something – all.the.time! And I’m so excited and proud that you’re following your dream. I hope to be right behind you soon enough and I know that starting out in a gym setting is right for me, as well. And that jacket – I NEED IT! ;)

  10. I am so glad you finally made all of the choices that lead you here. I think that I’d probably make the same decision because as a freelance designer/craftster, I know how much a PITA taxes are. :)


  11. Awesome post & gives me hope in following a similar dream! Congrats on the new training position, sounds like you’ll rock it! I’m currently working full-time & studying for NASM. It’s keeping me busy but my dream of helping others by being a trainer is keeping me going. Thanks for continued motivation :)

  12. I think it was a good decision to stay with your old gym for now. You’re just getting established as a trainer and what with your history with them, it’s kind of a way to say “hey, thanks for supporting me all these years” by training for them for a while. Not that I think you would have burned any bridges by going to the other gym, but it does say something about loyalty and gratitude on your part! :)

    Last time I went with my gut was when I decided not to go the Foodbuzz last month. I just didn’t see paying as much as it was gonna cost to fly out there for only a two day trip. I had this weird feeling that if I did it, I would regret it (even though I’ve wanted to go for YEARS now) and I think I made the right decision. Plus, I got the chance to visit St. Louis and had a blast there…for a LOT less moolah! ;)

  13. That jacket suits you :) SO proud of you and your efforts and ambition.

  14. Heather @ Better With Veggies says:

    Good for you choosing what feels right – bigger is not always better. :)


  1. [...] you probably know, I’m a certified Spinning and Bodypump instructor. I’ve been teaching indoor cycling for almost five years now and Bodypump for the last two (I [...]

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